Calm, Patient, Alert
Size: Large
Height: 60-64 cm
Weight: 30-35 kg
Lifespan: 11-12 years
Coat: Longhair
Colors: Black, Fauve, Blue, Gray
FCI Group: Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)

The Briard is a popular French dog breed. It is recognized by the FCI and assigned to Group 1 (herding and driving dogs). The breed is also known as the Berger de Brie. These good-natured dogs are extremely talented herding dogs and have a wide range of skills in this area. They have a strong protective instinct and make excellent family dogs. The spirited Briard is a loyal companion to humans. They want to be firmly integrated into the family.

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The Briard belongs to the medium to large dog breeds. Adult dogs reach an average shoulder height of around 60 to 64 cm. The weight is similar. This is usually around 30 to 35 kg, which is very light for the size of the dogs.

The females are usually somewhat more gracefully built than the males. Nevertheless, they have an imposing appearance. The physique is well proportioned. It appears muscular, very supple and overall very harmonious.

Visually, these animals have a rare peculiarity. The current breed standard ascribes a double dewclaw to the Briard. The dewclaw is a claw that sits above the dog's paw. It has no special function and is more of a hindrance than an asset to the animal.

Normally dogs have a simple dewclaw. This also has no known function. It is not known why the breeding standard requires this feature.

Probably the most striking feature of the Briard is its coat. It is very long, dense and slightly twisted all over the body. The coat also has the same hair structure on the head. In general, the dog's coat is very dry. This can be felt not only when touching it, but also when simply looking at it. The undercoat of the coat is rather fine and relatively thin compared to the top coat. The Briard's coat protects the dog from wind and weather.

As the animals mostly lived outdoors and were used to herd flocks, this was an enormous advantage. Both storms and rain showers could be better endured thanks to the dense coat. At the same time, the thick fur was a good protection against wolf attacks. In an emergency, the wolves' teeth quickly got caught in the dogs' fur. Serious injuries could thus be avoided.

However, excessive hair growth on the dog's head can lead to possible impairments. The area around the eyes in particular should always be kept short. The dogs must be able to perceive their surroundings at all times.

Disturbing hair in the eye area can not only hinder perception, but also lead to inflammation. Unfortunately, today's breeding standard aims to make the dogs' coats even longer and more luxuriant. However, this is done for the benefit of the Briard.

The coat color of the Briard can vary. The most common colors are black, fawn, blue and gray. However, there are also animals whose coat color is a mixture of fawn and black. The muzzle area or the entire face is often darker than the rest of the body.

The average life expectancy of these intelligent four-legged friends is around 12 years. This is quite a long life expectancy for dogs of a comparable size. In the best case scenario, the dogs enjoy good health even in old age. So there are also specimens that can live much longer.

The Briard is a typical old herding dog with a strong personality. This is also partly reflected in its character. The dogs are considered to be particularly caring and protective. They are fearless and will do anything to protect their family from attack. This characteristic can be traced back to the dogs' history as guardians and herd leaders.

The Briard is very alert and always keeps an eye on its surroundings. It guards its family without being intrusive. The dogs also do not usually try to take the lead. Instead, they reliably alert their owners to danger.

They are quick on the uptake and therefore learn particularly well. These agile dogs love exercise. They like to spend a lot of time in nature and need plenty of exercise to let off steam. As their hunting instinct is low, they can also run around freely in the countryside without any major concerns.

The animals want to be challenged and kept busy. They are still real working animals and are happy to take on a task. As the Briard is rarely used as a herding dog nowadays, participation in dog sports offers a successful alternative. The Briard masters this with joy and excellent results. The four-legged friends are enduring, agile and nimble. They love challenges and are very skillful.

The dogs are often somewhat distant and cool towards strangers. However, they do not show any aggressive behavior. The Briard is also compatible with other dogs. Although they are self-confident, they are not barkers and do not push themselves to the fore. On the other hand, these dogs are great companions with children. They love children and enjoy romping around with them. Due to their size, the animals are by no means squeamish, but very robust.

The Briard is a very patient dog. He is not easily upset and treats his family gently. This is especially true of children. These sensitive four-legged friends can and want to actively participate in family life. They build up a close bond with their owners and the family. This is the basis for a well-functioning life together.

Coat care:




Energy level:




Children suitable:

With supervision

The right food

Feeding dogs is relatively simple. Nutritious and varied meals form a solid basis. Occasionally, treats and chewing bones can be added. The daily amount of food should be adapted to the animal's size, weight and need for exercise.

The breed is not particularly prone to allergies. However, it should be noted that the Briard eats very little for its size. Compared to other large dog breeds, this is very noticeable. Nevertheless, care should be taken to ensure that the animals do not gulp down their food. This can lead to dangerous stomach torsions, which should be avoided at all costs.

These lovable four-legged friends are generally considered to be robust and vital dog breeds. As a result, the animals are still fit and healthy in old age. However, there is a genetic predisposition that leads to night blindness in many animals. Unfortunately, problems with the ureters are also widespread in the Briard. However, reputable breeders do their best to contain and exclude these diseases.

Health & Care

Keeping a Briard is basically uncomplicated. Even without in-depth knowledge of dogs, it is perfectly possible to acquire such an animal. The dogs are very easy to train and want to cooperate with their owners. They are open and eager to learn. A close emotional bond between dog and human forms the basis for this. With the right amount of consistency, training dogs is usually easy.

Further training with the animal is possible. The dogs are ideal as therapy or rescue dogs and can benefit from such a task. This fulfills the animals and leads to a balanced, happy dog.

The coat care of the Briard is somewhat more demanding. The lush coat must be brushed regularly. This removes dirt and prevents matting. Bathing and washing should be largely avoided.

Regular grooming also includes cleaning the ears and eyes with a damp cloth. Claws must be trimmed. Dental care with toothpaste and a dog toothbrush or finger brush prevents tartar and inflammation.

The best time to start regular grooming is when your dog is a puppy. This makes it easier for him to get used to it.

Suitable accessories

Due to its size, the Briard should be kept in a house in the countryside. A garden is also an advantage for keeping them. Here there is enough space and the necessary exercise is guaranteed. Keeping them in a small rented apartment, on the other hand, is not recommended. Due to its size and its nature as a herding dog, it does not feel at home in a large city.

Otherwise, the Briard makes no great demands on its living space. They must be integrated into the household and are not suitable for kennel keeping. These friendly dogs need attention and should therefore be kept indoors. If possible, you should take your four-legged friend on occasional outings into the countryside.

Dogs also need their own place to retreat to in the house. Dog beds or dog baskets are particularly suitable for this. These should be placed in such a way that the dog can rest, but can still fulfill its duty of protection. Animals like to have everything in view. This should be taken into account when choosing a place to sleep.

Origin & History

The Briard is a very old dog breed from the Brie region in France. This is where the breed's name comes from. The first Briards are said to have existed as early as the 1380s. The breed was first designated as such in 1809. This makes the Briard one of the longest documented dog breeds in the world.

The dog's abilities were recognized early on and used accordingly. The Briard has always been a popular herding dog. But it was also used to search for injured people in rubble or avalanches. The versatility and lovable nature of the dogs impressed people even back then. This led to their growing popularity in society.

The Briard was officially recognized as a breed in 1896. In Germany, however, the first breeding association was not founded until much later, in 1975. Even today, the dog breed is not very common in Germany and is largely unknown. Many people have never heard of the Briard as a dog breed. Nevertheless, the Briard has a strong fan base, which will hopefully continue to grow in the future.