Big Hearted and Utterly Loyal
The Briard is a shaggy coated French sheepdog tracing
back to Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor (742 - 814) who
is reputed to have owned a Briard as did Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Marquis de Lafayette, a Frenchman, brought his Briards
to America in 1777 to work as sheep herders while he fought
at the side of George Washington in the American Revolution.
Thomas Jefferson is also thought to have brought Briards to
the US at about the same time. The Briard Club of
America was founded in 1928.
French folklore is full of tales of the breed's acts of
heroism and bravery. In more recent history, these confident
dogs distinguished themselves well in both World Wars. They
acted as sentries at the front lines, hauled food and munitions
and even led medics to wounded men. Always, this breed was
prized in France and North America for its good working and
herding abilities, its intelligence and unwavering loyalty.
Even the family companion Briard possesses and
exhibits these instincts.
Briards, being big, require larger accommodation and
space for lots of daily exercise. They should be brushed often,
daily is best, to keep their long hair from matting. They are
"dogs at heart, with spirit and initiative, wise and fearless."
Although they are reserved with strangers, Briards are very
loving and gentle, intelligent and highly trainable, wanting
to please, and protect their family and master. As with
most breeds, Briard puppies should have some
early formal obedience training.
Dog: 23 to 27 in. (58-68.5 cm) at withers.
Bitch: 22 to 25½ in. (56-63.5 cm) at withers.
Weight: 75-100 lb. (34-45.5 kg)
Other Name: Berger de Brie.
Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years.