Briard

Underneath the Briard’s long, shaggy coat lies a bold spirit and keen intelligence. True to his French roots, he can be aloof with strangers, but is affectionate and loving toward members of his pack. Bred as a herding and guard dog to protect flocks and fight off predators, he was adopted as a working dog during World War I and used by troops as sentries, ammunition carriers, messengers, and medic dogs. Today, the Briard enjoys the life of a companion dog, but he shows his versatility and working nature with his great successes in obedience, agility, conformation, herding, carting, and tracking competitions.

See below for complete Briard characteristics!

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Adoption
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Housetraining Puppies
Feeding a Puppy
Dog games
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Breed Characteristics:

Adaptability
Adapts Well to Apartment Living3More info +

Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn't necessarily an apartment dog make — plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents, are all good qualities in an apartment dog.

See Dogs Not Well Suited to Apartment Living

Good For Novice Owners3More info +

Some dogs are simply easier than others: they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They're also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies. Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time owner to manage. You'll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.

See Dogs That Are Good For Experienced Owners

Sensitivity Level4More info +

Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," and even "thick-skinned," can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.

See Dogs That Have Low Sensitivity Levels

Tolerates Being Alone3More info +

Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive, barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.

See Dogs Poorly Suited To Be Alone

Tolerates Cold Weather4More info +

Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.

See Dogs Poorly Suited For Cold Weather

Tolerates Hot Weather3More info +

Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can't pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, the dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you'll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.

See Dogs Poorly Suited For Hot Weather

All Around Friendliness
Affectionate with Family4More info +

Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they've been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn't the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.

See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family

Incredibly Kid Friendly Dogs5More info +

Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who's on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (aka pit bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren't so family-friendly.

**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they're not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.

See Dogs Not Kid Friendly

Dog Friendly5More info +

Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs even if they're love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn't the only factor; dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least 6 to 8 weeks of age, and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.

See Dogs That Are Not Dog Friendly

Friendly Toward Strangers2More info +

Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with a wagging tail and a nuzzle; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult.

See Dogs That Are More Shy

Health Grooming
Amount Of Shedding1More info +

If you're going to share your home with a dog, you'll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds: Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally -- produce a snowstorm of loose hair -- some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you're a neatnik you'll need to either pick a low-shedding breed, or relax your standards.

See Dogs That Shed Very Little

Drooling Potential1More info +

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you're a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.

See Dogs That Are Not Big Droolers

Easy To Groom1More info +

Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog that needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.

See Dogs That Require More Grooming

General Health3More info +

Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they're at an increased risk. If you're buying a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in, so you can ask the breeder about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives.

See Dogs More Prone To Health Problems

Potential For Weight Gain3More info +

Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that's prone to packing on pounds, you'll need to limit treats, make sure he gets enough exercise, and measure out his daily kibble in regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.

Size4More info +

Dogs come in all sizes, from the world's smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if he is compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right large dog for you!

See Medium Dogs

See Small Dogs

Trainability
Easy To Train4More info +

Easy to train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word "sit"), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training. Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a "What's in it for me?" attitude, in which case you'll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.

See Dogs That Are Challenging To Train

Intelligence4More info +

Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don't get the mental stimulation they need, they'll make their own work -- usually with projects you won't like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

See Dogs That Have Low Intelligence

Potential For Mouthiness2More info +

Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a chew toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Prey Drive3More info +

Dogs that were bred to hunt, such as terriers, have an inborn desire to chase and sometimes kill other animals. Anything whizzing by — cats, squirrels, perhaps even cars — can trigger that instinct. Dogs that like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won't chase, but you'll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.

See Dogs That Have Low Prey Drive

Tendency To Bark Or Howl4More info +

Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how the dog vocalizes — with barks or howls — and how often. If you're considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you're considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious "strangers" put him on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby?

See Dogs That Are Mostly Quiet

Wanderlust Potential5More info +

Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they'll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses, or that bunny that just ran across the path, even if it means leaving you behind.

See Dogs Less Prone To Wander

Exercise Needs
Energy Level4More info +

High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells. Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you'll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.

See Dogs That Have Low Energy

Intensity4More info +

A vigorous dog may or may not be high-energy, but everything he does, he does with vigor: he strains on the leash (until you train him not to), tries to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who's elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.

See Dogs With Low Intensity

Exercise Needs4More info +

Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise -- especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting. Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.

See Dogs That Don't Need Tons of Exercise

Potential For Playfulness4More info +

Some dogs are perpetual puppies -- always begging for a game -- while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.

See Dogs That Are Less Playfull

Vital Stats:

Dog Breed Group: Herding Dogs
Height: 1 foot, 10 inches to 2 feet, 3 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 70 to 100 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 12 years
  • Often called "a heart wrapped in fur," the Briard makes a great family dog. He is devoted to his owner, happiest following you around the house while you do chores or watching you watch television on a rainy day.

    The Briard is an ideal companion for someone who wants a lovable, but not overly dependent, dog. A member of the Herding Group, he weighs in at around 75 pounds and lives comfortably in the country or city — as long as he's with his family and gets sufficient exercise.

    The Briard is an intelligent breed and a quick study when it comes to training, though he can be stubborn and want to do things his own way. Owners must be prepared to establish pack leadership from an early age or the dog is likely to take a shot at the role himself.

    With a strong instinct to herd, it's not unusual for him to try to gather or keep the children or adults in his family within certain boundaries. He may nudge, push, or bark at his "flock."

    The Briard's wariness of strangers makes him an excellent guard dog, and he's forever ready to defend his family and territory if he perceives danger. With the proper training and socialization, however, you can encourage him to be more accepting of outsiders. A Briard puppy should be introduced to many new and different people, places, and situations during the first year of his life. These early experiences help ensure you have an adult Briard with a positive outlook on life.

    There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, the Briard does extremely well with children. If you're bringing a Briard pup —  or any dog — into a house with kids, it's important to teach both how to interact with each other. If you do not have children, but plan on doing so in the next few years, it's essential that you socialize your puppy to children.

  • Highlights

    • The Briard needs daily grooming. Although his coat is considered low- to non-shedding, it tangles and matts easily. If you do not have the time or patience for grooming, consider another breed.
    • The Briard is naturally independent, which is a wonderful quality if your puppy has been trained properly. However, without training, that independent, confident puppy can turn into an unmanageable adult.
    • The Briard must be socialized early to avoid aggression toward people or animals he doesn't know. Briards were bred to be guard dogs and still take this role seriously.
    • The Briard enjoys being with his owner. He does best when he is allowed to hang out with the people he loves.
    • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
  • History

    The Briard originated in France and can be dated back to the 8th century. He was known as the Chien Berger De Brie, which is believed to be derived from his place of origin, the region of Brie (although the Briard was found in many parts of France).

    A more romantic explanation exists as well — that is, the name is a distortion of Chien d'Aubry. A 14th century legend claims that Aubry de Montdidier, a courtier of King Charles V, built a cathedral in memory of a valiant Briard who saved his son's life.

    Regardless of the origin of the name, the Briard can be linked back to the Emperor Charlemagne through his depiction in early tapestries. The Briard has also been linked to Napoleon and was the official breed of the French Army.

    It is believed that Thomas Jefferson imported the first Briards to the United States, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1928. Surprisingly, the Briard was not introduced to the United Kingdom until the late 1960s.

  • Size

    Males stand 23 to 27 inches tall and females stand 22 to 25.5 inches tall. Most Briards weigh between 70 and 90 pounds, though some males can reach 100 pounds.

  • Personality

    The typical Briard is brave, loyal, and intelligent. He is good-natured and loving with his family, and thrives on participating in family activities. In spite of his large size, he is essentially a housedog. He doesn't belong in the backyard by himself, but curled up next to you while you sip mint tea.

    A protective guardian, the Briard can be aloof with strangers. He also can be stubborn and willful, but with plenty of encouragement and positive reinforcement, he can be persuaded to come around on both counts.

    Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner.

    Always meet at least one of the parents —  usually the mother is the one who's available — to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.

    Like any dog, the Briard can become timid if he is not properly socialized — exposed to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences —  when he is young. Primary socialization should be with people outside the household. Socialization helps ensure that your Briard puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

    Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

  • Health

    Briards are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Not all Briards will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.

    If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.

    In Briards, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia (with a score of fair or better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand's disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that eyes are normal. You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site (offa.org).

    • Hip Dysplasia: This is an inherited condition in which the thighbone doesn't fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but others don't display outward signs of discomfort. (X-ray screening is the most certain way to diagnose the problem.) Either way, arthritis can develop as the dog ages. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred — so if you're buying a puppy, ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are free of problems.
    • Elbow Dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, this is also a degenerative disease. It's believed to be caused by abnormal growth and development, which results in a malformed and weakned joint. The disease varies in severity: the dog could simpy develop arthritis, or he could become lame. Treatment includes surgery, weight management, medical management, and anti-inflammatory medication.
    • Congenital Stationary Night Blindness (CSNB): CNSB affects dogs in varying degrees. It can be as slight as difficulty moving in poor light to total blindness in a dim light; it can also mean complete blindness in any light. Research is underway for genetic testing.
    • Hypothyroidism: This is a disorder of the thyroid gland. It's thought to be responsible for conditions such as epilepsy, alopecia (hair loss), obesity, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma ,and other skin conditions. It is treated with medication and diet.
    • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a family of eye diseases that involves the gradual deterioration of the retina. Early in the disease, affected dogs become night-blind; they lose sight during the day as the disease progresses. Many affected dogs adapt well to their limited or lost vision, as long as their surroundings remain the same.
    • Von Willebrand's Disease: Found in both dogs and humans, this is a blood disorder that affects the clotting process. An affected dog will have symptoms such as nosebleeds, bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding from surgery, prolonged bleeding during heat cycles or after whelping, and occasionally blood in the stool. This disorder is usually diagnosed between three and five years of age, and it can't be cured. However, it can be managed with treatments that include cauterizing or suturing injuries, transfusions before surgery, and avoidance of specific medications.
    • Cancer: Symptoms of canine cancer include abnormal swelling of a sore or bump, sores that do not heal, bleeding from any body opening, and difficulty with breathing or elimination. Treatments for cancer include chemotherapy, surgery, and medications.
    • Gastric Torsion: Also called bloat, this is a life-threatening condition that can affect large, deep-chested dogs such as Briards. This is especially true if they are fed one large meal a day, eat rapidly, drink large volumes of water after eating, and exercise vigorously after eating. Bloat is more common among older dogs. GDV occurs when the stomach is distended with gas or air and then twists (torsion). The dog is unable to belch or vomit to rid himself of the excess air in the stomach, and the normal return of blood to the heart is impeded. Blood pressure drops and the dog goes into shock. Without immediate medical attention, the dog can die. Suspect bloat if your dog has a distended abdomen and is salivating excessively and retching without throwing up. He also may be restless, depressed, lethargic, and weak, with a rapid heart rate. It's important to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible if you see these signs.
  • Care

    The Briard can adapt to city or country life. He is a fairly calm breed when inside, but he does need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily. Without enough activity, the Briard can become bored, paving the way for annoying or destructive behaviors like barking, digging, chasing, and chewing. Dog sports, especially herding trials, are a good outlet for his energy and hone his natural herding ability.

    The Briard puppy must learn who the pack leader is or he'll try to assume the position; therefore, training should start as soon as the Briard puppy comes home. This doesn't mean he should know advanced commands by 9 weeks of age, but he should be learning proper manners and rules of the house right away.

    Crate training can be an important aid — it helps with housetraining and keeps your pup safe when you're away — but remember that he should be with the family (not in his crate) when you are at home.

    Because the Briard is naturally suspicious of people outside his "flock," it is important to encourage your Briard puppy to be friendly with strangers. If a Briard is not properly socialized and trained, it can lead to aggression toward people or animals he considers a threat.

  • Feeding

    Recommended daily amount: 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.

    NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl.

    Keep your Briard in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. If you're unsure whether he's overweight, give him the eye test and the hands-on test.

    First, look down at him. You should be able to see a waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard. If you can't, he needs less food and more exercise.

    For more on feeding your Briard, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog.

  • Coat Color And Grooming

    Although considered a low- to non-shedding breed, the Briard has an outer coat and undercoat. The outer coat is slightly wavy with a coarse texture, about six inches long, while the undercoat is soft and fine. You'll see it in a variety of colors, or combination of colors, including black and shades of gray and tawny.

    Do you have several hours a week you can devote to grooming your Briard? If not, consider another breed. His fabulous coat requires quite a bit of brushing, combing, and fussing to keep it looking good. A thorough brushing every day is recommended, plus a bath every six to eight weeks. Like all dogs with fluffy coats, the Briard can get dirty easily, so you're in for muddy paws, leaves or burrs tracked into the house, feces on the hindquarters, or a wet and dirty beard.

    If the idea of keeping up with the Briard coat is overwhelming, consider hiring a professional groomer to help. You won't get out of regular brushings between groomings, but bathing and drying the coat is much easier in a salon equipped with waist-high tubs and high velocity dryers. It's especially easy when you're paying someone else to do it!

    Brush your Briard's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

    Trim nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. The Briard usually has rear dewclaws so don't forget to trim these, too.

    Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding — and your dog may not cooperate the next time he sees the nail clippers come out. So, if you're not experienced trimming dog nails, ask a vet or groomer for pointers.

    His ears should be checked weekly for redness or a bad odor, which can indicate an infection. When you check your dog's ears, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to help prevent infections. Don't insert anything into the ear canal; just clean the outer ear.

    Begin accustoming your Briard to being brushed and examined when he's a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he's an adult.

    As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

  • Children And Other Pets

    A loving and playful companion, the Briard makes an excellent family dog. He is protective of the children in his family, and has been known to "defend" them when parents discipline.

    As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party.

    Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

    If the Briard is raised with other dogs and pets, and learns they are members of his pack, he gets along fairly well. However, his prey drive is strong, so training is necessary for him to learn not to chase the family cat or quarrel with your Beagle. Supervision is a good idea, as animals outside his immediate family are likely to trigger his instinct to give chase. Keep him on a leash when you are in public.

  • Rescue Groups

    Briards are often purchased without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one. There are many Briards in need of adoption and or fostering. There are a number of rescues that we have not listed. If you don't see a rescue listed for your area, contact the national breed club or a local breed club and they can point you toward a Briard rescue.

  • Breed Organizations

    Below are breed clubs, organizations, and associations where you can find additional information about the Briard.