Briard Dog Breed

About the Briard

The Briard is a charming purebred known for its courage, loyalty, and high spirit. Hailing from France, this ancient shepherd’s dog has been a unique choice for people looking for a lively canine companion. The breed’s keen sense of duty and protective nature make it an excellent choice as a guardian, while its loving disposition makes it a cherished member of the family.

AKC Group

AKC Group

Herding

Dog Breed Height

Height

22 – 27 inches

Dog Breed Weight

Weight

55 – 100 pounds

Dog Breed Lifespan

Lifespan

12 years

Highlights

Country of Origin France
Bred For Herding, Guarding, Companionship
Known For Coarse Coat, Intelligence, Confidence, Vigor
Popularity Low
Temperament Confident, Smart, Faithful
Activities Herding, Guarding, Running, Conformation Shows, Dog Sports

History of the Briard

The Briard is a breed steeped in history, tracing its origin to the French countryside. Renowned for its impeccable herding and guarding abilities, the breed has been present in the country for centuries, serving as the shepherd’s loyal companion.

Many tales and lore surround the Briard, each contributing to the breed’s rich historical tapestry. There’s even mention of the breed in literature from the 8th century, underlining its longstanding presence in France. Emperor Charlemagne, as well as Napoleon, are believed to have had Briards.

Primarily used for guarding and herding sheep, the Briard’s keen senses, intelligence, and undying loyalty made it an invaluable asset. The dogs’ unique ability to herd and protect livestock from predators, particularly wolves, established them as a staple in French pastoral life.

The breed’s role underwent a transformation during the World Wars. Owing to its intelligence, determination, and acute sense of hearing, the Briard was employed by the military for various tasks, including detecting wounded soldiers and carrying supplies. This service further underscored the breed’s adaptability and valor.

It was only in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that the Briard began to be recognized as more than just a working dog. The breed gained prominence at dog shows, and the dogs’ distinctive characteristics began to attract the attention of enthusiasts outside France.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Briard in 1928, cementing its status in North America as a breed of distinction. Additionally, other major canine organizations, including the FCI and The Royal Kennel Club (UK), extended recognition, propelling the breed to global notoriety.

While the Briard may not always be found working sheep in the French countryside today, its herding instincts remain strong. Modern-day Briards serve as companions, show dogs, and even Therapy Dogs, proving that their versatility and charm transcend time and purpose.

General Appearance

Height & Weight

Adult male Briards typically stand between 23 and 27 inches tall at the shoulder, while mature females are slightly smaller, measuring around 22 to 25.5 inches.

Weight varies based on the overall size and build of the individual dog. Generally, adult Briards can weigh between 55 and 100 pounds.

Proportion & Substance

The Briard presents a harmonious balance in its proportions. The body may be slightly longer than it is tall; however, the overall silhouette is square but not cobby. The breed is not merely a fluffy facade; beneath its luxurious coat lies a robust framework of strength and agility that showcases the Briard’s herding ancestry and its capacity for strenuous work.

Coat Texture, Colors & Markings

Texture: The Briard boasts a harsh double coat that is both long and wavy. The outer coat is coarse and dry, ensuring it is resistant to the elements, while the undercoat remains soft and dense. The head is covered in long hair, parting naturally along the centerline of the face. The coat is hard and dry but has a good sheen. The hair lies flat, falling in slightly wavy locks, and has a texture that not only gives the Briard its distinctive appea