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The Full Briard Description

The Briard has a strong character, and is happiest leading a busy, active life. This big dog thinks for himself, so training may take patience. Like most sheepdogs, Briards are wary of strangers, canine or human.

Did you know?

The Briard is a very old breed of French working dog.
A Briard's coat requires regular grooming or the hair that is shed will cause matting, which is difficult to remove.

So you want to own a Briard?

The Briard is intelligent, loyal, and obedient. Even a Briard who is strictly a companion, will display his herding instincts, often pushing his owner with his head to give him direction. They will often consider the children in their family their flock and they will herd them or keep them within the boundaries the Briard considers home.
The Briard is referred to as "a heart wrapped with fur."

He is not the dog for every home; his remarkable character can only be developed by an owner willing to devote time and affection.

Indicative Breed Standard


General Appearance

Rugged appearance; supple, muscular and well proportioned.


Very intelligent, gay and lively.


Fearless, with no trace of timidity or aggressiveness.

Head and Skull

Skull slightly rounded and slightly longer from occiput to stop than it is wide when measured through points of cheekbones. Head is composed of two equal rectangles, occiput to stop and stop to end of nose, when viewed in profile from above. Muzzle square and very strong; any tendency to snipiness highly undesirable. Stop clearly defined. Nose large and square, always black.


Horizontally placed, well open and rather large, not oblique. Intelligent and gentle in expression. Dark brown, eye rims always black.


Set on high and covered with long hair. Should not lie too flat against side of head. Fairly short, length of ear being equal to or slightly less than half length of head. When dog alert ears should be lifted slightly and swing very slightly forward.


Teeth very strong and white with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Lips always black.


Of good length; strong and muscular; arched, giving proud carriage of head and flowing smoothly into well placed shoulders.


Shoulders well angulated and well laid back, forelegs well muscled, strongly boned.


Back firm and level, chest broad, medium spring of rib, well let down, very slight slope at croup, determining set of tail. Very slightly longer in body than height at shoulder.


Well angulated, with hocks set not too low and turning neither in nor out, but leg below hock not quite vertical. Hindlegs, particularly thighs, well muscled. Double dewclaws set low on hindlegs of utmost importance.


Strong, turning neither in nor out, slightly rounded, about midway between cat foot and hare foot. Nails always black, pads firm and hard, toes close together. Well covered with hair.


Long, well covered with hair with upward hook at tip. Carried low but always held centrally. Bone of tail reaching at least point of hock.


Effortless, and when dog extends himself covering a great deal of ground. Extremely supple, enabling dog to turn quickly. Strong, firm, very smooth with plenty of drive.


Long, not less than 7 cms (2¾ ins) on body. Slightly wavy and very dry. A fine dense undercoat required all over body. Head carries hair forming a moustache, beard and eyebrows, lightly veiling eyes.


All black, or with white hairs scattered through black coat. Fawn in all its shades, darker shades preferred. Fawns may have dark shadings on ears, muzzle, back and tail, but these shadings must blend gradually into rest of coat since any demarcation line denotes a bi-colour which is not permissible. May also be slate grey.


Height: dogs: 61-69 cms (24-27 ins) at withers; bitches: 58-65 cms (23-25½ ins) at withers. Slight undersize before 18 months, or slight oversize in maturity permissible.

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