Though the Briard for many centuries has been bred for herding, it’s difficult to find a Briard breeder who produces these dogs for their original task. This breed is very versatile. During the First World War, it was used to carry messages and search for wounded soldiers. After the First World War, the Briard dog was on the brink of extinction. It was preserved due to the efforts of the devoted breeders. Nowadays, Briard dogs are used mainly as family companions. Their talents include search and rescue work, police and military work, guarding and watchdogging.
The present-day look of the Briard dog was created by crossbreeding early Briards with the Beauceron and the Barbet. The first Briard breeder was Aubry of Montdidier. Probably, the breed got its name from him. According to another version, the breed was named after a province of Brie (France,) though there are several different versions about the Briard’s place of origin.
The Briard dog got the AKC recognition in 1928. This breed is very rare nowadays, and it’s often difficult to find a Briard breeder in your area. If you are interested in the Briard, you have to contact a breed club and ask for the breeder references. Most Briard breeders have long waiting lists even before the puppies are born. It can guarantee a high quality of purebred puppies. Unfortunately, when any breed becomes popular, puppies of this breed are produced by irresponsible breeders and puppy mills and sold from pet stores. Briard dogs cannot be bought from puppy mills and pet stores, because there is no strong demand for them among impulsive buyers. So, rarity of the breed guarantees preserving the best characteristics of the breed for true breed fanciers.
Briard dogs are usually obtained for their appearance, working abilities, and personality. People who are after a pet of a rare breed know exactly what they want. They don’t buy a dog of a popular breed on impulse, but want to have a dog with the best characteristics of its breed. Every Briard breeder tries to find the best match for every puppy and sells these dogs only to those who are ready for a responsible ownership.