Showsight Presents The Briard

Briard Q& A winning dogs, Specialty winning dogs, National Specialty winning dogs, and two generations of Best In Show and Reserve Best in Show winning dogs. My hope is that when I am long gone that KayCee will continue on and preserve the pedigrees and dogs of Mon Amie. We live in Thousand Palms California just east of Palm Springs. Besides the dogs I own two quarter horses and enjoy riding and cow sorting. Briards are described as a “heart wrapped in fur” I think because Briards want to please and have a strong sense of attachment to their people. Briards love to be where ever their people are. If you want to lay around and watch movies and have a lazy day Briards are happy to hang out with you. They are happy if they are with you no matter what you are doing. At dog shows, if well socialized they do very well around other dogs and people. We have had lazy dogs that once at a show just come to life and are quite the “show dog”. Briards are very funny and have a lot of personality and sense of humor. Briards, per the standard are aloof with strangers. They should tolerate strangers and never show any signs of aggression. Briards were bred to guard so they attach themselves to their people and really do not care much about the outside world, but again if properly socialized Briards can be quite social. The Briard standard does have eight disqualifications. In my opinion some are to differentiate the Briard from its cousin the Beauceron. The DQ’s for eye color for example, and the DQ for spotted coat are meant to clearly separate the two breeds. I do not feel like there should be anymore DQ’s we already have more than most breeds. And, as far as adding any more DQ’s I do not feel like we need to add any the Briard is pretty well covered from head to tail. I do feel that size is of “concern” in our breed. Briards are a medium sized working breed, and it seems that some of the dogs are just getting too big. We do have wording that appears twice in the standard that says “inelegant gait should be severely penalized”. The bigger dogs can be cumbersome and not have the “quick silver” gait required of the breed. The Briard should be able to work trot- ting and changing speed and direction over the corse of a work day, the larger dogs would break down and tire in my opinion. This is a concern and not something I feel should be an added DQ but as breeders we should be mindful of. The general public often mistakes the Briard for a Bouvier. Not sure how but I guess to the uneducated eye they make that assump- tion. Briards are not very well know and there are very few out and about for people to see. People often admire their regal appearance and are taken by the beautiful coat. When we have one of our dogs out with us we know that it may take us longer to get where we are going because people stop us to ask us lots of questions about the breed. I evaluate the entire litter at eight weeks. This gives me the opportunity to pick out the stand outs from the companion pup- pies. All of our puppies are placed into show homes first then I place puppies into the other companion homes based on appropriate tem- perament for each family. Because choosing the right temperament for each individual family is primary I select each puppy for each buyer. All of our puppies are sold with a purchase agreement requir- ing spay or neuter and we are there to assist new owners through the life of their puppy. Show prospects are chosen around 12 weeks of age although I generally evaluate the entire litter at eight weeks. I watch the pup- pies move around in the yard from about five weeks on. Often there are a stand out puppies who cover the ground beautifully and never stop without being four square and just seem to always put their feet down just right. Generally you can see this by eight weeks of age. As far as having it all together though, if I can hang on to my favorite puppies until about 12 weeks that gives me a good idea of their foot Gina Klang continued

timing, how they carry themselves and movement. It seems like they come together and are coordinated at that age. For KayCee and I our favorite memory has to be our National Specialty Breed win. As breeders that is a very rewarding win and it was so special because my daughter and I are a team. We bred, raised, and trained the dog and KayCee beautifully handled the dog to his win. That was such a wonderful moment for us. Such a cherished memory. CHRISTI LEIGH In terms of breeding Briards. I got my first Briard in 1992. I got my first show Briard in 1996. I bred my first litter in 2000. I have bred about 60 champions in 38 litters. I have bred Westminster winners, grand champions, Best in Show winners, Specialty win- ners. The most important thing is producing dogs that contribute to families. I have done that as well, companions as well as service/ therapy dogs. I live in New Mexico. I work on radioactive waste disposal. What’s the breed like around the house, shows and strangers? Around the house the Briard is interactive and funny with his peo- ple. They are pretty much shadows, with you all of the time, if you let them. They are highly intelligent and can be very funny when they are negotiating with you over something they want. They defi- nitely serve as watch dogs because they alert bark at any number of things—like there is a squirrel in the yard—danger danger Will Robinson. At shows they are well behaved if you have trained them to be. The Briard is supposed to be reserved with strangers. That is guarded at first and then may warm up to them as time passes. They are not supposed to be aggressive in any way—just alert and watchful in case there is a danger. Are there any DQs I’d like to see removed or added? There is no need to change the Briard standard in any way. Many of the DQs are things that I have not ever seen in a Briard, so you might think they don’t exist any more. But, there is no reason to eliminate them as DQs. They are easy to memorize and when thinking about the actual purpose of the breed, they make perfect sense. How does the general public view the Briard? More people are recognizing Briards in public but it still a small number of people. Most people react to the dogs saying how cute they are, asking to pet them, and then asking what breed they are. I have a number of friends who carry explanation cards with them to hand out to the inquisitive public. How do I place my pups? All I can say is that I am looking for homes that will value the pups as much as I do. Value the fact that they are a high quality purebred dog with specific traits that you want to see in your family dog. Finding those people is always a struggle no matter how much you advertise. It is generally a ration of about 10 to 1. That is, talk to ten people, maybe sell one puppy. At least that is the way for me. I use a purchase agreement to ferret out where I might have difficulties with a buyer. For example, I have had a number of people (mostly men) who just do not like the idea of neutering a male dog. If the buyer cannot get over that stipula- tion, they don’t get a dog. At what age do I choose a show prospect? I watch the litter from birth to ten weeks. Pups change from week to week not just in shape and size but in personality. I have decided what I want to keep for my breeding program by ten weeks. It may not be the pup consid- ered the best for showing because showing is only part of the pic- ture. I will choose the pup that has the characteristics I was breed- ing for without compromising what I have already accomplished in my breedings. My favorite dog show memory? Dog shows are necessary for someone who breeds because the breeder needs to see what others are doing with their gene pool and be able to discuss the ins and outs of the breed with experienced people. That is not always fun.

244 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2019

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