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Briard - Temperament & Personality

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015


Affectionate but independent, Briards are an ideal choice for an active family. They have a lot of energy, love activity and are great with children. Briards can romp around all day with kids and are happy to hang out and relax along side mom and dad in the evening. This herding breed is alert and vigilant, making them excellent watchdogs. Their individual personalities can vary from clownish to serious, but they all love they are all people-pleasers with hearts of gold.

Activity Requirements

This sheep herding breed needs lots of physical and mental activity in order to remain happy and healthy. Farms are an ideal environment for them as they take working very seriously and can be counted on to keep flocks in line and to keep predators at bay. Families with large yards to play in are also great homes for Briards, but children should be supervised during playtime, as this breed might take to herding the kids in the yard. Briards herd by headbutting and pushing, so small children could accidentally get hurt by a well-intentioned dog.

Condominiums and apartments are not the ideal living quarters for Briards. They need a lot of space to move around and plenty of room to run, and daily walks won't satisfy their daily activity requirements.


Briards are highly trainable dogs and thrive on mastering new tasks. Training should always be done with a confident but gentle hand, as this breed is highly sensitive and boasts a long memory. A Briard isn't easy to forgive someone who treats him harshly. Establishing leadership should be done as early as possible, because Briards are dominant and will move quickly to take over the role of “pack leader” in the home, unless otherwise put in his place.

This breed is fearless boasts excellent stamina. They can work all day alongside a farmer without losing steam and because of their versatility, trainability and endurance, Troops in WWI used Briards for a variety of tasks including, sentries, messengers and medic dogs.

Behavioral Traits

Brairds can be destructive if not exercised or stimulated enough, and they can make quick work of flowerbeds, furniture or even walls. A strong commitment to a Briard's need for activity can keep houses from being destroyed.

The flock-protecting side of them makes them wary of strangers. This is good from a watchdog perspective, but bad for the neighbor who just wants to stop by and say hello. Early and frequent socialization is important to keep a Briard from becoming aggressive.

While they get along fine with family pets, Briards are often aggressive with other dogs. Again, this is part of their sheep dog heritage. Socialization is important, but new pets probably shouldn't be introduced into a Briard's house.

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