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Country/Date of Origin: France/1200s

The history of the Briard can be traced back to the time of Emperor Charlemagne. This very old French shepherd dog can be seen in eighth century tapestries. Its great courage and loyalty are mentioned in records from the 12th Century on. The French shepherd dog with the springy gait is both a herder and a flock guardian. A club of fanciers was formed in France in 1897 and the breed's fortunes followed the tides of war in the early twentieth century. The introduction of the Briard to America is not well documented. It is thought that the Marquis de Lafayette may have brought some to his friend George Washington. It is known that it took until 1922 for a US born litter of Briard puppies to be recorded.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Berger De Brie

AKC Group: Herding

Breed Club: Briard Club of America, Inc.

Rescue Club: Briard Rescue and Haven

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Body Type:

  • A large, powerful dog whose body is slightly longer than high
  • Height: 23-27 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 75-90 pounds
  • Ears are set high on the head and are cropped in the U.S.
  • The tail is carried low with a small hook at the end called a crochet. It is not altered
  • Double dewclaws are required on each rear leg


  • Loving and giving to those it knows but aloof and suspicious around strangers
  • Intelligent and easily trained
  • An independent spirit. Not looking for constant approval. Views itself as a companion rather than a servant


  • The shaggy, coarse, double coat is slightly wavy about 4-6 inches long
  • Hair falls over the eyes masking the expression but not the prominent black nose
  • The outerhairs have a peculiar, dry feel and make a rasping sound between the fingers
  • Permissible colors are black, various shades of gray or tawny
  • Becomes matted and dirty if not brushed at least twice a week

Health Concerns:

  • Subject to hip dysplasia
  • Susceptible to bloat
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Briards are homebodies. Like other herding dogs they do not tend to roam
  • The gait of a Briard is supple and springy like that of a big cat. The dog seems to glide along the ground with no visible means of support
  • Not a popular breed. Puppies will be difficult to obtain

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