The Briard was originally bred to protect flocks of sheep from wolves and poachers. During the First World War they were also used to carry supplies to French soldiers on the front line. This role in the war almost decimated the breed and Briards are quite rare today.
These dogs can be quite boisterous and their large size means that it is important to train them well. I wouldn’t recommend getting one of these dogs if you are not going to spend time training it while it is a puppy. They are a very loyal and beautifully natured dog and will make a great companion for life once they have bonded with you.
In terms of maintenance, their long coat needs regular washing and grooming to avoid matting. Many owners choose to clip this breed during the summer months. The breed seems to be predisposed to hip dysplasia and some eye problems, so if you are thinking of getting one of these dogs, it is important to get as much information as you can about both the parents and grandparents, if possible.
The average lifespan is around 12 years, but they can live for up to 14 years with the right diet, genetics and lifestyle.
They usually grow to about 56-68 cm in height and weigh between 34 and 40 kgs in peak condition.