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Briard (brēärdˈ) [key], breed of muscular, wiry working dog whose origins may be traced back to 12th-century France. It stands from 22 to 27 in. (55.9–68.6 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs between 70 and 80 lb (31.8–36.3 kg). Its moderately long, stiff, slightly wavy coat is usually black, tawny, or gray, although any solid color except white is acceptable. Raised for centuries to herd and protect sheep, the Briard has more recently been trained as a police and war dog. It is also kept as a pet. See dog.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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