Briard Q & A
Caution should be taken by anyone judging the breed to pay close attention to nose color. We are seeing some dilute blacks who are not grey, but are actually blue. This means the nose DQ “ nose any color than black” would be found in such a dog. Therefore, this dog should be disqualified. How does the general public view the Briard. Have they seen enough of them to recognize the breed? The breed is more recognized now than it had been in the past however, there are also many more people asking if it’s a Labradoo- dle or a Goldendoodle or asking “what mix is that?” Our numbers have basically stayed the same, yet the breed is probably a bit more known by the general public. I would guess this has to be with increased visibility on social media. How do I place my pups? Extremely carefully. This is not a breed for everyone. Just the temperament and coat care alone are not for the faint of heart. They are very high maintenance. Fortunately, more than 50% of our puppies go to experienced Briard homes. Many of the homes have had Briards for multiple generations in their families and many are second generation Briard owners from us, having grown up with the breed and now as adults, seeking the breed for their own families. We spend a lot of time with the new people prior to placement teaching them all the reasons why the Briard may not be the right breed for them. They are asked to fill out a puppy questionnaire and be scrutinized with lots of questions about their life style and preparation for having a strong minded, opinionated working dog. At what age do I choose a show prospect? We start the choosing process at birth of course and continue sorting through until we are left with what we decide to keep for us. That is usually around10-12 weeks old. Even then, we continue to evaluate throughout their development. Our dogs are house dogs, therefore we manage our numbers carefully and thoughtfully. My favorite dog show memory? When I won the national spe- cialty with Ch C’est Bonheur Woodbine Tinsel under Ann Rogers Clark from the Veteran Bitch Class. I had always felt Tinsel was a great one, yet she was BOS at the National three times. Finally, as a veteran, in 1990 Mrs. Clark pointed to Tinsel and me for Best of Breed. I was crying, Mrs. Clark was crying, and much of the ring- side and other exhibitors were crying. ELLEN MYERS An AKC Breeder of Merit, author of articles and one book on the Briard: Briards Past and Present: Conversation with Leading Breeders ( The book can be bought signed directly from Author or via Amazon.) A breeder whose tawny dogs are multiple country show winning Briards, in some countries the only breeder in North America whose dogs have won ever in certain countries. The breed- er of the only Triple CH Herding Briard in American History in the various clubs recorded. Her one litter is documented by Animal Planet in their series, “Too Cute”, filmed at her home over six weeks during the early development of the litter. She developed her line of dogs by going back to the country of origin over several years and studying the breed and the breed history and attempted to bring the American Briard more into proper alignment with the most historic valued characteristics of the breed appearing in the standard in all countries. Never a large scale breeder, she always valued her goal of quality over quantity, and lived her breeding life in that manner. I live On Long Island, New York. I am a mudra yoga teacher, a producer, writer, actress, metaphysician and investor. What’s the breed like around the house? The Briard is an active dog and primed to be a herding dog. Family members substitute for sheep to the Briard and so around the house, you become the center of attention for the Briard. They will often be of the mind to follow you wherever you are going in the house. For them, you are their charge and they need to be near you.
Terry Miller graduated from college with a degree in Fine Arts and promptly started training dogs, some- thing she always aspired to do. She started with two pet Standard Poodles whom she exhibited in obe- dience. The first dog shown in conformation was a cli- ent’s wayward Briard which started a curiosity and fas- cination with the breed. The first Briard came after lots of homework from the
great kennel of Briards Chez Phydeaux owned by the Tingleys in Mendham, New Jersey and Aigner Briards of the Keiters in Tan- nersville, Pennsylvania. This dog and bitch were Winners Bitch and BOS at the 1982 National Specialty. Deja Vu Briards was off to the races. Terry went on to run a Hearing Dog program for the deaf and a training/behavioral business for 38 years. There have been more than 300 champions, five Westminster group placers, and home to the top winning dog and bitch of all time who happen to be sire and daughter Ch Deja Vu In Like Flynn CD PT and Ch Deja Vu Ruffles Have Ridges PT. Deja Vu also became home to the top sire and the top dam of all time who happen to be dam and son Ch Deja Vu Four Leaf Clover and Ch Deja Vu In Like Flynn CD PT. Deja Vu is also the winner of many wins at specialties, including 12 wins of Best of Breed/BISS at the National. Terry and partner Dominique Dubé breed under the Deja Vu Popsakadoo prefix and were humbled to be chosen the 2016 AKC Herding Group Breeders of the Year. We live in Novelty, Ohio. I am a dog behaviorist and trainer. What’s the breed like around the house, shows and strangers? Briards are decidedly and typically uncaring about strangers and obsessed with their family. They are a guard dog by nature, and are selective and discriminant about who counts in their perfect world. Briards are demonstrative and extremely loving. They are silly, funny, learn fast, and would rather do whatever their owners do than any other thing. They are a dog who would chase a frisbee for hours, or be equally happy laying in a heap at their owners’ feet. However for every trait, there is an opposite trait. The Briard is often selective to a fault in our urban life styles and can quickly develop a willingness to avoid or even become aggressive toward anyone who they perceive to not be part of their family, If not thor- oughly and intensely socialized to strangers and in new settings, they can become untrustworthy and possibly aggressive. The breed tends to have high prey drive and can be emotional and reactive. In the good sense, this can create a very responsive and engaged dog. In the bad sense, if not properly managed, it can create a p roblem animal. The Briard, in its finest form is a fantastic house pet, clean, silly and responsive, easy and adaptive and in love with their family and circle of friends. In addition, they can be welcoming and happy to meet and greet guests and strangers. As with anything, it depends on nature and nurture both. Are there any DQ’s I’d like to see removed or added? I believe all the DQs should stay as is. They are so much a part of the his- tory of the Briard and represent the intentions and depictions of the Briard and the writers’ of the original standard. I think we have a good standard which is mostly clear and beautifully descriptive of what the Briard is.
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2019 • 247
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