Meet the Breed: The Briard



  • Height: 22"- 27”
  • Weight: 50-90 pounds
  • Historical function: Herding, military dog
  • Modern function: Companion, herding, search and rescue, guard dog
  • AKC classification: Herding

Physical Characteristics:

The Briard is a large, powerful dog with a long, shaggy coat. The ears may be cropped and erect or left natural. Briards often have double dewclaws on their back legs which makes pivoting turns required with herding easier. The coat comes in all colors except for white. Common colors include black, various shades of gray and various shades of tawny. The tawny coat usually lightens from the time the dog is born to the time it is a year old, when the coat deepens to a richer adult color. Adult coats are 6 or more inches long, giving the dog a bushy look with a shaggy beard, eyebrows and mustache.

History of the Breed:

The Biard was developed in France in the same region that Brie cheese comes from. The breed was nearly decimated when it was used as a war dog for sending messages, finding the wounded, detecting mines, and guarding supplies. Napoleon and Thomas Jefferson were Briard owners.


The Briard is a highly intelligent herding dog that also makes a great family companion. Easily learns tricks, as you will see on the video below. They are very loyal and protective.

  • Best suited for:  Families that have room for this large dog.
  • Preferred living conditions: The Briard thrives when he has a job, including herding, agility, or police work.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: The long coat requires about two hours of grooming per week.
  • Exercise needs: Daily brisk walk or run, as an unexercised Briard may find their own forms of destructive entertainment.
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to hip dysplasia, cataracts and to bloat.

Breed Club Links: Briard Club of America Perfect Pairings: Best in Show Combo Pack with free brush! 

Have any stories about a Briard? Please share!

Photo courtesy of tinabasgen.

This entry was posted by Mary.
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