Devoted and faithful, the Briard is a loving and protective companion. He is independent, intelligent and self-assured, but is also willing to please and eager to serve as a partner in adventure. He can be reserved with strangers. He tends to stay at home and may attempt to keep the family's children home as well!
Briard Dog Care
This is a dog that needs a good amount of activity and interaction every day. He can be satisfied with a long walk or jog, or a long play session coupled with a little training. Its long coat needs brushing or combing every other day or mats can form.
Briard Dog Health
Major concerns: gastric torsion, CHD
Minor concerns: nightblindness
Occasionally seen: PRA, heart problems
Suggested tests: hip, eye, (cardiac)
Life span: 10-12 years
Interested in the history of the Briard dog breed?
The Briard is one of four French Sheepdog breeds, the others being the Beauceron, Picardy and Pyrenean. It is the oldest of the four breeds, with dogs resembling Briards depicted in art from as long ago as the eighth century, and more definitive evidence by the 14th century. These early dogs were known as Chien Berger de Brie (shepherd dog of Brie), giving rise to the belief that the breed originated in the province of Brie; however, it may also be a corruption of Chien d'Aubry, referring to the dog of Aubry de Montdidier, which saved his son's life (according to 14th-century legend). The name Briard was not used until 1809. Originally employed as a herd protector, the Briard was expected to tackle wolves if the need arose. After the French Revolution, which resulted in the country's land being divided into smaller sectors, it was important that the flocks be kept close to home, and the Briard turned his talents to herding rather than guarding sheep. Only around 1900 did it become a show dog. The first breed standard was written in 1897, but was replaced by another in 1909. Briards came to America very early, with evidence that both Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson brought some of the first specimens to the New World. These dogs did not have a lasting influence, however. After World War I, American soldiers brought some Briards to America, and this was the beginning of the modern American Briard. The breed's popularity has been modest in America, but he remains the most popular sheep herder in his native France.