The Briard is the best known of the four French sheepdogs – the others being the Beauceron, the Picardy and the Pyrenean Mountain Dog – although the latter won Best in Show at Crufts in 1970. Briards are good-natured and can be kept happily either as an affectionate family pet or for work around the farm; quite a number are finding their way into the show ring.
This French sheepdog is used for herding, and it also makes an affectionate family pet. It is goodnatured, easy to train and is very successful as a show dog.
Origin and history
The Briard is thought to have originated in the Brie area of France, where it is also known as the Berger de Brie or Chien de Brie. It has been known since the twelfth century. There is an entertaining fourteenth century French legend of how the Briard was given its name. In the year 1371 Sir Aubry de Montdidier was assassinated. His killer was hunted down by his dog, and it was ordained by the king that a battle should take place between the man, named Macaire, and the dog. The battle took place on the Isle of Notre Dame, and the dog proved the victor. Macaire then admitted his crime and was beheaded. It is likely that from then on the Briard became known as the Chien d’Aubry, and a shield sculpted in stone was placed in the church at Montdidier, bearing a likeness of a dog’s head that looks similar to the Briard of today. Those who do not believe that the Briard originated in Brie claim that the name Briard is a distortion of Chien d’Aubry.
- Easy to train
- Family pet and/or farm worker . Gentle nature
- No drawbacks known
Height: dog 23-27in (58.5-68.5cm); bitch 22-251/2in (56-65cm).
Regular, and not just a walk around the park.
A dog of rugged appearance; supple, muscular and well proportioned, gay and lively.
All solid colours are correct except those mentioned below. The darker shades are preferred. Incorrect colours are white, chestnut, mahogany and bicolour. Bicolour should not be confused with the slightly lighter shading at the extremities due to the beginnings of uneven pigmentation. This lighter shading should be of the same tone as the rest of the coat, e.g. light fawn on dark fawn, light grey on dark grey. Occasional white hairs through the black coat are acceptable and do not designate a bicolour.
Head and skull
Head strong, fairly long with a well-defined stop placed exactly mid-way in the length of the head. The head should carry hair forming moustache, beard and eyebrows that slightly veil the eyes. The muzzle should be neither narrow nor pointed. The nose should be large square, and always black, no matter what colour the dog. The forehead slightly rounded, the skull rectangular in shape.
Long, well covered with hair and with an upward hook at the tip that forms the letter ‘j’. Carried low and deviating to neither one side nor the other. The bone of the tail should reach at least to the point of the hock.
Strong and slightly rounded, about mid-way between a cat foot and a hare foot. Nails should always be black. Pads should be firm and hard, and the toes close together.
Briard Feeding & Grooming
Although the Briard is reputed to take pride in keeping itself clean, that task should be augmented by frequent, careful grooming from its devoted owner(s).
Recommended would be 20-330z (587-936g) of a branded, meaty product with biscuit added, or 3-5 cupfuls of a dry food, complete diet, mixed in the proportion of 1 cup of feed to 1/2 cup of hot or cold water.