Briard - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts

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The Briard is a medieval French breed of dog that was originally used for guarding and herding. However, during times of war, they were trained for additional tasks such as finding injured soldiers, hunting, and tracking. They were even employed as pack animals and became the official dog of the French army. Nowadays, Briards are cherished family pets who love playing and protecting their loved ones.

The Briard is a versatile dog that excels in various activities such as herding, defending the home, agility trials, and even flyball events. Their independence and loyalty make them highly capable in these tasks. They have a shaggy coat that comes in black, gray, or tawny colors. Regular brushing is necessary to keep their fur neat and free from tangles. In addition, the Briard is an energetic breed that requires a lot of exercise. A simple daily stroll is not enough to fulfill their high energy needs.

In conclusion, the Briard is a fascinating breed with a rich history. From their medieval origins as guard and herding dogs to their current roles as beloved family pets, they have proven to be versatile and loyal companions. With their impressive skillset and unique appearance, they continue to capture the hearts of dog enthusiasts worldwide.

Ahead, we look at Briard dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an Briard, characteristics, and must-see facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and a lot more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of Briards!

Dog Breed Briard
Size Large
Weight 50-65 lbs (average)
Height 22-25″ (average)
Location France
Ancestry sheepdog
Date of Origin 1300s
Group herding and guarding sheep
Life Expectancy 10-12 years
Price $1000 – $1200
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

πŸ“– Breed History

The Briard is an ancient French working dog that has a rich history dating back to the 8th century. It has been depicted in tapestries and mentioned in writings as far back as the 12th century. Originally believed to be descended from rough-coated sheepdogs, the Briard is often referred to as the Berger de Brie in France. This name may have originated from “chien berger de Brie,” meaning “shepherd dog of Brie,” which led to the belief that the breed originated in the province of Brie. Another theory suggests that the name started as “chien d’Aubry,” named after a famous owner of the breed, Aubry de Montdidier, whose dog avenged his death. The modern name “Briard” was established in 1809.

In its early days, the Briard was primarily used for herding sheep and protecting them from predators and poachers. As the French Revolution brought about changes in land ownership, Briards adapted to their smaller boundaries and focused on herding sheep within those areas. They also served as guardians of the entire property. Additionally, Briards were utilized for tracking, hunting, pack work, and even as war dogs. They were known to assist in finding wounded soldiers on the battlefield. The Briard’s journey to the United States is disputed, with some attributing it to Marquis de Lafayette and others to Thomas Jefferson, who developed an interest in the breed during his time as minister in France. In 1909, Les Amis du Briard, a French society, was established and created the breed standard by 1925. The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Briard in 1928 after the first litter was registered in 1922. While the Briard is moderately popular in the United States, it remains the most popular sheep herder in its home country of France.

πŸ• Briard Appearance

The Briard is a magnificent and uncommon breed of dog. The strong, hulking square body walks with a graceful stride. Muscled front legs and a powerful neck are matched by long, sloping shoulders. Unstoppable mobility is provided by flexible hindquarters. The Briard’s peek-a-boo hairstyle, big eyebrows that frequently conceal dark eyes, and a lavish mustache and beard that decorate a broad snout are some of its most distinctive characteristics. The huge, hair-covered ears can be clipped, and the teeth come together in a scissor bite. The long, thickly feathered tail, which terminates in a J-shaped curve known as a crochet, is another distinctive feature. Toes on oval-shaped feet have strong nails, broad pads, and well-arched toes. Double dewclaws are seen on the hind legs. The Briard has a long, double coat that is scruffy. The undercoat is thin and tight, while the outside coat is formed of long, wavy, coarse hair. Typically, shoulders have hair that is six inches or longer. The Briard has a solid-colored coat that comes in a number of hues, but it is never white. The most frequent hues are black, gray, or tawny. As the dog ages or sheds, the color of the coat may change.

πŸ‘€ Eye Color Brown
🐽 Nose Color Black, Brown
πŸ• Coat Color Black, Gray, Cream

⚑ Fun Fact: Briard dogs are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn’t tolerate being left alone.

🐢 Traits & Temperament of Briard

The Briard is a loving and obedient family member, a courageous and dedicated guardian, and a very active and lively canine. This breed is extroverted and instinctively strives to please his family. The Briard is autonomous and vigilant, qualities essential for herding and securing sheep. These characteristics might make the Briard suspicious of strangers and hostile toward other canines. The breed is fine with kids, but they don’t enjoy being punished and could step in if they think the kids are in dangerβ€”even from their own parents! Briards may perceive cats and other small animals as prey because they have a strong prey drive. Training might be difficult, but it’s crucial to balance the Briard’s innate tendencies. It will need patience to educate these dogs as soon as possible because they are independent thinkers and do not tolerate negative reinforcement. Your Briard may learn to love being around new animals and people via appropriate socialization and efficient training techniques. Ongoing training sessions are frequently advised. Even after training, your Briard can still automatically nip at your heels in an attempt to herd. The Briard is an extremely high energy dog who need loads of exercise beyond a regular walk because of his early career. This dog requires access to a space where it can run about unrestricted and will thrive with a task to do.

🀝 Are Briards Friendly or Aggressive?

Briard dogs tend to get along well with other pets, but they may not be as friendly towards strangers. However, they are generally good with children, making them a suitable choice for families. When it comes to cats and other dogs, Briards are on average friendly. Additionally, this breed is often recommended for elderly individuals.

This breed is known for being:

  • Protective
  • Intelligent
  • Obedient
  • Loyal
  • Fearless
  • Faithful

🐩 Briard Care & Maintenance

The Briard’s shaggy coat should be groomed often to prevent matting. The dog’s skin may develop severe skin illnesses known as hot spots as a result of the tangles if they are neglected. To prevent matting, aim to brush your Briard’s hair every other day to once a week. The coarse texture of the hair prevents water and grime from adhering to it, and regular grooming may guarantee a clean coat. The Briard sheds very little when it is regularly trimmed. It can shed periodically, usually in the spring or fall, after which the color of the hair may change. Bathe the Briard only as necessary, which could only be once or twice a month. The need for more frequent washings may result from the beard absorbing food and liquids. Trim any extra hair from inside the ears as well as the hair between the foot pads. Additionally, frequent ear cleaning is advised. This breed, which was originally used for herding, has a lot of activity and is not satisfied to sit about the home. Keep your Briard active by going for walks, runs, and swims, unless it’s too hot outside. When this dog is outside because of its high prey drive, it must be restrained by a leash or a fence. As long as it has a fenced-in yard to play in, this breed can live in either the city or the country without difficulty. This huge dog should never be kenneled since it struggles in small spaces. In order to prevent fast growth or if impacted by seasonal alopecia, the diet may need to be modified with dietary supplements.

Briard dogs have a moderate shedding tendency, which is a normal part of their hair growth cycle. Regular brushing can help minimize the amount of hair that is shed. The shedding pattern can vary depending on the dog’s overall health and breed characteristics. In terms of bathing, it is recommended to give Briard dogs a bath every 3-4 weeks.

πŸ– Food: We recommend 2.5 cups daily, costing you about $1.75 – $2.25 daily, or approximately $52.50 – $67.50 a month.

🐾 Exercise: Briard dogs need a lot of exercises. Long walks should be on a daily schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 8 miles per week, which equates to about 60 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know: Briard dogs have a higher energy level than other dog breeds. If you want a dog for snuggling on the couch, this breed isn’t the perfect choice for you.

β€οΈβ€πŸ©Ή Briard Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for Briard Dog Breed can be:

  • Panosteitis
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Bloat

While minor concerns include:

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Corneal Dystrophy

🀧 Important: Is Briard hypoallergenic? No.

✨ Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for Briard.

⚑ Briard Dog Breed Facts

What makes the Briard a great choice for families with young children?
The Briard’s loyalty and protective nature make it a great choice for families with young children. They are known to excel at keeping children safe and are devoted family members.

Is the Briard breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
The Briard breed is not considered suitable for apartment living. They have high energy demands and need access to a place where they can run and exercise.

How much exercise does a Briard require compared to other breeds?
The Briard requires more exercise compared to many other breeds. They have high energy levels and need more than just a daily walk to meet their exercise needs.

Is the Briard breed known for being good with other pets?
The Briard breed can be wary of strangers and aggressive towards other dogs, but they can be good with other pets if properly socialized and trained. However, their high prey drive may cause them to view cats and other small animals as something to be hunted.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Briard?
Some low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Briard include the Basset Hound, Bullmastiff, and Clumber Spaniel. These breeds require less grooming and exercise compared to the Briard.

What are the common health issues that Briards are prone to?
Common health issues that Briards are prone to include hip dysplasia, eye problems, and bloat. Regular vet check-ups and proper care can help prevent or manage these issues.

Are Briards known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
Briards are known to be independent thinkers and can be challenging to train. They do not tolerate negative reinforcement and patience is needed to train them effectively. Training classes are often recommended.

Are Briards more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
Briards can be prone to separation anxiety, especially if not properly trained and socialized. They are a breed that thrives on companionship and may struggle with being left alone for long periods.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the Briard that are suitable for people with allergies?
There are no dog breeds similar to the Briard that are specifically known to be hypoallergenic. However, some breeds with similar characteristics that may be suitable for people with allergies include the Poodle and Portuguese Water Dog.

What sizes of dogs similar to the Briard are best for individuals or families with limited space?
For individuals or families with limited space, smaller-sized breeds similar to the Briard, such as the Bearded Collie or Polish Lowland Sheepdog, may be more suitable.

Is the Briard breed known to be good with children with special needs?
The Briard breed is known to be good with children, but it is important to note that their protective nature may interfere if they perceive the children to be in danger, even from their parents. It is always important to supervise interactions between dogs and children, especially those with special needs.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the Briard?
The Briard’s grooming and shedding needs are quite high. Their shaggy coat requires consistent grooming to remain clean and tangle-free. They are moderate shedders, so regular brushing is necessary to keep their coat in good condition.


We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that Briard dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our DogsInsights.com team.

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