Ok so I have been kind of keeping you abreast of my experience with the Briard as a breed.
Urban legends that have been broken:
1. Briards are not psychopaths nor are they aggressive (at least in my experience)
Mitcham is the perfect breed ambassador, having never met a stranger (except that one judge!) and loves children, babies, dogs both large and small, loyal and bonded to his master (me) and loves to go for car rides, kennel club visits, training sessions etc.
2. Briards do not shed. No they mat. A lot. Especially as pups I've been told! I was mentally prepared for all the grooming but not physically. My brushes just weren't cutting it. I was having to brush him daily and even then if I brushed him in the AM, by PM he would be matting already. I learned what 'line brushing' was. I spent near 100 dollars on a brush (BUT BOY DOES IT WORK WONDERS!!)
Mitcham needed no real heavy brushing until about 5 months of age. At that point he started to mat on an hourly basis (I'm really not kidding) and I was frantically trying to get my dad or mom or sister to help hold him down while I tried my best to brush through those mats. I was nearly in tears several days as it was so terrible and Mitcham, the awesome dog he was would sit there and take it from me.....I felt so terrible for him! I was not being a good Briard owner! Shame on me
I learned that some Briards will shed like that for their entire life. Others will only shed like that between puppy and adult coats.
I truly believe the end is near! *KNOCKS ON WOOD* Mitcham honestly has not been groomed for a week, about the limit most Briard people say should go between grooming.
I purchased a new taller grooming arm for Mitcham for my grooming table. That has helped immensely keep his head and neck where it should be and i do not have to enlist the help of a family member who has better things to do with their time than to help hold a dog! This arm is a Godsend and has helped so much.
I spent the last hour or so grooming him first with a pin brush, then a rake with revolving pins, and then the awesome expensive Les Pooches purple double slicker brush. In no time I was through the very few tiny mats that had started to accumulate and he was done! Presto! I have enough time now to blog about it and bathe a few more dogs :)
Praise be to God that the end is near! (fingers crossed)
This almost made me think of never owning another Briard as long as I live! Now that the terrible part is looking to be behind us, I may reconsider....but of course WAY down the road :)
The best part about all of this were all of the compliments on his coat at the FMKC show! Other herding breeders of Tervs, Bouvies, Aussies and Shelties were complimenting me on how lovely his coat was at the show! Coming from those guys...heck ya I'll take it!! :) :) :D
It was also nice to know he was appreciated by professional handlers and owners of other breeds that knew nothing about the breed but could see his lovely movement and gorgeous coat. Both judges he was entered under said he was such a gorgeous boy.....he just needs to be less puppy....but why rush it? We are having fun!!
And as a side note there are majors in bitches in Cambridge, so maybe a cross over major ? Odder things have happened here!! :)