Briard Dog Breed

This breed is the most popular sheep dog in France and was named for the French Providence of Brie.
By: PawCulture Editors
Briard dog breed resting on a grassy field.

About the Briard Dog Breed

Briards have been herding sheep in France since the Middle Ages. These are the most popular sheep dogs in France and they were named for the French Providence of Brie.

Briard Physical Characteristics

The Briard is a large dog with a large head and tall erect ears.

Color(s)

The Briard can be seen in any color except white.

Coat

The most distinguishing mark about the breed is its long coat. The entire body is covered with long hair; even its eyes are covered over in hair.

Briard Personality and Temperament

Activity Level

Moderate

Positives

The Briard is very smart and loves to play, protect, and herd.

Things to Consider

The Briard requires a lot of training and can be very standoffish with strangers.

Briard Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The Briard would do well in either the country or the city.

Special Requirements

This breed needs daily exercise, and a lot of grooming.

Briard Health

The following conditions are known to be seen in the Briard:

 

Briard History and Background

The Briard is native to France. A superb herder, it was the official dog of the French army during World War II. Among the four sheepdog breeds of France (Pyrenean, Beauceron and Picardy), Briards are the oldest. 

There is evidence of dogs resembling the breed in 8th century artwork. There are also records of Briards during the 1300s. 

Some believe the breed originated from dogs of the Brie province and they were referred to as Chien Berger de Brie or Shepherd Dog of Brie early on. According to the 14th-Century legend, it may have even originated from the Chien d’Aubry, or Aubry de Montdidier’s dog, a singular dog that took revenge for his master’s murder. 

It was not until 1809 that the breed became known as the Briard. It was used for various purposes, including guarding estates and flocks from intruders, as well as from wolves on occasion. But as the French Revolution came to an end, there was more of a need to keep cattle closer to the home. Therefore, the Briards shifted their duties from guarding homesteads to herding cattle. 

The standard of the breed, written in 1897, was updated in 1909. Around the same time, the breed began to be used as a show dog. It was only after World War I that American soldiers began to bring them back to the U.S. However, the breed has yet to garner much popularity amongst American families.

Briard National Clubs and/or Organizations

Briard Club of America, Inc. 
P.O. Box 455 Corbett, OR 97019