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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Briard


Origin: France

AKC Group: Herding

Height: 22 inches (Male)

Weight: 65 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
22 inches
Male weight: 
65 pounds
Double coat with long, coarse, shiny, hard, dry outercoat lying flat against the body with slightly wavy locks and fine, tight undercoat; mustache and beard.
All uniform colors except for white, including black, shades of gray and shades of tawny.

The need for a large herding dog who could both control and protect the flock led to the development of the Briard, a French herder who has been around since the Middle Ages (and possibly longer). Through the ages, the Briard has earned high praises: Charlemagne gave braces of Briards to friends; Napoleon took them on his military campaigns; Thomas Jefferson imported several for use on American farms; and Lafayette had Briards sent to his American estate. The Briard was so valuable to the French war efforts - carrying supplies to the front lines, finding wounded soldiers and transporting ammunition - that he was named the official dog of the French army. Although the need for his original use as a herder and flock guardian has lessened, his select group of admirers are passionate about this distinctive breed.

The Briard is a big dog with a big personality: he can be a clown, a tease, a show-off, a gentleman, and even a "reserved philosopher." He can be aloof with strangers, but his loyalty and bravery make him a natural guardian of home and family. He is a sensitive soul, and unkind or unjust treatment can make the Briard skittish and even aggressive. However, enthusiastic and appreciative training and care will yield an even-tempered, affectionate dog.
At home: 
The Briard can do well in the city or country. He sheds little and is usually calm indoors. A natural herder, the Briard likes to keep his family close and must be a part of it - he will follow you from room to room to keep an eye on those he loves. Although he doesn't have a tendency to roam, a fenced-in yard is still necessary for his safety.
The Briard needs regular outings that include some vigorous form of exercise. He loves to be near his family, so walking, jogging or backyard play with his owners will help keep him satisfied. Happiest with a job or a purpose, he becomes restless if left to his own devices.
Briards are not known as fussy eaters and will thrive on a high-quality, nutritious diet.
A smart, willing dog, the Briard is a quick study. However, a stern or harsh manner or tone will backfire and bring out his stubborn nature. He will respond to and thrive only with positive training.
The Briard has a special affection for children and is very protective of them. If socialized to a variety of people and animals, he gets along fine with everyone.
The average life span of the Briard is 10 to 12 years. Breed health concerns may include bloat; cataracts; congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB); hip dysplasia; hypothyroidism; and lymphoma.
Fun fact: 

The Briard and the short-coated Beauceron are closely related, with the coat being the major difference between the two.

Grooming blurb: 
The Briard's long double coat must be brushed several times a week to prevent tangling. The coarseness of the coat keeps dirt from sticking to it, and the Briard sheds very little, but without attention, the coat can become disheveled and uncomfortable for him. His ears and face need attention to stay clean and healthy.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.