Information, Behavior and Training
Among the vast constellation of dog breeds, you won't come across the Beauceron dog easily. But while relatively unknown outside of its country of origin, this French breed is quite old.
This solid, balanced dog has a history of herding sheep and still remains the breed of choice for this task among the Frenchmen.
But if you are looking for a Beauceron puppy, you will need to keep in mind that this breed has numerous needs, including eagerness to work.
Whether you are thinking about buying a puppy or adopting an adult dog and want to know if this is the right breed for you or just want to learn more about this breed, I hope this article will help you find the answers to your questions.
Beauceron Breed Information and History
Also known as French Shorthaired Shepherd, Beauce Shepherd, Berger de Beauce and Bas Rouge, the Beauceron dog breed was developed in the late 1500s in the plains of Northern France.
This breed resembles the Doberman Pinscher, and for a good reason; indeed, the Beauceron is believed to be one of its ancestors. Interestingly, this breed is also related to the Briard, a long-haired sheep dog. At first glance, these two breeds don't seem to have much in common. But at a second glance, you'll notice that both breeds share the trait of having double dewclaws in the rear legs.
The main function of this versatile breed was to herd sheep and cattle but it was not unusual to also see a Beauceron dog used as a deterrent for wolves. Other important roles this multi-purpose dog fulfilled included being used as a messenger dog, rescue dog, supply transport dog and land mine detection dog for the military during the war. Nowadays, Beaucerons are still used as herding dogs, guardian dogs, police and military dogs and loyal companions.
Among its famous owners was the French writer Colette who nicknamed this breed "the country gentleman".
The Beauceron breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2007 and was categorized under the herding group.
Overall, the Beauceron is a solid dog that gives the impression of great strength, endurance and agility. Despite this breed's past as a herding dog, it retains a harmoniously built body without any signs of bulkiness or clumsiness.
Male dogs in this breed are larger and have heavier bones compared to females. The neck, which harmoniously blends in with the shoulders, is carried proudly when the dog is alert. The deep and wide chest leads to moderately curved ribs and straight back. The strong tail is carried down but can be carried higher when the dog is alert or in action.
The forequarters play a fundamental role in the Beauceron dog breed because they are related to this dog's working ability. The front legs are straight and boast muscular forearms. The hind legs are very powerful, granting almost tireless action. The feet are round and large, with firm pads. The rear feet have double dewclaws.
The head of the Beauceron dog is well-proportioned, long and boasts harmonious lines. The eyes are oval in shape and, normally, dark brown. Walleye is acceptable in the Harlequin colored dog. The ears are set high and can be either cropped or left natural. The nose is always black. The strong, white teeth meet together in a scissor bite.
This breed has a double coat, with a coarse, dense, outer coat and a short, downy undercoat. Accepted coat colors are black and tan, and Harlequin, which is a combination of gray, black and tan. Any other coat colors are considered a disqualification.
|Male||25.5 to 27.5 inches||up to 110 pounds|
|Female||24 to 26.5 inches||up to 110 pounds|
According to the breed standard, this self-assured fellow is a serious dog that shouldn't be mean, timid or worried. His stern appearance is a reflection of his aloofness with strangers. Early puppy socialization is crucial to prevent this breed's discriminating, reserved nature from transforming into shyness, spookiness or aggression.
Beaucerons are very protective and make excellent guard dogs. They also have a strong herding instinct and may try to herd everyone in sight, including humans, by nipping at heels.
Most Beaucerons are not very tolerant of other dogs, especially when they come near what he perceives as his property. Some are also intolerant of dogs of the same sex. Cats and small critters will trigger this breed's prey drive. However, the Beauceron may be more accepting of other dogs and animals if he was raised with them from an early age.
The Beauceron dog is generally good with older children, especially when socialized and raised with them from a young age. Small children, especially the most boisterous ones, may trigger this breed's herding instincts. As with other types of dogs, no Beauceron should be left unsupervised with small children.
Beauceron training is fairly easy. This versatile breed is eager to work and excels in obedience training. While these dogs can learn a great deal, they do have a stubborn streak that may add some challenges.
Best Owner and Living Conditions
If a Beauceron dog could talk, he would ask for an experienced owner capable of providing him with enough exercise and mental stimulation. As mentioned, this is a working dog eager to have a job and get it done. The best owner is an active, outdoorsy person willing to provide outlets for this breed's vigorous exercise requirements. Couch potatoes should look for a different breed!
Beaucerons need plenty of room to romp around and explore. A home with some acreage, or better yet a farm with a flock of sheep, is heaven on earth for this breed. This is definitively not an apartment dog that can be left home alone during your work hours.
Activity and Exercise
Left unemployed and with nothing to do, this breed will find its own forms of entertainment. If you leave him in the yard all day, he will start an excavation project or entertain your neighbors with some barking concerts. If you leave him home alone for a long time, he will redecorate your home with some artistic chew marks.
This is a breed that thrives on loads of exercise and mental stimulation. A simple walk around the block won't be enough for this breed. Luckily, there are many ways you can channel this dog's energy in a positive way. Herding, advanced obedience, dog agility trials, search and rescue and Schutzhund are just a few of the many activities this breed may enjoy.
At a minimum, a Beauceron dog will need to be taken on several long walks every day.
Because this French Shepherd dog is an average shedder and it does not have a high-maintenance coat, you will not have to dedicate much time to grooming. Brush once or twice a week, more often during the shedding season. Bathe only when absolutely necessary.
Beaucerons are fairly healthy. However, some specimens are prone to bloat and, similar to other large dogs, this breed may be predisposed to hip dysplasia. Fortunately, reputable Beauceron breeders will breed only specimens that have good hips.
Even healthy dogs get sick. While many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, there are many others that you may handle on your own. Learn how to save time and money (and how to prevent small problems from becoming big problems) by diagnosing and treating dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.
The average life expectancy for a healthy Beauceron dog is between 10 and 12 years.
If you are looking for Beauceron puppies, keep in mind that they are not very easy to find. The few breeders abroad may need to put you on a waiting list and you may need to pay a premium. However, if you are an experienced owner looking for a rugged dog that looks like a Shepherd and Doberman cross or a vigilant watch dog, a Beauceron dog may then be worth every penny.
Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?
If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Beauceron rescue and adoption center. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.
You may also wish to explore the following articles:
Want to learn more?
Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this Beauceron Behavior and Obedience Training Guide.
Find this article interesting? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments, and as always, your +1's, Shares, Facebook likes and retweets are appreciated.
Search this site or click here to search the Web