The Briard breed is named after the French region of Brie near Paris and was developed as a herding and guard dog.
The Briard is a large shaggy dog with a long coat of at least 7cm in length. Often described as goat-like, the hair has a dry harsh texture and is slightly wavy. The dog has a distinctive beard and the long hair which obscures the eyes is often pinned up in a pony tail. The fine undercoat provides the breed with excellent insulation against the cold and harsh climates, common to the regions they once worked in.
A distinctive Briard characteristic is the double dew claws. Although the extra claw is of no real use to the dog, it is part of the purebred standard. Dogs born without the double claw are not shown in exhibition, but are sold as pets.
Briards appear in black, grey or many variations of fawn.
Briards live for an average of 12 -14 years.