This very old breed descends from the same Persian dog as the Beauceron, with whom it is closely related. It was obtained through crossbreedings with the Deerhound, Barbet and Griffon. The name of the breed was established at the first canine show in Paris, 1883.
It is a large-sized, strong, brawny, shapely dog, with an elastic walk. The head is pretty wide, covered with long, rich hair, forming a beard and ending in a black, square nose. The eyes are round, wide, big, black, set horizontally and covered by the hair from the forehead and eyebrows. It has medium-sized ears, naturally drooping or cropped to stay erect. The tail is long to the hock, bushy and with a bent tip and carried low. The hair is 5-7 cm long, wiry and slightly wavy. It can have any colour except white, but more often it is black.
It is a dynamic, agile, very resistant dog that can walk 70-80 km every day without looking tired, being an exquisite runner. It is loyal, a little dominant, intelligent and obedient. It is less aggressive than the Beauceron and very attached to its master. If trained and socialized, it will get along with any other pet. It can be aggressive with other dogs and strangers are cautiously analyzed. It doesn't like to be teased.
It needs weekly brushing to keep the fur nice and healthy. Excess hair in the ears and between the footpads must be removed.
It's not a pretentious dog. It is resistant to bad weather. It needs moderate activity and an active master. It needs socialization, training and exercise.
It needs a firm, consistent training, done by a person with a lot of patience, without a harsh attitude, or else the wanted results will not be obtained. Without proper training, it is an aggressive or withdrawn dog.
It is an excellent dog for driven and guarding herds, being able to manage a herd of 600-700 goats without man's intervention. It can become a pleasant companion dog on condition it has the possibility of exercising and of having the necessary living conditions.