Breed Introduction: Briard Dog
The Briard is an ancient breed of large herding dog, originally from France. It was originally bred as a herding and guard dog to protect flocks and fight off predators. The breed was adopted as a working dog during World War I and used by troops as sentries, ammunition carriers, messengers, and medic dogs. Today, the Briard enjoys the life of a companion dog, but he shows his versatility and working nature with his great successes in obedience, agility, conformation, herding, carting, and tracking competitions. The Briard is an ideal companion for someone who wants a lovable, but not overly dependent, dog. A member of the Herding Group, he weighs in at around 75 pounds and lives comfortably in the country or city — as long as he’s with his family and gets sufficient exercise.
The Briard originated in France and can be dated back to the 8th century. He was known as the Chien Berger De Brie, which is believed to be derived from his place of origin, the region of Brie.
Regardless of the origin of the name, the Briard can be linked back to the Emperor Charlemagne through his depiction in early tapestries. The Briard has also been linked to Napoleon and was the official breed of the French Army.
It is believed that Thomas Jefferson imported the first Briards to the United States, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1928. Surprisingly, the Briard was not introduced to the United Kingdom until the late 1960s.
Males stand 23 to 27 inches tall and females stand 22 to 25.5 inches tall. Most Briards weigh between 70 and 90 pounds, though some males can reach 100 pounds.
The typical Briard is brave, loyal, and intelligent. He is good-natured and loving with his family, and thrives on participating in family activities.
A protective guardian, the Briard can be aloof with strangers. It can also be stubborn and willful.
The Briard can adapt to city or country life. He is a fairly calm breed when inside, but he does need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily. Without enough activity, the Briard can become bored, paving the way for annoying or destructive behaviours like barking, digging, chasing, and chewing.
5. Briard has an outer coat and undercoat. The outer coat is slightly wavy with a coarse texture, about six inches long, while the undercoat is soft and fine. You’ll see it in a variety of colours, or combination of colours, including black and shades of gray and tawny.