Breed Spotlight: the Briard

The history of the Briard is similar to that of the Berger de Beauce. Hailing from France, their history can be traced back to the 14th century books and tapestries. The ancestors of these breeds were kept for the task of herding and defending sheep and cattle herds. The dogs of this time ranged from medium in size to large, and they sported coats that ranged from short and smooth to shaggy. However, it wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that a distinction was made between the dogs based on their coats. Around the mid-1800s, the shaggy “Berger de Brie” began to rise in popularity after the Great Paris Dog Show. Charlemagne, Napoleon Bonaparte, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette were all rumored to have owned Briards at some point in their lives. During World War I and World War II, Briards were prominently used as sentinels, mine detectors, search and rescue dogs, food and ammunition deliverers on the front lines, and more. Today they are still used to guard and herd flocks. After the wars, the breed’s popularity continued to grow throughout Europe and eventually made its way to the United States.

Want to learn more about the Briard? Click here to read the full breed standard.


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