Lee A. Kirklewski
New London,  CT,  USA  

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The Briard...

The Briard:

"The Briard, or Chien Berger de Brie, is an ancient working breed of France whose origin dates back to the eighth century. Early tapestries depict these large shaggy dogs with the Emperor Charlemagne, and Napoleon was also reported to have kept Briards. The Briard has been used since early times as a guardian of the flocks and a herding dog. He has been the official dog of the French army and is somewhat rare today because so many Briards were lost in both world wars. Briards carried supplies to the front lines and served as sentry dogs due to their keen hearing, reputed to be the most acute of any breed. He was used by the medical corps to search for wounded soldiers. Reports stress the amazing ability of the Briard to lead the corpsmen to those soldiers who still had a spark of life in their bodies. It was said that any man the Briard passed by was beyond assistance.

Bravery, loyalty and intelligence form the basic character of the Briard. Herding instincts and well-balanced temperament make him an ideal family dog and guardian of the home. He is never too old to play, and is especially devoted to the children in his family. He has even been known to protect “his” children from parental spankings.

Bred for centuries as a guard and herding dog, the Briard is naturally aloof with strangers. This instinct will have a strong influence on him as an adult dog but you can do much to determine his disposition. To train a dog of an overly-friendly breed as a watch dog, you would have to discourage him from being handled by strangers during his growing-up period. With the Briard, the opposite is true. As a pup, the Briard should be taken with you as often as possible. Encourage people to pet him so he will be become accustomed to strange people and familiar with the outside world. This socialization should begin as soon as you receive your puppy and continue throughout the first year or so of his life. Don’t wait until he is six months old. This important early training will do much to assure you of have a Briard with a good disposition: calm, aloof and dignified. This is very important if you plan to show your Briard. You will not destroy his natural instinct to be a guardian but you will mold him into a dog you will be proud to own.

To develop the many remarkable qualities of the Briard character, his owner must be willing to devote time and affection to the dog’s early training. Each Briard has an individual personality, different from all others. Some love to tease, some are dignified, some are show-offs, some love cats, some enjoy parties, most are clowns, and occasionally one seems to develop the attitude of a reserved philosopher. You may not see these traits in the young puppy, but you may be confident that attention and love will bring unexpected rewards.

Although he has the physique necessary for an outdoor life, the Briard is, at heart, a house dog. He is happiest when he can be at his master’s side, and this devotion should dictate whether he is indoors or out. A companion who loves to heel down a country road, pushing at your knees, then running ahead, checking back constantly, he also has a deep capacity to join in the family rituals, and will follow you from room to room as you go about your business.

The Briard is one of the few dogs that lives life with an air of independence and is apt to look on you more as a companion than a master. Like all companions, there will be times when you will have different opinions. On these occasions, the Briard can be quite stubborn. As a sheepdog, he was relied on to make decisions… and he still does. You cannot successfully convince a Briard of your superiority with a thrashing or harsh treatment any more than you could successfully use such methods with a friend. Consistent, gentle persuasion and praise are advisable, and much more effective. Intelligent and obedient, the Briard learns quickly, has an excellent memory and an ardent desire to please those he loves. He can understand an enormous range of commands (a 200-word vocabulary is not unusual) as well as tonal qualities and body language.

There are many other bonuses with this breed. He is quiet in the house and adapts quickly to its emotional climate. While large, he is agile and active–amazingly fast when he is going places–but has none of the constant motion of smaller breeds or some large breeds. The Briard seems equally at home in the city or the country, providing that he can be with his family. An excellent watch dog without being vicious, nothing gets by him unnoticed. The instinct to protect in time of danger comes naturally. Even then, he is more likely to throw the trespasser off his feet than bite him.

Friends of the Briard call him “a heart wrapped in fur.” His picturesque coat is coarse and strong, a true “goat’s coat.” Dirt and water do not readily cling to it, and if well-groomed it sheds very little. The joy of owning a shaggy companion is diminished if you neglect his coat. You will have to take time for grooming to have an attractive and healthy dog. Expect the minimum time required to be two hours a week and much longer if you have been remiss. The well-groomed Briard is a beautiful animal, and, more important, a comfortable one.

As a sheep-herding dog, the Briard demonstrates an uncanny ability to keep his flock within the unfenced boundaries of his master’s property. This instinct is strong, and the well-raised Briard is not inclined to wander from home. Of course, no dog should be permitted to roam the neighborhood at will, in danger of being hit by a car, poisoned, destroyed as a dangerous animal, or, at the very least, unpopular with the neighbors. A controlled dog is a good neighbor, and not as subject to these dangers.

If you have time and love to give, the Briard puppy will grow up reflecting every minute of kindness you have given and will return it to you many times over."

(Published by: The Briard Club of America)

Briard Herding:

"History- The Briard is an old breed, used for guarding and herding stock in France. This was an “all arounder”, a farm dog that had multiple tasks to accomplish. The Briard was a partner to the shepherd, relying on intelligence and its independent nature to get those tasks done. He was a family dog as well, going home at night to watch over the family and their household.

Briards were used in all types of herding situations, having the ability to learn many commands and fulfill the jobs expected of them. The Briard was most commonly used as a farm dog in the more crowded farming valleys of France, where row crops were grown. Sheep were allowed to graze the grass strips between crops and Briards were responsible for keeping the sheep moving along these strips, and preventing the sheep from eating the crops. The Briard moved the sheep daily from the farm to the graze areas and back again at night. At the farm, the Briard was the shepherd’s partner, helping with livestock chores. The Briard was also used to move large flocks of sheep in areas of France that had wide grazing pastures and mountain pastures in summer. Those flocks were moved on foot, to the grazing areas, much like large sheep ranches do in the western United States and Canada. The Briards were usually worked beside one or two other breeds to keep the sheep from straying and herd the sheep to the proper areas. At night, they were alert and vigilant watchdogs, protecting the shepherds and flock from wolves and thieves.

This was, and is, a versatile worker, powerful and independent. The Chien Berger de Brie–the dog of Charlemagne, Thomas Jefferson and Lafayette–carries forward a long history of herding tradition and accomplishments.

Temperament– The Briard is independent, powerful and intelligent. Briards are eager, very keen to work with stock. The Briard is easily trainable, although can be stubborn, especially when he believes he is right and the handler is wrong. The Briard is willing to give the handler a chance to prove a point, and are agreeable to learning a new way of doing things; however, most maintain an air of independence when doing so.

The Briard requires a good knowledge base and sense of direction from a handler, as most Briards will attempt to control any situation where there is no leader.

Working style– The Briard is a loose-eyed, upright breed with a natural tendency to gather/fetch, bringing the stock to the handler. As they are an upright worker, they prefer to sit or stand rather than lie down while stopping. Some will bump and shoulder stock. Most will turn stock from the head rather than the heels.

They are quiet workers, seldom barking. A novice dog may bark in excitement or frustration, but generally quiets with more experience.

Briards tend to circle and work close to moderately wide when first exposed to stock. Some are a bit aggressive when first seeing stock; most are eager, intense, alert. Briards exhibit a natural “power” and sheep move readily away from them, even if the dog is out of the normal flight zone of the sheep. Cattle are generally wary, ducks will move off to another area. Initially, some may try to nip and scatter stock, but will attempt to keep the stock bunched.

Briards are used in boundary/tending situations, and are quick learners of this technique. In France, patrolling is part of the farm dog’s training if the dog will be working the narrow graze strips between crops. This was a trait selected by French shepherds, thus the ease of Briards to learn this maneuver.

Since Briards are eager and keen, it is advisable to release them from leads as soon as possible. Held back, a frustrated Briard may become over-excited and therefore aggressive, or may “turn-off” stock.

Some may require several exposures to stock to assess instinct.

The Briard is versatile; able to fetch, drive and do the boundary/tending tasks required of him. With proper training, the Briard can work all types of livestock. He is a thinking dog; independent and somewhat methodical. Most importantly, he is the shepherd’s partner, retaining a high degree of herding instinct from his ancestors."

(Published by: The Briard Club of America)

AKC Briard Standard
(​Approved February 8, 1975 / Reformatted January 12, 1992)

General Appearance​:

A dog of handsome form. Vigorous and alert, powerful without coarseness, strong in bone and muscle, exhibiting the strength and agility required of the herding dog. Dogs lacking these qualities, however concealed by the coat, are to be penalized.

Size, Proportions:

Size--males 23 to 27 inches at the withers; bitches 22 to 25.5 inches at the withers. Disqualification--all dogs or bitches under the minimum. Proportions--the Briard is not cobby in build. In males the length of the body, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock, is equal to or slightly more than his height at the withers. The female may be a little longer.


The head of a Briard always gives the impression of length, having sufficient width without being cumbersome. The correct length of a good head, measured from the occiput to the tip of the nose, is about forty (40%) percent of the height of the dog at the withers. There is no objection to a slightly longer head, especially if the animal tends to a longer body line. Viewed from above, from the front or in profile, the fully-coated silhouette gives the impression of two rectangular forms, equal in length but differing in height and width, blending together rather abruptly. The larger rectangle is the skull and the other forms the muzzle. The head joins the neck in a right angle and is held proudly alert. The head is sculptured in clean lines, without jowls or excess flesh on the sides, or under the eyes or temples.

Expression-  the gaze is frank, questioning and confident.

Eyes-  the eyes set well apart with the inner corners and outer corners on the same level. Large, well opened and calm, they must never be narrow or slanted. The color must be black or black-brown with very dark pigmentation of the rim of the eyelids, whatever the color of the coat. Disqualification- yellow eyes or spotted eyes.

Ears-  the ears should be attached high, have thick leather and be firm at the base. Low-set ears cause the head to appear to be too arched. The length of the natural ear should be equal to or slightly less than one-half the length of the head, always straight and covered with long hair. The natural ear must not lie flat against the head and, when alert, the ears are lifted slightly, giving a square look to the top of the skull. The ears when cropped should be carried upright and parallel, emphasizing the parallel lines of the head; when alert, they should face forward, well open with long hair falling over the opening. The cropped ear should be long, broad at the base, tapering gradually to a rounded tip.

Skull- the width of the head, as measured across the skull, is slightly less than the length of the skull from the occiput to the stop. Although not clearly visible on the fully-coated head, the occiput is prominent and the forehead is very slightly rounded.

Muzzle-  the muzzle with mustache and beard is somewhat wide and terminates in a right angle. The muzzle must not be narrow or pointed. Planes--the topline of the muzzle is parallel to the topline of the skull, and the junction of the two forms a well-marked stop, which is midway between the occiput and the tip of the nose, and on a level with the eyes.

Nose-  square rather than round, always black with nostrils well opened. Disqualification- any color other than black.

Lips- the lips are of medium thickness, firm of line and fitted neatly, without folds or flews at the corners. The lips are black.

Bite/Teeth-  strong, white and adapting perfectly in a scissors bite.

Neck, Topline , Body and Tail:

Neck-  strong and well constructed. The neck is in the shape of a truncated cone, clearing the shoulders well. It is strongly muscled and has good length.

Topline-  the Briard is constructed with a very slight incline, downward from the prominent withers to the back which is straight, to the broad loin and the croup which is slightly inclined. The croup is well muscled and slightly sloped to give a well-rounded finish. The topline is strong, never swayed nor roached.

Body-  the chest is broad and deep with moderately curved ribs, egg-shaped in form, the ribs not too rounded. The breastbone is moderately advanced in front, descending smoothly to the level of the elbows and shaped to give good depth to the chest. The abdomen is moderately drawn up but still presents good volume.

Tail-  uncut, well feathered, forming a crook at the extremity, carried low and not deviating to the right or to the left. In repose, the bone of the tail descends to the point of the hock, terminating in the crook, similar in shape to the printed "J" when viewed from the dog's right side. In action, the tail is raised in a harmonious curve, never going above the level of the back, except for the terminal crook. Disqualifications- tail non-existent or cut.


Shoulder blades are long and sloping forming a 45-degree angle with the horizontal, firmly attached by strong muscles and blending smoothly with the withers. Legs the legs are powerfully muscled with strong bone. The forelegs are vertical when viewed from the side except the pasterns are very slightly inclined. Viewed from the front or rear, the legs are straight and parallel to the median line of the body, never turned inward or outward. The distance between the front legs is equal to the distance between the rear legs. The construction of the legs is of utmost importance, determining the dog's ability to work and his resistance to fatigue.

Dewclaws-  dewclaws on the forelegs may or may not be removed.

Feet-  strong and rounded, being slightly oval in shape. The feet travel straight forward in the line of movement. The toes are strong, well arched and compact. The pads are well developed, compact and elastic, covered with strong tissue. The nails are always black and hard.


The hindquarters are powerful, providing flexible, almost tireless movement. The pelvis slopes at a 30-degree angle from the horizontal and forms a right angle with the upper leg bone. Legs viewed from the side, the legs are well angulated with the metatarsus slightly inclined, the hock making an angle of 135 degrees.

Dewclaws-  two dewclaws are required on each rear leg, placed low on the leg, giving a wide base to the foot. Occasionally the nail may break off completely. The dog shall not be penalized for the missing nail so long as the digit itself is present. Ideally the dewclaws form additional functioning toes. Disqualification- anything less than two dewclaws on each rear leg.

Feet-  if the rear toes turn out very slightly when the hocks and metatarsus are parallel, then the position of the feet is correct.


The outer coat is coarse, hard and dry (making a dry rasping sound between the fingers). It lies down flat, falling naturally in long, slightly waving locks, having the sheen of good health. On the shoulders the length of the hair is generally six inches or more. The undercoat is fine and tight on all the body. The head is well covered with hair which lies down, forming a natural part in the center. The eyebrows do not lie flat but, instead, arch up and out in a curve that lightly veils the eyes. The hair is never so abundant that it masks the form of the head or completely covers the eyes.


All uniform colors are permitted except white. The colors are black, various shades of gray and various shades of tawny. The deeper shades of each color are preferred. Combination of two of these colors are permitted, provided there are no marked spots and the transition from one color to another takes place gradually and symmetrically. The only permissible white: white hairs scattered throughout the coat and/or a white spot on the chest not to exceed one inch in diameter at the root of the hair. Disqualification white coat, spotted coat, white spot on chest exceeding one inch in diameter.


The well-constructed Briard is a marvel of supple power. His movement has been described as "quicksilver", permitting him to make abrupt turns, springing starts and sudden stops required of the sheepherding dog. His gait is supple and light, almost like that of a large feline. The gait gives the impression that the dog glides along without touching the ground. Strong, flexible movement is essential to the sheepdog. He is above all a trotter, single-tracking, occasionally galloping and he frequently needs to change his speed to accomplish his work. His conformation is harmoniously balanced and strong to sustain him in the long day's work. Dogs with clumsy or inelegant gait must be penalized.


He is a dog of heart, with spirit and initiative, wise and fearless with no trace of timidity. Intelligent, easily trained, faithful, gentle, and obedient, the Briard possesses an excellent memory and an ardent desire to please his master. He retains a high degree of his ancestral instinct to guard home and master. Although he is reserved with strangers, he is loving and loyal to those he knows. Some will display a certain independence.


•All dogs or bitches under the minimum size limits. 

•Yellow eyes or spotted eyes. 

•Nose any color other than black. 

•Tail non-existent or cut. 

•Less than two dewclaws on each rear leg. 

•White coat. 

•Spotted coat. 

•White spot on chest exceeding one inch in diameter.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY:  Known for a long time as Chiens de Berger français de Plaine (French Lowlands Sheepdog). It was in 1809, in the Abbot Rozier’s “Complete Agricultural Course”, that the name “chien de Brie” appeared for the first time. It was bred and selected for its herd-driving and guarding aptitudes. The French army also used it during the two world wars as, among other activities, sentinel and ambulance dog searching for the wounded in the war fields.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: The Briard is hardy, supple, muscled and well proportioned; lively and alert.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The Briard is of medium build. The length of the body, from the point of shoulder to the point of buttock, should be slightly greater that the height at withers.

The head is long: 2/5th of the height at withers. The width of the skull is slightly less than ½ of the length of the head. The skull and the muzzle are of equal length.

BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT: Balanced temperament, neither aggressive nor timid. The Briard should be steady and fearless.

HEAD: Strong, long, covered with hair forming beard, moustache and eyebrows slightly veiling the eyes. Seen from the side, the lines of the skull and muzzle are parallel.

Skull: Strong, very slightly rounded seen from the side.

Stop: Pronounced; at equal distance from the occiput and the tip of the nose.

Nose : Strong. The nostrils are well open. The nose is always black except in blue dogs which have either a blue or bluish nose. Strong, sufficiently broad and never pointed. 

Nosebridge: Straight.

Lips: Lips are tight fitting

Jaws/Teeth: Strong jaws; white teeth. Scissors bite.

Eyes: Oval. Horizontal, well open, rather large and of dark colour. In blue dogs, paler coloured eyes are permitted. 

Ears: Set on high, not plastered against the head and rather short if left natural. The length of the cartilage of the uncropped ear should be equal to or slightly less than half the length of the head. The ears are always flat and covered with long hair. If cropped, in countries where this practice is not forbidden, they should be carried erect, neither divergent nor convergent.

NECK: Muscled and springing well up from the shoulders

Topline: The back is straight. The loin is short and firm.

Croup: Only slightly sloping, of slightly rounded shape.

CHEST: Wide and long, well let down to the elbows: ribs well sprung.

TAIL: Natural, carried low, it reaches at least the hock joint, without deviation, forming a slight hook like a “J”. In action, the tail may be carried at the highest in prolongation of the topline.

LIMBS: Well muscled with strong bone and upright.

Shoulders: Oblique, well angulated, moderately long, fitting closely to the thoracic wall.

Elbows: In line with the body.

Forearms: Straight and muscled.

Metacarpus( Pastern): Slightly sloping, seen from the side.

Feet: Strong, round and well in axis with the body. The nails are always black (except in blues) and the pads hard. Toes should be well knit and arched.

Upper thighs: Muscled.

Hock joints: Not too low down and well angulated. 

Metatarsus (Rear pasterns): Perfectly vertical, seen from behind.

Feet: Strong, round. The nails are always black (except in blues) and the pads hard. Toes should be well knit.

Dewclaws: By tradition, the shepherds want to keep the double dewclaws. The dewclaws form thumbs, well separated and with nails, relatively close to the foot.

GAIT/MOVEMENT:   Regular, supple, harmonious, in a manner which allows the dog to cover ground and accomplish its work with a minimum of effort and fatigue. The Briard should have a long trot with good reach and good thrust from behind.

HAIR: Goat-like texture, dry, supple, long, with slight undercoat.

COLOUR : Black, fawn, fawn with black overlay (slight to medium) often with mask, grey or blue.
A coat of warm fawn colour may show a lighter colour on the points and on the inclined parts of the body (fawn marked with sandy colour). Black, grey and blue coats can likewise display zones of a lighter shade. All colours may show different degrees of greying.

Males: 62 – 68 cm at the withers

Females: 56 – 64 cm at the withers.

FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

• Severe faults in limbs.

• Overall coat colour too light

• Coat: insufficient length (less than 7cm), hair soft or woolly.

• Aggressive or overly shy.

• Stop absolutely not marked. 

• Nose of colour other than black or blue; presence of pink (unpigmented areas).

• Overshot or undershot with loss of contact of incisors; absence of 2 lower PM4 or absence of 3 teeth or more whichever they are (except for PM1).​

• Eye too light (yellow), wall eye. 

• Ears curling inwards, set on too low beneath eye level, covered with short hair, naturally erect. 

• Tail curled up or carried vertically.

• Single dewclaw or total absence of dewclaws on hindlegs.

• White, brown or mahogany colour; coat of two distinct colours; white blaze, white hairs on the extremities of the limbs, fawn coat with saddle.  

• Size outside the limits of the standard with tolerance of +2cm or -1cm.

• Fraudulent modification of the dog or evidence of such practice by use of substances or surgery.

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
TRANSLATION: Jennifer Mulholland

ORIGIN: France


UTILIZATION: Sheepdog and guard dog

FCI CLASSIFICATION: Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)


FCI Briard Standard
Briard Origin & Purpose

An ancient French herding dog, which was also utilized as a cart dog, war sentinel and medic dog. His abilities at finding wounded soldiers gave rise to the saying that “if a Briard passed a wounded soldier by, he was too near death to save”. The Briard is still employed as a herding dog in his native country today.

General Appearance

A hardy dog, of vigorous movement. The Briard offers an image of great beauty and strength without heaviness or clumsiness. Well supported by powerful and muscular legs, the breed is an alert, supple and well proportioned working dog. Dogs should look masculine and bitches feminine.


The Briard possesses a balanced temperament that is neither aggressive nor timid. He forms a tight bond with his owners and is sometimes aloof with strangers. He has a strong protective instinct towards family and property.


61 cm to 68.5 cm for males. 56 cm to 65 cm for females. The length of the body should be slightly greater (3-5 cm) than the height at the withers. The length of the Briard is measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks. The Briard should not be cobby, nor square. Puppies under the age of one (1) year may be below the minimum. Disqualification for adult males under 61cm or over 68.5cm and for adult bitches under 56cm and over 65cm-measurements taken at the withers.

Coat & Colour

Coat: Texture: Coarse, long and dry; slightly wavy, with a light undercoat. The coat texture is likened to that of a coarse-haired goat’s coat. In the adult Briard the coat should be at least 7 cm in length at the shoulder.
Colour: Permissible colours: Black, tawny, charbonné and grey. 
Uniformity is preferred in all permissible colours. Where there are two or more colours, they must blend so as not to form a demarcation line. In the tawny colours, the colour must be rich, neither pale nor washed out. A black mask may or may not be present. In Charbonné, (a tawny dog with light charcoaling on shoulders, neck and/or back), the charcoaling overlay should not form a heavy mantle of black over tawny and the charcoaling should appear to mix in with the tawny shades. In Greys, the colour may appear as uniform slate grey with black points at the ears, muzzle and tail, or as grey blending through the black coat. A bicolour (or black and tan pattern), a coat where there is a clear demarcation of a heavy black or grey overlaying tawny, is not 
acceptable. It is permissible to have a white spot 2.5 cm or less on the forechest. In blacks there may be scattered white “guard” hairs
scattered throughout the coat. Too many glints of reddish coat in a
black must be faulted. Coats that are extremely washed out as to
appear nearly white are disqualified, as are bi-colours.


The head is comprised of two rectangles, one larger (skull) than 
the other (muzzle). The two rectangles meet in a well defined stop
midway between the occiput and the tip of the nose. The head is
furnished with hair forming a beard, moustache and eyebrows lightly veiling the eyes. The planes of the skull and muzzle must be parallel. The length of the skull and muzzle are approximately the same, so that viewing the head from the side, it appears as two equal length rectangles with one, the muzzle being slightly lower than the rectangle of the skull. The overall length of the head, measured from the occiput to the tip of the nose is approximately 40% of the dog’s height at the withers.  Forehead: Flat, slightly rounded at the edges and broad. Muzzle: Nasal bridges straight and flat. There should be no pendulous flews, nor should the muzzle appear snipey or narrow. Teeth: Teeth strong, white. Scissors bite preferred. Nose: Always square and black; nostrils strong and open. The nose should be large. Eyes: Horizontal, well open, quite large, not slanting, of dark color, with an intelligent and calm expression. The rims of the eyelids, regardless of the colour of the coat should have very black pigmentation. Eyes of any colour other than black or brown are disqualified. Ears: Set high. Must be carried erect, if cropped. If uncropped, rather short and not positioned flat against the head. There is no preference towards cropped or uncropped ears. The length of the uncropped ear must be equal to or slightly less than one half the length of the head, smooth and covered with long hair. When alert the uncropped ears should lift slightly giving a square look to the skull. The cropped ears when alert, tend to move toward each other over the head, 
with the opening facing forward. Ears should be set on the skull above the eyeline. 


Muscular and well clearing the shoulders.


Shoulders are well muscled, legs have strong bone and are vertical. Pasterns are slightly inclined. The shoulder should have a good layback. The ideal is 45 degrees of angulation. Forequarter faults are: legs not vertical, loose shoulders, weakness in pasterns, or straight shoulders. 


Chest: Wide (the width of the hand between the two elbows), deep and well let down to the elbows. The chest is ovate in shape. There should be a forechest present. Dogs with too narrow a chest, lacking depth, lacking a forechest, with ribs too flat or barrel-chested, should be faulted. Back:​ Straight and level. The topline should show no sign of dips nor roaching. Croup: Very slightly rounded and inclined approximately 30 degrees. Croups which are too steep or too straight or those which are definitely higher than the withers must be faulted.
Canadian Kennel Club Official Breed Standard
Group IIV: Herding Dogs- Briards

Hindquarters: The rear thighs should be well muscled, the leg bones strong and parallel. The stifle should be well angulated. The pasterns should be slightly inclined. Hindquarter faults are: lack of stifle angulation, weakness in rear pasterns. Hocks: Well-angled with the leg nearing the vertical below the hock joint. The hock is moderately let down with the upper bone joining the lower in a 135 degree angle. Cowhocks and hocks that turn outward should be faulted. When moving the hock should flex open allowing the toes to point to the rear. Sickle hocks, are a severe fault that contributes to an inelegant gait. Feet: Strong, round in shape. The pads of the feet are rounded and hard. The toes are tightly closed, and slightly arched. The nails are always black. The rear feet may turn out slightly to allow for double dewclaws in action, as long as the hock joint remains vertically straight. Foot faults: long, flat or splayed. Toeing in or out in front. Pads without elasticity or that are flat or soft. Any nail colour other than black is disqualified.  Double Dewclaws: Double dewclaws on both back feet. Each double dewclaw must be made up of two bony parts, one in each toe with a nail (the commonly found existence of more than one nail per toe is permitted). They should be placed as near to the ground as possible, assuring a better setting of the foot. Dewclaws may be side by side, without separation as long as each toe in each dewclaw has a bony part. It is permissible to have a missing nail. As long as there are two proper dewclaws, missing nails should not be penalized. There is no penalty for 
more than two toes in a set of dewclaws. Double dewclaws occasionally appear on the front legs as well. There is no penalty for this. Faults:​ placed too high (mid-way to the hock). Disqualifications: Single dewclaws; Empty dewclaws; No dewclaws. Lack of two bones, one in each double dewclaw, even if nails are present. 

Tail ​

Whole, well furnished with hair, forming a hook (crochet) at the tip. The tip of the tail should meet the point of the hock, not exceeding more than 5 cm beyond. In repose, the tail hangs straight down until it reaches the crook, viewed as the letter “J“ from the right side of the dog. The crook does not deviate side to side, but remains in line with the tail. In action, the tail is not to be carried over the level of the topline. Faults: not reaching the hock, no crochet, tip tightly curled rather than forming a “J” (when viewed from the dog’s right side), carried above the topline. 


A well-built Briard is the image of a powerful dog with a light and supple movement, appearing to glide, moving as if he doesn’t even touch the ground. This movement is known as “quicksilver”. The dog is able to execute sudden turns and stops as a good herding dog must do to accomplish his work. He possesses good reach and drive with legs converging towards a single track as speed increases. The front and rear feet meet, but do not overlap steps at a trotting gait. Faults: Inelegant, clumsy gait. Sickle hocks, hackney fronts. Habitual pacing. 


Any deviation from the stated ideal is a fault. The seriousness of the fault is equal to the degree of deviation from the ideal. 
• Forequarter: legs not vertical, loose shoulders, weakness in 
pasterns, or straight shoulders
• Chest: Dogs with too narrow a chest, lacking depth, lacking a 
forechest, with ribs too flat or barrel-chested, should be faulted
• Croup: Croups which are too steep or too straight or those which
are definitely higher than the withers must be faulted.
• Hindquarter: lack of stifle angulation, weakness in rear pasterns.
• Hocks: Cow-hocks and hocks that turn outward should be faulted. Sickle hocks, are a severe fault that contributes to an
inelegant gait.
• Foot: long, flat or splayed. Toeing in or out in front. Pads without
elasticity or that are flat or soft.

• Dew Claws: placed too high (mid-way to the hock). 
• Tail: not reaching the hock, no crochet, tip tightly curled rather
than forming a “J” (when viewed from the dog’s right side), carried
above the topline.
• Gait: Inelegant, clumsy gait. Sickle hocks, hackney fronts. Habitual pacing.


• Adult males under 61 cm or over 68.5 cm. Adult females under 
56 cm or over 65 cm - measurements taken at the withers.
• Adults with less than 7 cm length of coat at the shoulder.
• White, chestnut, or mahogany brown, and bi-colours. Extremely
washed out tawny as to appear nearly white. Spotted coat. White
blaze. White spot on chest exceeding 2.5 cm in diameter.
• Nose any colour other than black.
• Eye colour other than black or brown.
• Any artifice to make cropped ears stand erect.
• Cut or docked tail. Any trace of an operation to rectify tail carriage.
• Nail colour other than black.
• Single dewclaws; Empty dewclaws; No dewclaws. Lack of two
bones, one in each double dewclaw, even if nails are present. 
photo by: Batwrangler
Sophie, Nicky, China