Other names: Berger de Brie, Berger Briard
The Briard is a breed of herding dog from France. It is said to have come about in the 1300s. They were originally used to herd and guard flocks of sheep. More recently they have been (and in some places are still) used as farm dogs. They are exceptionally alert and confident animals but they have a tendency to be ‘on edge’.
Key facts about the Briard
- Life expectancy : Between 10 and 12 years
- Temperament : Affectionate, Playful, Intelligent
- Size : Large
- Type of coat : Long
- Price : Between £600 and £1
Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)
Section 1 : Sheepdogs
Physical characteristics of the Briard
|Female dog||Between 22 and 25 in|
|Male dog||Between 24 and 27 in|
|Female dog||Between 66 and 88 lb|
|Male dog||Between 66 and 88 lb|
This dog is seen of black, fawn, grey and blue.
Type of coat
A long double coat consisting of a long and coarse outer coat and a fine undercoat.
This is a dog of medium to large build, stocky but not bulky. Its skull and muzzle are well-proportioned. The ears are set high and are usually small. The tail is carried low to the hocks when the dog is inactive but about level with the top-line when the dog is moving.
The Briard has a pleasant and affectionate personality, and has a want to please its owners. Its temperament tends to waver between serious and clownish depending on how the dog feels.
An active dog that likes to play and interact; it can also be mischievous.
This dog does not enjoy surprises, loud noises or sudden movements and can, as a result of these things, become overly timid and agitated.
This is a highly intelligent dog. Its training needs to be varied and done so in a forthright manner: the dog can be stubborn and refuse to learn if it is bored by the lesson.
The Briard is a herding dog, but it will chase smaller animals if it feels like doing so.
Fearful / wary of strangers
This dog is nervous around strangers and it will either be aloof or timid; it prefers to approach new people in its own time.
Briards are independent thinkers but their loyalty to family causes them to tirelessly follow their owner.
Behaviour of the Briard
Briards do not tolerate solitude. If left alone for long periods of time this dog becomes agitated, barks excessively and chews furniture and carpets.
Easy to train / obedience
The Briard is a challenge to train. A confident master who consistently varies the dog’s training is needed. Briards get easily bored of routine.
The Briard is not considered a very vocal dog; its barking quickly dies down.
Tendency to run away
The Briard can be manipulative. If its owner has allowed the dog to think of itself as being ‘in charge’ it will do what it likes when out for a walk. Reinforcing the ‘recall’ command is always worthwhile.
The Briard can be very destructive if it is stressed or lonely.
Greedy / Gluttony
Briards are prone to obesity if fed too many treats or too much human food.
Briards are exceptionally alert and quick to fright. They will bark to let you know if someone is on the property or at the door or even walking down the street.
A Briard needs a firm (yet humane) hand during its formative years. An experienced owner who can manage the occasional stubbornness of the dog is called for. That being said, this is a reasonably good first dog.
Briard in a flat
As long as it is given plenty of time outdoors a Briard’s indoor living space does not have to be huge. This dog may suit a flat but it is far better suited to living in the country.
Need for exercise / Sporty
An energetic dog is the Briard. The dog will expect its owner to plan long and exciting outdoor adventures.
Travelling / easy to transport
The Briard will become nervous when travelling. It is worthwhile to crate train this dog.
Briard and cats
Although a Briard is not known for its high prey drive it will still be interested in small scurrying animals and will enjoy chasing anything that moves.
Briard and dogs
Some Briards exhibit aggression when they meet other dogs, especially dogs of the same sex.
Briard and children
The Briard is a nervous dog, and it will not tolerate being played with roughly, taunted or deliberately scared.
Briard and the elderly
Because it is a dog that requires lots of exercise, the Briard may not be the perfect choice of dog for some of senior years.
A purebred Briard puppy may cost you anywhere from £600 to £1,000. It will cost between £110 and £160 per month to keep a dog of this breed.
A thorough brush at least three times a week is called for of this dog. Doing so prevents the thick coat from matting and becoming tangled. It is also a good way to relieve the coat of all the debris it has picked up on the dog’s travels. The Briard’s coat is notoriously adept at collecting mud, plant seeds and insects.
The Briard sheds lightly throughout the year. In warmer months it sheds more plentifully.
Nutrition of the Briard
It is always worthwhile to feed a Briard a high-quality and specially formulated dog food rather than human food.
Health of the Briard
The Briard is generally healthy and robust but is prone to ailments linked to genetic inbreeding. Its life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.
Strong / robust
A Briard will not care what the weather is like as long as it is outdoors. This is a brave and adventurous dog that can walk for miles at a time.
The Briard does not tolerate hot weather overly well. A ‘thin and trim’ haircut will help the dog to get through the hottest time of the year.
The double coat of the Briard keeps the dog warm in bad weather.
Tendency to put on weight
Weight gain can be a feature of the Briard. If your Briard is not exercised as regularly as it should be and is fed too much human or substandard food it will become obese.
Good to know
Think you’ve never seen one before? Think again. Tramp from My Three Sons was a Briard! So were Stinky, from Dharma & Greg, and Buck from Married...With Children.
Origins and history
First bred it is thought in the Middle Ages, the Briard has been depicted in art and literature ever since. After the French Revolution, the Briard gained popularity among farmers who considered the dog perfect for herding and guarding sheep. During WW1 the dog was put to use as a sentry and was the official dog of the French army.
Louis, Charles, Marie, Anne
Don't know which breed to choose? Do you like them all? Wamiz helps you find your perfect match!