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(11 Reviews)

Is the Briard right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Berger de Brie; Berger Briard

The basics:
The Briard is a shaggy dog with hair in its eyes that makes it look like the proverbial sheepdog. If you expect a confident, somewhat pushy herding dog capable of making its own decisions and sometimes attempting to nudge or herd its people, you probably have the right idea. This breed probably isn't right for fragile or inexperienced dog owners, but it can be a rewarding choice if you're willing to invest time in training, socializing, exercising, and-- of course-- grooming the long hair.

Oddly enough, this ancient breed may have first been developed in eighth century France as a hunting dog before it eventually became a protector and herder of flocks. Still the official dog of the French Army, the Briard was used extensively in the World War I to carry messages, search for wounded soldiers, pull carts and wagons, and defend posts. Their reputation as fearless war dogs is well known.

Appearance / health:
The Briard is a big, muscular dog covered with a long wavy hair. The most distinguishing aspects are their eyebrows and beard. It has a rectangular head with a short square muzzle. The ears may be natural or cropped. The eyes are large and slightly slanted and the coat hair falling across from the ears covers the eyes most of the times.

The neck is long, strong, and shaped like a truncated cone. The chest is broad and deep, and the back slopes from the head to the croup forming a concave arch. The tail is long, feathered and carried low. The tail has a small hook at the end called a crochet. Viewed from the sides, the forelegs are straight and the hind legs are angular. All the legs are strong and muscular making the Briard a good working dog.

The Briard sheds little, especially if it is groomed well. The coat's texture repels dirt and water. However, the coat needs regular brushing and combing to prevent matt formation and frequent shedding. Owners may need to regularly clean their dog's ears, and also remove any excessive hair in the ears or between the pads of the feet.

Briards enjoy long walks with their owners, and make excellent companions. Regular exercise is necessary to keep them healthy and happy.

The Briard is generally healthy, but some may be prone to progressive retinal atrophy (hereditary degeneration of the retinal cells of the eyes causing blindness), cataracts (blinding of the eyes caused due to the formation of a thin membrane over the eyes) and hip dysplasia (an inherent disorder of the hip joints leading to lameness and crippling). The breed, like other large-chested breeds, is also prone to bloat and stomach torsion (a condition in which the stomach fills with gas and flips over cutting off the blood supply to the lungs, heart, and disgestive system leading to fatal consequences).

Behavior / temperament:
The Briard is naturally suspicious of strangers. The herding instinct is strong and it tends to herd people or other smaller animals by nipping at their heels. It does not like to be left unattended and needs a lot of entertainment and activity to be happy.

The Briard has a good memory and learns quickly. It requires early training and responds best to consistent, firm, patient, and gentle training on a regular basis. The Briard does not appreciate harsh training and may even become reserved and aggressive, if trained with severity.

The Briard is generally quiet and calm. However, some dogs may bark excessively due to anxiety or frustration.


gorgeous breed, intelligent herding breed, beautiful coats, fun loving animals


tangles, herd children, strangers, long hair, high maintenance


enormous animals, 100lbs, therapy dogs

Helpful Briard Review


From iammarshall Aug 7 2014 11:18PM


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