The Briard, or Chien Berger de Brie, is an ancient working breed of France whose origin dates back to the eighth century. Early tapestries depict these large shaggy dogs with the Emperor Charlemagne, and Napoleon was also reported to have kept Briards.

The Briard has been used since early times as a guardian of the flocks and a herding dog. He has been the official dog of the French army and is somewhat rare today because so many Briards were lost in both world wars. Briards carried supplies to the front lines and served as sentry dogs due to their keen hearing, reputed to be the most acute of any breed. He was used by the medical corps to search for wounded soldiers.

Reports stress the amazing ability of the Briard to lead the corpsmen to those soldiers who still had a spark of life in their bodies. It was said that any man the Briard passed by was beyond assistance

General Appearance

A dog of handsome form. Vigorous and alert, powerful without coarseness, strong in bone and muscle, exhibiting the strength and agility required of the herding dog. Dogs lacking these qualities, however concealed by the coat, are to be penalized.


He is a dog of heart, with spirit and initiative, wise and fearless with no trace of timidity. Intelligent, easily trained, faithful, gentle, and obedient, the Briard possesses an excellent memory and an ardent desire to please his master. He retains a high degree of his ancestral instinct to guard home and master. Although he is reserved with strangers, he is loving and loyal to those he knows. Some will display a certain independence.


males 23 to 27 inches at the withers; bitches 22 to 25.5 inches at the withers.


All uniform colors are permitted except white. The colors are black, various shades of gray and various shades of tawny. The deeper shades of each color are preferred.

Learn more at the Briard Club of America.