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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Briard Facts

  • Group
  • Herding
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 22" - 27"
  • Weight
  • 70-90 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • High - This breed requires vigorous daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Difficult
  • Colors
    • Various Colors
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Good with children
    • Ok outdoors
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Berger des Brie, chien berger de Brie


Although there is some debate about exactly where the Briard originated it is widely accepted that it was somewhere in France.

Date Of Origin

This breed is ancient, possibly dating back to the eighth century.


Although the Briard is ancient, there is very little about it in history. What we do know is that he has been knows as the shepherds guardian through out the centuries. It is said that both the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson brought specimens of the Briard to the Americas. Thomas Jefferson became interested in Briards while serving as minister to France. He purchased a pregnant female named "Buzzy" and started his breeding program. Lafayette also sent Jefferson purebred dogs - two Briards to help protect his sheep.


The Briard is a large, powerful dog with a large, broad head that is well covered with hair. It has large, dark eyes that are set wide apart; a square, black nose; and natural drop or cropped erect ears. The tail is long and set low. There is a double coat with a coarse, shaggy outer coat that is any color accept white.


This is an intelligent, loyal and obedient dog. It is affectionate and playful with its friends and family but weary with strangers. It has strong herding instincts.


In early times, Briards were used to defend their charges against wolves and poachers, but the dividing up of the land and the increase in population which followed the French Revolution gradually transformed their work into the more peaceful tasks of herding the flocks, keeping the sheep within the unfenced boundaries of the pastures, and guarding their masters' property.

Health Concerns

Bloat, eye problems, hip dysplasia

Additional Information

Legend has it that Chien Berger de Brie - the early name of the breed - is actually a misnomer of Chien d'Aubry, from a 14th century recounting of Aubry de Montdidier as having erected a cathedral in memory of his valiant dog - supposedly a Briard -who saved his son's life.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

The All Breed Dog Grooming Guide

Publisher: Aaronco, 2002

Website: http://www.aaroncopet.com

Author: Sam Kohl


Publisher: WikiMedia Foundation, On Going

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/

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