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Briard Dog Breed Profile

Other Names
Berger de Brie 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
Briards belong to the pastoral group and are used as guard dogs, herding dogs, and companions and seen in the show-ring. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
It will cost approximately £5 per week to feed a Briard. 
Other Expenses
A puppy will cost between £650 to £800. Other expenditure should be minimal. 
9 - 15 years
Briards will live for 10 to 12 years. 
Average Litter Size
Litter sizes can vary dramatically, 17 puppies being known. However, the average size of litter is 6 puppies. 
General Physical Description
Briards are sizeable (but not heavyweight), handsome dogs with attractive, distinctive long coats. They are muscular, rugged and well-proportioned. Their muscular necks carry their heads with pride. In spite of all the hair they have around their eyes, they are very keen sighted! They move effortlessly and cover the ground well. They are very supple and can turn quickly.

Height Min Max
Bitch 56cm (22") 64cm (25")
Dog 62cm (24") 68cm (27")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 34kg (75lbs) 34kg (75lbs)
Dog 38kg (84lbs) 38kg (84lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Bitches measure between 56 to 64cms at the withers and weigh 34kgs; dogs measure between 62 to 68cms, weighing 38.5kgs. 
In general, Briards are a healthy breed. Hip Dysplasia was common at one time but is now greatly reduced due to careful breeding. However, always insist on HD screening of parentage before purchasing a puppy. PRA Is also fairly infrequent but again eye screening is important. The most serious problem is bloat; the incidences of this occurring can be reduced with careful feeding and exercise programmes in place. Night blindness and certain heart and blood defects are also known. 
Common Ailments

Night blindness
Certain heart and blood defects  
Susceptibility To Illness
The Briard’s exact origin is riddled with uncertainty but legend has it that they were established in Europe in the Middle Ages stemming from Oriental sheep-herding dogs with crosses to local guarding breeds, giving them their size and aggression. In France this combination created the Briard. One version of an ancient tale states that Aubry of Montdidier was murdered with the only witness being his dog. The dog followed the killer constantly and the King was made aware of the situation and ordered a dual between the killer and the dog (a common occurrence in the Middle Ages). The dog won! The Briard’s physical and working abilities suggest descent from Aubry’s dog. The breed took its name from a derivative of the French region of Brie. Charlemagne gave braces of Briards to friends and Napoleon took the breed on his military campaigns. Thomas Jefferson imported several dogs to assist American farmers and Lafayette asked them to be sent to him at his American estate. The breed gained a reputation as a trustworthy dog in combat and was named the official dog of the French army. These dogs carried supplies to the front lines, served as sentries and found the wounded. Their sturdy bodies enabled them to carry machine gun ammunition belts to the gunning replacements. They knew instinctively which soldiers needed help and which would die – it was said ‘that any man the Briard passed by was beyond assistance’. American soldiers were so impressed with the breed that it was not long before Briards were seen in America. 
Adolescent Briards can be rather dominant and so it is imperative that training is started as early as possible. They must be socialised as pups, the younger the better, to ensure they grow up pliable and obedient. The combination of consistency, patience, love and a firm hand will all help achieve success.< 
Show Characteristics
The skull is slightly rounded with a clearly defined stop and a square, strong muzzle. The eyes should be well-open and rather large, dark brown and with an intelligent and gentle expression. The ears are set on high and covered with long hair. The teeth should be very strong with a complete scissor bite. The neck should be of good length, strong and muscular, adjoining well-angulated and laid back shoulders. The back should be firm and level and the body very slightly longer than the height at the shoulders. The forelegs should be strongly boned and well-muscled and the hindlegs, particularly the thighs, well-muscled, with double dewclaws set on low. The feet should be strong and mid-way between cat-like and hare-like, toes close together with firm and hard pads and well-covered in hair. The tail should be long and well-covered with hair with an upward hook and carried low. The preferred colours for the show ring are slate grey, all shades of fawn, solid black or black with white hairs scattered throughout. 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
> 2 hours per day.
Exercise requirements are high to satisfy the energy levels of this breed. They love swimming and running along side a bicycle is an excellent form of exercise for them. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
Being protective by nature, Briards make good family dogs. They do tend to bond more closely with one family member and have been known to protect the children from parental correction! They are tough, alert and brave dogs and can be slightly aggressive with other dogs if not handled correctly. They will accept other household pets if introduced properly. They are happiest in the home as part of the family and will regard strangers suspiciously. They are gay, lively dogs that love to engage in games, which can turn rough but never nasty. Therefore care should be taken if there are younger children in the household. Please remember, if an eight week old puppy is allowed to play roughly, once the dog reaches adulthood, he will expect to play the same way! 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Every Day 
Requires Professional Groomer
Grooming demands are considerable although no specialised groomers are necessary. Plenty of brushing and combing of their coarse double coats is required to help limit shedding, to prevent matting and to keep the coat clean and tangle-free. Line-brushing (the technique of brushing upwards layer by layer) down to the skin is recommended as this will assist in the prevention of dermatitis and other skin problems. The inside of the ears must be kept clean and any excessive hair removed. Likewise the excess hair between the pads of their feet must be trimmed regularly. 
The most usual colours are black and fawn, although slate grey is also seen. Scatterings of white throughout the coat are also possible. 
Suffers From Allergies

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