|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
The Briard is a very old breed that today is used for pet therapy.
The Briard is a French dog breed recognized by the FCI and the AKC. It is also known as Chien Berger de Brie or Brie Shepherd. It is an ancient dog whose origins have been the subject of several theories. Its appearance is unique and unmistakable.
Its long coat has a homogeneous color. The eyebrows arch up and out in a curve that lightly veils the eyes. Its light and elegant gait makes it a dog with a great scenic performance.
Thanks to its intelligence and endurance, this breed has been an excellent livestock herder since its origins. Today, it is a very efficient guard dog that is also used as a search and rescue dog. Its infinite love for children and its family, to which it is very attached and dedicated, has also led it to be used in Pet Therapy.
Despite its size, the Briard adapts very well to indoor family life. In fact, it’s something it loves. This is due to the strong bond it creates with its owner and all family members. Although it may be a little shy with strangers, it is actually very sweet. It is rarely aggressive.
This breed has always been famous for its distinctive appearance as well as for its calm, sweet, and loyal temperament.
The Briard is a breed of dog recognized by the AKC and the FCI with the standard No. 113, drafted after several amendments in 1980. Also known as Chien Berger de Brie or Brie Shepherd, it takes its name from the French region of the same name.
Like all shepherd dogs, it has very ancient origins. Some claim that this dog breed was bred at the time of Charlemagne. A dog resembling the Briard was depicted on a coat of arms kept in the church of Mont Didier, France. The scene portrays a battle between a dog and its owner’s murderer, and it dates back to 1371.
Although the first description of the Briard appeared in 1809, in a work by the French Abbe Rozier, it took almost a century to determine the first standard for this breed.
There are many theories about its origin. Some people argue that the Brie Shepherd is the Beauceron’s brother; while others assert that it comes from an Eastern German Shepherd, which was brought to Europe during some commercial expeditions and then crossed with local shepherd dogs. However, some others claim that the blood of the Barbet flows in the veins of this breed. Some people think that this breed was born from the cross between the Catalan shepherd dog and the Cão da Serra de Aires dog.
In 1887, the French Shepherd Dog Club established guidelines for the proper selection of the breed and put an end to experiments that might jeopardize it. The woolly hair variety gradually disappeared and the one with a long and abundant “goat” hair became more successful.
The Briard is a breed for everyone
In the past it was one of the favorite breeds of many famous personalities. Even today it still enjoys great popularity. French film actress, Gaby Morlay, defined it as “a heart surrounded by hair”.
Encouraged by the enthusiasm for this breed, breeders and supporters made changes in the general physical appearance of the Brie Shepherd until it became the dog we know today. It is most widely known in its native country, where it is considered one of the most important national breeds. Globally, it is steadily climbing the ranking.
Thanks to its physical dexterity and great endurance, it can travel up to 80 km per day. These characteristics, along with its strength and intelligence, made him an excellent messenger during war time. Nowadays, it is used as a search and rescuer dog. And as if that weren’t enough, the Briard is very skilled in agility competitions.
Briard: Physical Characteristics
As for its aesthetic appearance, it has long hair similar to that of a goat and is always of homogeneous color, in addition, it possesses an innate elegance, which gives it mystery and a great scenic effect The Briard is a rustic, harmonious and large dog. Its body is covered with long and abundant hair, similar to the hair of a goat.
But in addition to its coat, its head held high with pride is also characteristic of this breed. The head on its head gives the dog a bushy look with a shaggy beard, eyebrows, and mustache.
Another characteristic of the Briard is its loose and light, almost feline gait. Until a few years ago, cropped ears were one of its peculiar characteristics.
Today, as this practice is forbidden thanks to international laws, Briards have naturally hanging ears, but this does not diminish their beauty. From an aesthetic point of view, we can say that the Brie Shepherd is one of the most beautiful dogs that can be admired.
We are talking about a rustic, agile, muscular, and well-proportioned dog. It is a large sized dog. Its body length is slightly greater than its height. The Briard has a double coat. The outer coat is coarse, hard, and dry, lying flat and falling naturally in long, slightly wavy locks. The undercoat is fine and tight all over the body.
A Briard may be found in the following coat colors:
- Fawn charcoal
All coats can be in different shades of gray. In spite of having long hair, it does not need much grooming, except for one brushing per week. As it does not have a winter moult, it does not lose its hair.
You may be interested in reading our article on how to take care of your dog’s coat.
Its slightly rounded skull when viewed in profile is strong. The stop is well marked. The muzzle is strong, and the nostrils are wide open. The truffle is generally black in color, but blue specimens have a blue or bluish color. The square-shaped nose is strong and broad.
The large eyes of this breed are set wide apart. They come in black or black-brown with very dark pigmentation along the rims Blue specimens may have slightly smaller eyes. Their short ears are set high and not lying flat to the head. The neck is muscular, the back is straight, and the chest is long and broad
The tail is short and low. It is straight, but at the end it forms a slight J-shaped hook. The limbs are muscular with a strong bone structure. The gait is regular, harmonious, agile, and fast. The Briard must have a long trot.
In terms of sizes:
- Males are 24-27 inches (62-68 cm) tall.
- Females stand 28 inches (56 -64 cm) tall.
Meanwhile, the weight between both genders varies from 66 to 88 lbs (30-40 kg). The Briard has an average lifespan of 11 to 13 years and this breed is generally in excellent health.
This is an energetic and lively dog, endowed with great intelligence and a strong personality. It must be trained from puppyhood with determination and consistency. Aggressive or violent methods should never be used during training. In addition, it should be raised from an early age to be in contact with other people and animals. Sometimes overly affectionate, the Briard is a forever puppy.
It loves being in contact with its owner, with whom it is very close and inseparable. It is endowed with great judgement and sensitivity. Besides, it is capable of making independent decisions. This gift is ideal for the role as a sheepdog, a job he has performed since his origins. It is a strong, loyal, docile, and humble dog.
Although not exactly a couch dog, it loves family life. Its temperament is characterized by its great attachment to its family, whom it will defend as a true guard dog. Its particular sensitivity and love for children make it a perfect babysitter and a very valuable help in Pet Therapy programs. This breed is very affectionate and playful, although it can sometimes be a little shy with strangers. The Briard is not aggressive at all.
Despite its size, this breed adapts easily to apartment life, as long as it is taken for pleasant daily walks in the open air. It can also live outdoors, even during cold weather, as its coat acts as a thermal regulator.
Briard: Puppies For Sale, and Price
You can find specialized Briard breeders in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States. We always recommend that you go to certified and not informal establishments.
If you decide to buy a Briard puppy, ask for all the documentation about the animal’s history. It may cost around 1100 dollars, about 900 English pounds, or more.
Now that we have clarified all the most important aspects, you can go in search of your new 4-legged friend, who is surely waiting for you.
You may be interested in reading another article related to other dog breeds such as:
- Maremma-Abruzzese Sheepdog
- Greenland Dog
- White Swiss Shepherd Dog
- Labrador Retriever
- Alaskan Malamute
- Bavarian Mountain Hound
- Basset Hound