Briard, Breed of the Week

Briard, Breed of the Week

Briard, Breed of the Week

Have you heard of the Briard, or French Sheepdog? Norman the Scooter Dog is a Briard. Every time I’ve asked his mama his breed, she tells me, but I’ve only ever remembered French Sheepdog. He’s a lovely dog.

Norman, a Briard, rides a scooter and a bike with training wheels.

The thing which surprised me most about Norman was his size. Not sure why. I think I expect dogs with long, silky hair to be smaller. But he’s pretty tall for a silky dog. I took video of Norman riding the bike and the scooter, but probably best if you see someone else’s video.

Isn’t that wild? He’s actually pretty timid in person. Sweet, but doesn’t seem to like crowds. His mama has done an amazing job with him.

Need to Know

What do you know about the Briard? Here’s what I knew previous to this post.


Yeah. Nothing. Here’s what I know now, rather, what the AKC site tells me:

 Vigorous and alert, this powerful and agile breed is a native of France. A working animal, the breed’s most common job has been herding, but their acute sense of hearing also makes them an excellent watchdog. The Briard’s long, luxurious coat can be any solid color except white; they are usually black, gray or tawny.

So a sheepdog. Like on Bugs Bunny.

Or not.

Briards are a very old breed, documented back 900 years ago. They came to America with the Founding Fathers (Jefferson) at the very latest.

The Dog Breed Info page (which I love) tells me that

The Briard is a farm worker by nature and lives to herd anything, possessing an exceptional hearing ability. It is kind, but with a strong protective instinct. The Briard makes a wonderful, alert watchdog. Sensitive, playful and obedient, but with a definite mind of its own.

Pros and Cons

Sounds like my kind of dog. Very intelligent, easily trained, eager to please – let’s look at the Briard pros and cons.


  • Kind and protective – great for a young and growing family?
  • Mostly healthy, with relatively few breed prone conditions
  • Only moderately active – they need daily exercise, but will do well in a moderate size yard


  • Protective and stubborn – the Briard needs an owner who has dog experience, training experience, who understands that this breed is all dog, not a person
  • Lifespan average is 10-12 years
  • If not well trained, kept mentally and physically active, and socialized early and often the Briard can be stubborn, fearful and difficult
  • Grooming – did you see that coat? The Briard requires brushing daily

Bottom line, the Briard is not for everyone. Sure, it’s an amazingly gorgeous dog, but it requires a lot of work, ongoing. As a working dog, the Briard is probably brilliant. As a performing dog, kept active, socialized, always being trained to do new things, the Briard is a great choice as a dog. As a family pet, this is probably not the dog for busy people with busy lives and hectic schedules. Sorry. Just say no.

What Would They Nom?

One last thing – I always ask myself what the breed of the week would like as a treat. My guess is that the Briard would enjoy either a bag of Rabbit Entree’ Jerky or the Jones Natural Chews Dino Bone. I can just see Norman chowing down on a big old Dino Bone. NOM NOM NOM.

I’ll just leave y’all with that mental image. 😉

Spreading the good chews …


10 thoughts on “Briard, Breed of the Week

  1. You know, I’m not sure if I’ve actually seen a Briard in real life or not. I used to work at a boarding kennel and grooming shop, and I think I might’ve seen one once. Beautiful dogs, I agree. I wonder if they are as active and smart as some of the other herding breeds. Sounds like they are maybe (in general) toned down a bit compared to, say, your average border collie.
    Lindsay recently posted..Survey: How to get more pitbulls adoptedMy Profile

  2. Looking at the AKC 2012 list of breed rankings, the Briard is at 122 out of 175. So quite a rare breed, indeed. My breed of choice, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is at 75 and you still don’t see too many of them, even at agility trials! Jimmy is often the only CWC competing. I think in the 9 years I have been going to agility trials, I’ve only seen a Briard once.
    Taryn recently posted..Water Went Winging on Wilson’s Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  3. When mom first moved to Germany she had some neighbor friends that had 2 Briards and they were really fun. They were also search and rescue dogs. I saw the video of Norman on the bike and told mom not to get any ideas!
    emma recently posted..Making The Move | GBGVMy Profile

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