Wonderful World of Briards
Welcome to the pages of Nuview Briards. On these pages, you will find the dogs we are currently showing, a few who are occupying the couch and a few who, while they don't live with us, are as much a part of our lives as those who do. This is the kennel of Michele and Mary, located in beautiful Western Massachusetts. We invite you to peruse these pages as part of your exploration of this beautiful and storied breed.
The Briard is a very old breed of French working dog. In early times, Briards were used to defend their charges against wolves and poachers. The eventual dividing up of the land and the increase in population which followed the French Revolution gradually transformed their work into the more peaceful task of herding the flocks, keeping the sheep within the unfenced boundaries of the pastures and guarding their masters' property.
The history of the Briard in the Americas is not well documented. Some credit the Marquis de Lafayette with the introduction of the breed to this country. However, writings of Thomas Jefferson indicate that he also brought representatives of the breed to this continent at about the same time. It was not until 1922 that a litter of Briards was registered with the American Kennel Club. Barbara Danielson of Groton, Massachusetts, was the breeder.
We show our dogs throughout the U.S. and Canada. Living so close to the border, we have this unique opportunity to compete in both countries. We have made many "dog" friends in both countries and feel it is a priviledge to be able to show our dogs.
Michele has been showing dogs since she was twelve years old. As a junior handler, Michele handled many different breeds but fell in love with the Briard, getting her first in 1988. She has been breeding and showing Briards since.
Mary is a relative newcomer to the breed, getting her first in 2006. The dog pictured to the right, Beowulf, is her first Briard, her first male dog and her first show dog.
Together, Michele and Mary breed, raise, show and handle their home bred dogs. Michele now has two, home bred Best in Show Briards. We also have two generations of Best by Exhibitor in Show dogs - Gemma and Tristin.
If you are interested in this breed, feel free to contact us (e-mail on "Contact Us" page). We will not try to sell you a dog. We don't breed often enough to worry about that. What we will do is tell you what the challenges and rewards are in raising this breed. These dogs are a part of our family, our joy and our passion. We are delighted to share them with you.
Painting of Beowulf by Cheryl Dunn
Nuview Briards is an AKC Breeder of Merit
Couple of other things to look for as you look at these pages, especially if you are contemplating welcoming a Briard into your home. This isn't an easy breed. They were breed to herd sheep and to bond with their shepard and only their shepard. They will be extremely protective of their family and very wary of strangers and strange dogs. Since most of us aren't shepards, we work to break that inclination to bond with just one person by socializing, socializing, socializing. If you cannot commit to that work, don't get a Briard. You will also notice a few differences between the dogs on these pages. Beowulf is what we call a "natural-eared" dog. His ears have not been cropped and trained to stand. Since training ears to stand can be a bit of a pain, pet owners expecially should consider natural ears. The other dogs on these pages have cropped ears. This is preferred in show homes because the standing ear gives the Briard a "perkier" look. Nuview Briards will do whatever the new owner would like. Mary's preference runs to the natural look, Michele's to the crop.
The other difference you will notice is color. Beo and Eddie are blacks and the rest are various shades of what we call tawny. Tawny is a recessive gene so when we breed tawny to tawny, we only get tawny. When we breed to a black, we can get both colors unless one of the parents is black homozygous (two genes of the same type), then we will get all black dogs.
The males go between 80 - 95 pounds, the girls normally weigh between 55 - 65 pounds. They do require a good deal of grooming but owners who do the grooming themselves often report that both they and the dog seem to enjoy it. At Nuview, we groom all our own dogs. I will soon be adding a separate page with things to consider when buying a Briard, but for now, this will have to do.
To the right; Briard puppies at the milk bar