Briard (Berger de Brie) is a French breed, that
belongs to FCI's group 1 sheepdogs and cattle dogs. Briard is medium
sized longhaired sheepdog.
Briard belongs to those longhaired sheepdogs that
resemble each other and originally come from East. Dogs resembling
briards were depicted with Charles the Great in tapestries from the
700th century. Also Napoleon has been told of having two briards.
The Abbot Rozier used the name Chien de
Brie for the first time in 1809 in his Course of Agriculture. At the
first Paris dog show in 1863 briard Charmante was placed first
over all the sheepdogs. Pierre Mégnin separated in his
publication the short and long haired French sheepdogs in 1888 and
since 1893 briard and beauceron were distinguished in the catalog of
the dogs. The Club Francais du Chien de Berger wrote first Standard
for briard in 1897 and the more precise one was written year 1908.
The first briard club of France was founded year 1909.
Originally briards were used moving and guarding
sheep. The tendency to tend is still strong in the breed. At First World War briards
were used for carrying messages, tracking, pulling and searching for
Briard is capable of many tasks: sheepdog,
wardog, police dog, guarddog, rescuedog. Briard likes to work
and wants to be useful. Nowadays briard is above all a versatile
companion for many interests and a faithful familydog.
Finland briards have had the right to participate working dog trials
since 1986. Most common are tracking and search trials.
Also in messenger dog, general, special tracking, search and
rescue dog, water rescue dog and skijoring trials have been briards.
Besides working dog trials obedience trials and agilty have been
Briard is strong, supple and very
well-proportioned dog, who's movements are lively and vivid. He is medium sized and weighs about
30 to 40 kg.
Dogs are between 62 - 68 cm
high, bitches 56 - 64 cm. Briard has to be longer than his heigth
(the body is often 3-5 cm longer than height at
withers). Bitches are in
relative longer than dogs. The body must not be too long
though, because then the back is easily soft. Briard cannot be
square like, long footed and airy.
movements are those of shepards, easy, covering
earth and steps are long.
Briard's head is erect also in the movement, the neck is pushed
little forward, back is stable and level and he carries his tail
head must be long enough and strong, it cannot be too short compared
to the body. Looking from the
side the upper line of the head (skull line) is parallel to the
muzzle. Muzzle and skull parts are of equal length. The muzzle is
full and strong. Lips are medium strong and tight. The pigment
is black. In grey born (or blue) also grey nose is acceptable. Head
reveals clearly the sex. Expression is wise, calm, friendly and
trusting. The gaze of briard is straight and fearless. Eyes are big
and open. The eye colour and pigmentation must be as dark as
possible. Grey born briards can have greyblue eyes. Ears are set
high and they reach to half way of the length of the head. Briard
uses his ears a lot, they move and express the alertness of the dog.
Wished bite is scissors bite and complete dentition, but also level
bite is acceptable.
Briard's neck is relatively long and it joins smoothly the
shoulders, then the position of the head is erect. The neck may not
be cylindric, short or weak.
Frontquarters are straight looking from front, parallel and
far enough from each other. The palm can be put between them.
Shoulders are muscular, long and inclined. If the shoulder is
upright (straight) and short, steps are often short. Briard's wrist
bends slightly forward or the wristbone are slightly oblique.
Ribcage is spacious, strong and sturdy. Chest should also be
deep reaching to the elbows. The cross-section of the ribcage is oval and spacious giving the
lungs enough room. Briard's croup is slightly inclined, round and
Briard's legbone is long and hocks are close the ground. The leg
below hock is almost vertical.
Briard's foot is oval, strong and tight. Also toes are tight and
elastic. Nails are black, on grey born grey. Double dewclaws have
complete bones and they are set as low as possible, near the ground
supporting the step of the hindfeet.
The tip of briard's
tail forms a clear J-hook. In the movement the tail is on the level
of the topline or bellow it. The tail cannot be rolled over the back
or point straight up. The tail must reach at least to the hocks.
Coat is harsh and dry, only light
undercoat. The correct coat rattles when you rub it between your
fingers. Colour are three: fawn, black and grey (blue). All colours
have different shades. Blacks can be as adults black or black turned
grey. Fawn colour is warm and deep. It can vary from orangeyellow to
reddish. There can be colour
differences in fawn and grey coat and many times the colour gets
slightly paler from back to the feet. Fawn coat may have single
black or grey hair. If grey or black colour form a robe on the back,
it is a fault. Also very pale, almost white colour is faulty. Fawn
briards may have a dark mask. Black briards may have grey hairs
already very young. Black individuals may also get entirely grey
with age (colour ardoise), but they are registered as black. Grey (genetic
colour is more rare. The shade of grey varies from light silver to
darker. The coat of a grey briard often grows more slowly than the coat
of other colours. Grey briard may have eyes matching the coat and
grey nails. Also the nose may be grey.
character is described by the words: ”sage” = wise, sensible, steady
and ”hardi” = self-confident, brave, fearless. Briard
should be temperament, active, incompliant, alert, open, unruly
but considerate, observant, willing to defend, susceptible, easy to
guide, gay, calm in calm conditions, balanced and steady. He can
also be properly restricted towards strangers, if he gets relaxed
when he notices the situation is neutral. Briard may not be
reluctant, slow, soft, timid, fear biter, hectic, nervous or
Characteristic to briard is a strong personality
and dignity, when treated unfair he becomes stubborn. Mainly briard
has a strong will to fight. He is usually also little soft, which
makes him easy to guide and quick to learn.
Training a briard often needs patience and imagination. One must be
very kind, gentle and friendly and talk to him a lot. Briard can
without teaching guard his master, children, house and sheep, but he
must understand clearly what is expected of him. Briards don't
accept unfair punishment and want to be trusted. With kindness and
nice and consistent orders you can make briard do all the extremely
wise things he can do. There must be understanding, communion and
oneness between a briard and his owner. Briards have a good
visual and audial memory. If briard becomes acquainted with other
animals and children as a puppy, he will be a patient playmate for
the young ones as adult. Briard is calm at home, but is lively and
active outdoors and when working.
The biggest problem of character
is timidity and the second biggest antisocial/aggressive behaviour
towards other dogs. More rare problems are aggressiviness towards
people, nervousness, fear of shots, dominance and too strong
Briard is on construction healthy breed that is
there are no health problems which come from construction. Not even
the double dewclaws cause problems, if they are correct. Of
hereditary illnesses the worst situation is with the hip dysplasia.
There can also be changes in the joints of elbows, knees, shoulders
and hocks. Eye problems are not common. Briars may have
HC (hereditary cataract), PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), CSNB
(congenital stationary night blindness) and
PHTVL/PHPV. Bloat is a serious and rather common problem in briards.