Type: Herding Dog
Height: Females: 22 - 25.5 inches; Males: 23 - 27 inches.
Weight: Females: 50 - 65 lbs.; Males: 75 - 100 lbs.
Life Span: 10 -13 years
Litter Size: 8 - 10 puppies
Country of Origin: France
Watch-dog: Very High. Their acute sense of smell and sight allow them to be on the ball about new sights and sounds.
Guard-dog: Very High. Bred to be guarding dogs, the Berger de Brie is an exceptional guard dog, and can be trained to do even more.
Description: The Briard a big-hearted, gentle loving dog. Briards are totally devoted and loyal to their owners and will guard them with their life. Intelligent and easy to train, the Briard makes and a wonderful family pet and excellent watchdog. Their herding instincts are strong and it would be wise to give them plenty of space, considering they are large dogs. Briards are among the most popular herding dogs from France, the others being the Picardy Shepherd, Beauceron, and Pyrenean. Briards are said to have previously had shyness and aggression problems in the 1970s, but careful selection in breeding since then has provided good natured pets. They are said to be in likeness of the Beauceron, with long hair. They have shaggy, coarse hair that can be straight or slightly wavy. Their ears are naturally dropped, but for show are cropped. Their tails are long and bushy, and the front legs are bowed. The dogs still retain their ability to guard and herd, and use it accordingly. Chiens Berger de Brie are affectionate and playful with family but wary of strangers. They are big dogs with an impressive stature and loving heart.
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Other Names: Chien Berger de Brie (Shepherd Dog of Brie)
Colors: Solid black, or with white hairs scattered through black coat; fawn in all shades. Briards come in any uniform color except white.
Coat: Long and slightly wavy, and dry to the touch, with a fine, dense undercoat. The outer coat is coarse and shaggy, with any color but white decorated with, usually, a light fawn color with the back being darker, and the ears and muzzle being black or gray.
Temperament: Briards are lively, protective and active. They have a strong herding instinct, as well as instinct to guard family. They are intelligent, loyal, and obedient. They learn quickly and offer affection to friends and family by being playful. They are wary of strangers but well mannered among family.
With Children: Yes, good family dog and companion if socialized from puppyhood. They may try to herd younger children.
With Pets: Yes. Generally good with other pets. Socialization is needed, though.
Special Skills: Herding dog, guard dog, and family pet.
Care and Training: Regularly brushing of the Briards coat is necessary to keep them clean and mat free. Briards do not need as much exercise as some of the herding breeds, but they still need the opportunity to stretch, have daily walks and run in open areas if possible.
Learning Rate: Medium. Intelligent as they are, Briards do not always catch on, but they do aim to please their masters. Obedience - Medium. Briards are fairly obedient in herding, guarding and training. Problem Solving - Medium.
Special Needs: Grooming, socialization and training.
Living Environment: A home with a fenced yard is essential. The Briard is not suited for a cramped environment nor to be left alone for long periods of time. Briards need space to run and play, herd and guard. The best owner for this breed would be someone who is active and lives in a rural or suburban home. Briards should be given a job to do to expel their energy.
Health Issues: Occasionally PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), gastric torsion, hip dysplasia, and bloat. Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Briards can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests.
History: Lineage goes back to even the 8th century. They claim their ancestry to the rough-coated sheepdogs which were brought to Europe accompanying Asian invaders in the Middle Ages. In native France Briards have long been regarded as one of the four shepherd dogs, consisting of the Briard, Beauceron, Berger Picardy, and Pyrenean. The name Briard came to be used in 1809 when people started calling him the chien berger de Brie (shepherd dog of Brie). Brie was a region in France, supposedly where this breed lived. They were developed in France for the reason of herding and guarding, and still retain these attributes today. The Briard was used in both World Wars, serving as a military dog that would carry ammunition and supplies to soldiers. The breed was also used to find and help wounded soldiers. It was said that if you were a wounded soldier and the Briard passed you by you were beyond help. Briards were known to be able to distinguish whether a person was going to live or not with their wounds. This dog was a favorite of Napoleon Bonaparte, a friend to Charlemagne, and imported to the U.S. by both Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette. The first litter in America was registered by the AKC in 1922.
First Registered by the AKC: 1922
AKC Group: Herding Group
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 1), KC (GB), UKC