Briard – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Is Briard a good family dog? To discover the answer to this question and much more, keep on reading.
Dog Breed Group:
Herding Dogs
22 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
70 to 100 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 12 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Briard is a very old breed from France.

Representatives of this breed are usually loyal, intelligent, and of calm nature.

This is a large size dog, and as such, they are usually recommended to experienced dog owners.

This active dog was first introduced in the late 1960s, although the AKC recognized the breed in 1928, while the United Kingdom introduced the breed in the late 1960s.

One look at this breed is enough to realize that this is a powerful dog.

As a large size dog, the Briard can weigh between 70 and 90 pounds. They love being outside but will insist to spend some time indoors.

As a highly protective breed, they won’t let any stranger ever approach their home without letting you know.

As for their health, this is generally a healthy breed, although they can be prone to certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia.

They need to have a trustworthy pack leader, otherwise, they will do their best to take that position.

If you have enough experience as a dog owner then you can welcome this breed into your home.

Quick Facts

Real name: Briard
Other names: Berger de Brie, Chien de Berger français de Plaine
Origin: France
Breed type: Herding Dogs
Weight: 70 to 100 pounds
Height: 22 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Litter Size: 8 – 10 puppies
Color: Solid black, fawn, grey or blue; fawn overlaid with black
Coat: Long, slightly wavy, goat-like. Outer coat is alwyas long.

Briard History

The Briard is an ancient breed from France whose origin can be traced back to the 8th century.

At the time, this breed was known as the Chien Berger De Brie. Dog experts believe that this dog originated from the region of Brie.

Others claim that the name is somehow linked with a legend from the 14th century when Aubry de Montdidier built a cathedral in memory of a valiant Briard who saved his son’s life.

One is for sure – this breed can be linked back to Emperor Charlemagne, based on descriptions in early tapestries.

It is believed that Thomas Jefferson imported the first Briards to the States.

AKC recognized the breed in 1928.

Briard Physical Appearance

Briard is a dog with a well-balanced body and alert posture.

They are strong in bone and have the strength of a herding dog. As for the size, they are usually between 23 to 27 inches and weigh between 70 and 90 pounds.

Females are slightly smaller than males are, although some males can be up to 100 pounds.

This breed has a very sophisticated look, with a square-proportioned body that is a bit longer than taller.

Overall movement in this breed should be easy and light. Their outer coat is rough and has a bit of dry texture. The undercoat is tight and fine.

At the shoulder, the coat may be of a more wavy shape, and as such, they are commonly six or more inches in length.

Briard Personality

Briard dogs will always be confident.

They are loyal, intelligent, and good-natured. They love nothing more than spending time with their humans.

Briards are huge people-pleasers, and they will do their best to deliver every task on time, keep you entertained, and active.

As an active dog, Briard will demand spending a fair amount of time outdoors. They will be more than eager to participate in every family activity.

What can you expect from your Briard in terms of protection?

Protection-wise you can expect to have a four-legged protector watching over your shoulder 24/7.

They will do their best to inform you whenever there is a stranger nearby.

As result, these rough-looking dogs can be aloof with strangers. As a breed with hunting roots, they can be a bit stubborn.

This is why Briards need proper training and early socialization. Puppies are energetic, playful, and extremely playful.

As such they often put themselves into funny situations, which can be also a bit dangerous.

Bitting off cable is never safe, right? To prevent this behavior and get out the maximum you need to address socialization the best way possible.

Until your veterinarian gives you green light and you get to take your puppy out to socialize, you need to work on his habits.

Did you know that dogs can learn basic commands as of eight weeks of age?

This means that by the time vaccination ends, your dog should know commands such as ‘no’, ‘yes’, ‘come’, and ‘sit.’

Do they get along with children and other pets? By his nature, Briard is a playful dog which makes him a nice companion for older children.

Energetic dogs should always be supervised when spending time with children.

Plus, children should know and respect dog house rules and know the basics of safe interaction with dogs.

Children should never pull a dog’s tail, ears, or hair. Teach him not to chase, as they may chase smaller animals.

If not introduced right, they may be aggressive toward other dogs. To learn to co-exist with dogs or cats they should be properly socialized.

Briard Training

Training should start as soon as you bring your Briard home.

They are intelligent dogs, so the training process should be easy and fun. Still, they will try to outsmart, because they are stubborn a bit, but don’t let them.

Be ahead by delivering advanced planned and structured training sessions, that are fun, consistent, and packed with treats.

If you think that you don’t have enough experience for training this energetic dog, think about puppy classes.

This can be a great way to make your bond stronger and to speed up the training process.

In the meantime, provide proper toys, treats, and learn some indoor games to help him burn off that extra energy.

Briard Exercise

To keep this breed fit and mentally stimulated you will have to provide enough exercise, next to regular walks.

Regular walks usually serve as a walk around the block for Fido to have a toilet break. However, dogs with more intense exercise needs need extra time to be active.

This is why you should think about hiking, dog sports such as agility and obedience.

If you are not a fan of outdoor activities, maybe you should focus on a breed that is more of a lap dog.

To keep Briard happy and fit, he needs 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily.

Briard Grooming

The popular Briard is considered to be a low-maintenance breed. This breed has an outer coat that is slightly wavy and a soft and fine undercoat.

To keep this coat type clean and shiny you will have to provide proper grooming tools to make brushing an easy process.

If you don’t like brushing your dog every day, then this breed isn’t for you.

You can always think about professional groomer services – they will be a bit pricey, but will save you time.

The rest is basic care:

  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Bathe only when needed
  • Check gums and eyes weekly

Once you get your Briard home you are directly responsible for his weight.

Obesity in dogs is on the rise across the States and you don’t want your Fido to be part of this pack.

Obesity can lead to numerous health issues that can be hard to manage. Plus, additional health issues usually mean one thing – higher veterinarian bills.

Briard Nutrition

Learn which human foods are safe for dogs, and which should be avoided.

For example, dogs should never eat human chocolate or onion.

On the other hand, cucumber is perfectly safe food dog. In fact, cucumbers are a great addition to summer nutrition and great addition to refreshing summer treats.

The Briard should do well on high-quality dog food. You can serve to your Briard commercially manufactured food or home-prepared if your veterinarian approves it.

Before you make any big changes to a dog’s diet or switch to a raw food diet, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian first.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s diet talk to your veterinarian.

Briard Health

Briards are generally described as healthy dogs. If you are dealing with responsible breeders you will get a healthy puppy.

Not only that but if you deal with a reputable breeder, you can expect the following:

  • Medical documentation on the dog
  • To meet the dog’s mom
  • To check the facilities
  • To answer a lof of questions – responsible breeders want to be sure that you are the best choice for their dog
  • A set of information on possible health issues in the future

Responsible breeders will also tell you that if an issue occurs, to return the dog to them.

This is something that should be an option only if nothing else is possible. Between animal shelters or breeder’s homes, breeders prefer to see the dog back into their yard.

Although this is a healthy breed certain health issues may occur from time to time.

This doesn’t mean that our dog will get any of them, but just means that you should know about specific health conditions, such as:

The best way to keep your Briard, and any other dog, healthy is to provide proper veterinarian care.

This means that you should stick to the vaccine schedule and provide proper nutrition. Prevention is the best way to keep your Fido healthy.

Veterinarian check-ups are a great way of prevention and the most secure way to keep your Fido healthy and long-living.

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