Tawny Briard

Briard Grooming

The Briard is a large-sized breed with a long, shaggy coat that requires quite a bit of upkeep. Though these dogs don't shed much, their coats tend to mat and tangle very easily, so they'll need daily brushing. See below for further details on maintaining the Briard's coat.

Briard Coat Care

These dogs' long, shaggy coats need a lot of work--so as you can imagine, Briard grooming is quite a time-consuming process. Briards shed lightly for most of the year (and more heavily when they "blow" their coats during the spring and fall shedding seasons); the problem is, the shed hairs from the undercoat will often become trapped beneath the outer coat, leading to frequent tangles and mats. This means a Briard will need daily brushing to keep its coat from becoming a tangled mess. Briards also need baths every 6-8 weeks, but not any more than that, as too-frequent bathing will rid the coat of its naturally waterproof oils. And Briards don't need haircuts at all--though some owners do have their Briards' coats clipped several times per year to make them lower-maintenance. (Note that if you plan to show your Briard, clipping is not allowed.)

To brush your Briard you'll need both a pin brush and a 2-in-1 comb. Brush a Briard as follows: first wet the coat with water mist from a spray bottle, then starting at the shoulders, brush the coat section by section, moving in the direction of hair growth. Make sure to start each brushstroke at the root, then sweep smoothly outward. If you encounter a tangle or mat--and odds are, you will!--first try working it out with your fingers, then continue working through it with the comb. Brush the legs and chest last, then use the comb to go through the hair on the head, ears, and face.

If you plan to follow the brushing with a bath, make sure to use canine shampoo, as the human kind can irritate the dog's skin. You can bathe your Briard either in a bathtub or an outdoor kiddie pool with a garden hose; first wet the coat, then lather the shampoo well. (And don't forget the legs and belly!) Clean the head, ears and face with a washcloth; rinse the coat completely, towel-dry, then give the coat another quick brush-through to make it look clean and healthy.

While many owners prefer their Briards' coats at full length to give it that "shaggy-dog" charm, you can have your Briard's coat trimmed shorter to make it easier to care for. You can learn to clip the coat yourself, but it's a good idea to visit a professional groomer at least once. The groomer can demonstrate the proper clipping method and provide tips on grooming a Briard in general.

Getting Out Tangles

The Briard coat is known for tangling pretty easily--and if left unchecked the tangles will form mats and be nearly impossible to remove! The best defense against Briard tangles, of course, is frequent brushing. If your Briard's coat does develop a tangle, though, here are two ways of dealing with it:

  • Use your fingers. This is the preferred method. Simply use your thumbs and forefingers to separate the hairs, going strand by strand if necessary. If you like you can use a greyhound comb with one hand. You can also spray the tangle with de-tangling solution before you start to lubricate the hairs.
  • Use a de-shedding tool. With a tool like a Furminator, a Briard coat is less likely to tangle in the first place. The de-shedding tools remove dead hairs from the undercoat that would otherwise snarl in the outer coat--the problem is, these tools often remove healthy hairs along with the dead ones, which will leave the coat looking uneven. Overall, using your fingers is better.

Briard Styling & Haircuts

Overall, giving your Briard a haircut isn't required. Even so, some people like to trim the coats a little to make them easier to maintain.

Be careful not to cut the coat too short, though! Clipping the coat to 1-2 inches in length (like in a Puppy Cut) is likely to make the coat lose its natural insulating properties. And never shave these dogs' coats! A shaved Briard will be much more susceptible to heatstroke and sunburn, and will get cold very easily. And when the coat does grow back, it will be uneven and softer in texture.

The best Briard haircut is a scissor trim, in which the coat is only shortened by an inch or less. While it's best to let a professional groomer give the cut (the first time, at least), owners can use instructional videos from the Web to learn how to do the Briard haircuts themselves.

Briard Care

See the complete guide on how to care for Briards.

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About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:June 3, 2020