The Briard is put in a similar category as the Beauceron, Picardy, and Pyrenean breeds. The commonality between the four breeds is that they are all considered to be French sheepdogs. The Briard has been around longer than any of the other breeds. Dogs that were similar in appearance to this breed are seen in artwork from as far back as the eighth century. Originally, this breed was called the Chien Berger de Brie, or the Shepherd Dog of Brie, due to the thought that it originated in the area of Brie. There are also ideas that this breed is a version of the Chien d’Aubry, which was a dog that was part of a legend involving the avenging of its masters murder. The Briard name came about around 1809. The Briard used its natural instincts on the farm as a herder, but also acted as a guard dog. Its duties as a herder became especially important after the French Revolution since land size decreased and the need to keep a flock nearby was more important. The Briard became a show dog during the early 1900s. This breed was introduced to America very early and there is data that supports the idea that Thomas Jefferson and Lafayette fancied the Briard and brought it to the New World. During World War I, the Briard was the official dog of the French army and after the war some of the soldiers brought these dogs back with them to America. The popularity in Briard has remained in France, but has been moderate overall in America.