Committed to the improvement of the breed by breeding for health, temperament and better structure in dogs that have the ability to herd.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The END is near....

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!! :)


Sarah said...

I don't envy the grooming. What is "line brushing?"

dreameyce said...

I wanna know too, what's line brushing!

I love the breed, but not the grooming. I personally think, they are the most stunning breed in the herding group. Personally, I'm surprised there isn't more BIS Briards.

Rayna said...

Yeah, I have enough grooming with the poms...I wouldn't want something 20x their size to much as I love him, you can keep Mitcham :) Yeah, I wanna know what Line brushing is too!

Cindy said...

As we talked earlier in the week, the whole brushing thing--that's why I only have one rough collie! Well and one pom too. The cardigans are bad enough on shedding but add in the bizarre grooming with the long double coats and no thank you. And I know what line brushing is!!! Having kennel helped with a poodle handler-yeap, learned that one quick.
Keep up the good work, he's well worth it.

StubbyDog said...

Remind me to leave the briards to the more dedicated groomers out there. :D They sure are pretty though! A breed I've always admired. Now that I know how hard they are to maintain, I'll extend the admiration to their owners as well LOL.

C-Myste said...

And mats would be why I have Cardigans now instead of Shelties or Aussies, both of which I've had.

The Briard puts them to shame though.

Sherilyn said...

That's exactly why we no longer have the Samoyed...line brushing is much too hard on arthritic hands. Start at the bottom, separate the coat line by line and get those mats out. Makes the coat fuller, kind of like blowing LOTS of air into it, but the hair is then mat free. A lot of work! (2+ hours to show groom a Sammy vs. 15 minutes or less to groom a Cardigan). No thank you!! LOL We'll leave that to you, G! ;) I love the Briards, but I'll stick to my low maintenance dogs now. Even with the bunny butt that I fight with to get those pants right!! LOL