The Briard Who Avenged His Owner

History – and legend – provides us two theories as to how the Briard got his name (a moniker that came late in the 19th century, possibly even the early 20th century), but the more vivid of the two reads like a novel of murder and vengeance. As the story goes, Aubry de Montdidier, a French attendant to the Royal Court, was murdered in the 14th century in a forest north of Paris known as Bondy. The only witness to the crime was his dog, a French Sheepdog. The dog pursued the murderer, Robert Macaire, with the fervor that only a loyal dog can have, and he caught his man.

Macaire stood trial where it was learned that Macaire had been jealous of Montdidier’s relationship with the King.  For reasons that make little sense to us (this is a legend, after all), the King ordered that the dog and Macaire fight a duel on the Isle de Notre Dame.  Our hero (the dog) won, and Macaire was executed by hanging. The name, “de Brie” comes from the victim’s first name, Aubry,” which it resembles in sound. The dog in the story described by Julius Caesar Scaliger in a letter resembles a Briard. The image seen here is one of two statues depicting the fight erected in the town of Montargis, this one outside the old town hall now known as the museum Giradot.

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