Bred as a herder and guard dog in France, the Briard temperament is loyal, fearless, and protective.
Briard’s were bred to protect flocks from poachers and wolves, gaining a reputation as a brave and heroic breed. They were also used to hunt and track game.
Most likely a descendant from Sheepdogs, today’s Briards enjoy their life as a companion dog.
Briard Temperament and Personality
They Make Excellent Family Dogs
Briard dogs are known as a “heart wrapped in fur.” They are a devoted breed who love to be around their humans. Their perfect day is following you around the house followed by a nap on the couch.
Great with Children
The Briard dog is a playful and loving companion. They are protective of children and have even been known to “defend” them when they are being disciplined from the parents!
They also Get Along with Dogs
If a Briard is raised with other dogs or pets, they will get along well. But, they do have a strong prey drive, so training is required to avoid chasing small animals.
Briards can be Aloof with Strangers
The Briard breed can be reserved and aloof with strangers but they are loving and loyal towards their family and friends.
They are Adaptable
A Briard can be a city or a country dog. They are fairly calm when indoors but do require daily exercise.
Training a Briard
The Briard dog breed was bred to make decisions without human help. While this is great when performing a job, it can make training difficult.
Briards are eager to please, though, so they do respond well to training. But, only use positive reinforcement training. Any negative training will cause a Briard to be stubborn and resist you.
With praise, treats, and play – along with short and fun sessions – the Briard will learn quickly.
Briards do exceptional in dog sports or roles thanks to their great memory and intelligence. They’ll excel at agility, obedience, search and rescue, and more.
Early socialization will help Briards with their weariness of strangers and help them grow into well-rounded adults.
For help with training your Braid, The Online Dog Trainer is a great resource with hundreds of videos that you can check out.
Finding the Perfect Briard
Ready to add a Briard to your family? Now it’s time to decide whether you’d like a Briard puppy or an adult.
Briard puppies are cute – but they are a lot of work!
Are you ready to take on the responsibilities of a puppy? They need consistent training, socialization – and a lot of patience!
If you aren’t quite ready for a puppy, why not adopt an adult Briard?
Briard adoption is a great way to not only help a shelter dog but to add an adult dog to your family.
Adults are often already trained and don’t require the amount of time a patience a puppy would.
A great place to start your search is the Briard Club of America. They have information on both Briards for sale from breeders as well as Briard rescue.
Briard Puppies for Sale
Briard puppies for sale from a breeder will cost between $1000-$1200.
A Briard's dog price depends on where you live, whether they are of a champion bloodline, and litter availability.
If you are looking to purchase a Briard with a champion bloodline, expect to pay closer to $1200.
Adopting a Briard from a rescue will cost between $200-$500 and depends on where you live and the rescue organization.
Briard Rescue and Adoption
Briard rescue is perfect for families who want an adult dog or even ones with special needs. A special needs dog can have anything from a treatable skin condition to a serious illness.
A Briad Adoption is also an option for those looking for a Briard mix. While shelters won’t always have purebred Briards, you may be able to find a mix at your local rescue or shelter.
If you would prefer to purchase a Briard from a breeder, your first stop should be the AKC Marketplace. They have Briard breeders based on location along with litter availability, bloodline, and gender.
Take your time finding a reputable Briard breeder. Plan visits to different breeders and carry along a list of questions to make sure they are reputable. A reputable breeder will also ask you questions in return to determine if the Briard is the right breed for your family.
Take note on how the breeder treats their dogs and puppies along with the cleanliness of their kennels. Reputable breeders will also provide the necessary health certificates.
Caring for a Briard
The Briard is a larger breed, standing between 23-27 inches for males and 22-25.5 inches for females.
They weigh between 55-100 pounds and live up to 12 years old.
Grooming a Briard
Briards are a low to non-shedding breed. They have an outer coat and an undercoat. The outer coat is coarse and slightly wavy whereas the undercoat is soft and fine. They come in a variety of colors such as black and shades of tawny and grey.
Although Briard shedding is minimal, they do require considerable grooming. They need daily brushing as well as bathes every six to eight weeks. Briards can become dirty easily, so regular trips to the groomer are recommended.
Briards are prone to several health conditions such as:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Congenital Stationary Night Blindness (CSNB) – affects eyesight
- Hyperthyroidism – a thyroid gland disorder
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy – an eye disease that affects the retina
- Von Willebrand’s disease – a blood disorder that affects clotting process
Note: Don't let the many issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely Briard pet from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expectancy.
Briards need moderate exercise. They love to have a job – especially one that provides exercise. Their energetic nature makes them perfect companions for cyclers, hikers, or joggers.
A securely fenced yard is perfect for the Briard – they love to run around and play fetch with their humans in the backyard.
Aim for 30-60 minutes of daily exercise to keep your Briard happy and healthy.
Conclusion: Why the Briard?
The Briard is a faithful, protective, and fearless breed. They are a tried and true family dog who absolutely adore children.
Briards are intelligent but can stubborn when it comes to training. Use positive reinforcement and keep training sessions short and fun.
If you are an active family that is looking for an intelligent, loyal, and devoted breed, the Briard is for you.