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The Briard: A Rare and Versatile Dog Breed from France

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Briard Dog Breed

The Briard is a beautiful and energetic dog that loves to explore and learn new things. It has a long history as a herding dog in France, but it is not very common in the United States. It is a loyal and brave companion, but it needs a lot of training and socialization.

Physical Characteristics: 

The Briard has a stylish and sturdy appearance, with a body that is either square-shaped or slightly longer than taller. It is a powerful dog that moves with grace and agility. Some people say that the Briard’s movement is like “quicksilver.” The dog’s long head and eyebrows show its confidence and personality.

The breed’s coat is coarse and dry on the outside, and soft and dense on the inside. It has curly hair on the shoulders, which can be more than six inches long.

Personality and Temperament: 

The Briard enjoys being indoors and is a loving and friendly breed. It is playful and needs to socialize with other dogs and people. It is a smart, independent, and confident dog that is very loyal to its owner. It can be a great companion or a guard dog.

Some Briard dogs are shy around strangers and other dogs, but most of them like playing with children. They may gently bite a child’s heel during games, as a way of herding them.


The Briard needs regular brushing to keep its coat from getting tangled. It loves to herd and run, so it needs a lot of exercise. You can take it for long walks or jogs every day. It can live outside, but it prefers to be inside with its family. It also likes to play in large open spaces, so make sure you give it enough time to have fun.


The Briard usually lives for 10 to 12 years, but it can have some health problems. It can get hip dysplasia, which affects the joints, and gastric torsion, which causes the stomach to twist. It can also have heart problems, eye problems, and night blindness. To check for these problems early, a vet may do regular eye and hip tests on this dog breed.

History and Background: 

The Briard comes from France. It was a great herding dog and the French army used it in World War II. It is the oldest of the four French sheepdog breeds (Pyrenean, Beauceron, and Picardy).

There are pictures and records of dogs like the Briard from the 8th and 14th centuries. Some people think the breed came from the dogs of the Brie region. They were called Chien Berger de Brie or Shepherd Dog of Brie at first. There is also a story that the breed came from the Chien d’Aubry, a dog that avenged his owner’s death.

The breed got the name Briard in 1809. The Briard had many jobs, such as guarding farms and sheep from enemies and wolves. But after the French Revolution, people needed to keep their cattle near their homes. So the Briards changed their jobs from guarding to herding.

The breed’s standard, written in 1897, was changed in 1909. Around that time, the Briard also became a show dog. American soldiers brought some Briards to the U.S. after World War I. But the breed is still not very popular among families.

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