There is a rather romantic 14th century tale that states Sir Aubry de Montdidier was murdered with his dog as only witness. The dog followed the murderer relentlessly until the King heard of this matter. To resolve the issue the King ordered a trial by combat, pitting the dog against the alleged murderer. Of course, legend has it the faithful dog won and became known as Aubry’s Dog or ‘Chien de Aubry” which easily becomes ‘Chien de Brie’ through common usage. We will never know what the truth of the matter is, but the Briard has a longstanding history in rural regions of France as a multi-purpose pastoral breed, herding, driving and guarding livestock against theft and predation.
During World War I, they were used as Red Cross dogs, sentry dogs and ammunition carriers, which sadly depleted the population.