French Herding Breeds – Briard and the Beauceron

A trio of attractive Briards watching over their flock. Courtesy Mary Weir


Also known as: Chien Berger de Brie

Origin: France

Height at shoulder: 22–27 inches (56–69 cm)

Weight: 70–90 pounds (32–41 kg)

Coat: Long, shaggy, coarse, slightly wavy; lies flat, parts down the middle

Color: Black gray, tawny

Ears: Natural or cropped

Tail: Long, low set

Chien Berger Brie – Edwin Megargee

Briards have long been regarded as one of the four native breeds that include the Beauceron. History suggests that they were once considered the same breed. The first breed standard, written in 1897, described two different varieties: one with goat-like hair and one with woolly hair.

Berger Beauce / Beauceron


Also known as: Bas Rouge (Red Stocking), Berger de Beauce 

Origin: France

Height at shoulder: 24–27 inches (61–70 cm)

Weight: Up to 110 pounds (50 kg)

Coat: Short and thick

Color: Black or blue merle with rust or tan points

Ears: Folded over, semi-erect or cropped upright

Tail: Long, thick

A harlequin Beauceron. Photo by Margaret Cameron

Trivia: Having double rear dewclaws is a common trait for French herding breeds, though it may be found in other breeds as well. See also Continental Shepherds:

To learn about herding breeds from around the world, their temperaments, working styles and how to train them please refer to the book Stockdog Savvy (Alpine Publications) by Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor and Ty Taylor:

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