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The Briard was named after the French region of Brie near Paris and was developed as a herding and guard dog.  Even though they were named after the region better known for its cheese, there is some doubt whether the breed was actually developed there. This breed remains very popular in France and sadly, like many other breeds of dog, its numbers were drastically depleted during the Second World War.



The very alert, lively and very affectionate Briard seems to retain some of its puppy instinct throughout adulthood and is especially devoted to its family. Possessing a  natural instinct to guard, these dogs are often described as demanding due to their fondness for human companionship. Similar to many other dogs whose hair covers their eyes, they can be wary of strangers and may be shy as an adult if not properly exposed to other dogs and humans as a puppy. They are an active dog that both enjoys and benefits from exercise. 



Height:  56-68kg  (22-27in)

Weight:      35kg  (75lb)

Group: Working Dog

A large shaggy dog with a long coat which is often described as goat-like with hair which has a dry harsh texture and is slightly wavy. With its distinctive beard and the long hair which obscures the eyes it sports a fine undercoat providing it with excellent insulation against the cold and harsh climates, common to the regions they once worked in.  A distinctive characteristic of the Briard is the double dew claws. Although the extra claw is of no real use to the dog, it is part of the purebred standard. They are strong, muscular, and extremely agile and supple with a long shaggy coat with colours of black (often with scattered white hairs through the coat), slate grey or various shades of fawn ranging from a pale cream to a deep rich gold. Fawn Briards may or may not have black muzzles and ear tips and often have varying amounts of black or grey shading across the neck and shoulders.



It is suggested that bathing this dog as little as possible will minimize their grooming. Even so this long, shaggy coated breed requires about one hour of grooming each week. With a coat texture which is naturally firm, frequent bathing will make the coat softer and more prone to knotting, therefore more infrequent bathing will reduce the need for grooming. However, this dog's coat does possess a distinct smell of its own.  As they don't have a thick undercoat and the top coat is almost straight and fairly coarse, they are easier and quicker to groom than many other long coated breeds and as they don't have an annual moult, regular grooming will minimize the amount of hair shed around the house. No trimming is required for this dog and a good quality bristle brush, a pin brush, and a steel tooth comb are the only basic implements required to keep your Briard looking its best. If you don't have the time to bath or groom your dog, your local  dog grooming salon provides these services.


Life Expectancy

12 -14 years. 


Health Concerns

Relatively a healthy breed, some do suffer from the following: Hip Dysplasia, Thyroid issues and Congenital Stationary Night Blindness, and as the name suggests, affects the dog’s vision at night. To ensure a healthy happy dog feed your dog with a good quality dog food.



If you are looking for a dog that will be your soul mate, then the Briard may be the dog for you.  They make for a perfect companion and would prefer to be by your side rather than anywhere else.  However the size and personality of the them suggests that it is not an ideal dog for families with small children and as grooming can be quite a chore this breed may be more difficult to maintain for the elderly. Ideally suited to energetic families with older kids, especially kids who are happy to take on some of the grooming responsibilities.


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Working Dogs: This group  includes more breeds than any other. These dogs were bred to do a variety of work from guarding, herding, pulling sleds and rescue for example. A few in this group include Border Collie, Boxer and Bullmastiff to mention a few.


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