The Beauceron is a French hunting dog that was bred to track large game animals like stags, bears, and boars. They have also been used as a shepherd for sheep flocks. This is a mid-sized dog that grows to be between 25 and 28 inches tall and they usually weigh between 66 and 85 pounds. Their coat is course, short, and thick. They also have a little fringe of fur near the thighs and under their tail. Their coats are usually dark and range from tan and black merle to solid black.
The natural temperament of this dog is protective and loyal. They work well as a family pet, however, it is a good idea to start with a puppy and raise them around children instead of introducing an adult Beauceron into a family with children. If you have other pets in the house then you will need to train your Beauceron to co-exist with these pets. This breed is territorial so they do not always mesh well with other pets and other dogs.
This is a low maintenance dog breed. They require only minimal brushing and bathing during most of the year. When they start to shed their coats you will need to increase the amount of brushing that you do to keep their coat free of matting. They are an active and agile breed that needs exercise of both their mind and body on a daily basis. To improve their ability to function is a family setting you will need to introduce obedience training and socialization early in their lives. This breed has a few health issues that you will want to watch out for, bloating, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia.
History and Origin of the Beauceron
The Beauceron is still best known in its native France particularly in the plains region, between the Seine and Loir, but can also be found in Belgium, Holland and Germany. It is an old and distinct French breed of herding dog and the largest of the French sheepdogs.
The Beauceron was bred as a general-purpose dog. It has been bred down and selected for a very long time, the Beauceron was used to drive and protect the herd (sheep or cattle), guard the house, and defend the family.
The breed has a history that dates back as far as the sixteenth century. It is also known as Berger de Beauce, Bas Rouge or French Shorthaired Shepherd. While relatively unknown outside of France, the breed is famous within the country.
Beauceron Appearance and Abilities
The Beauceron is an exceptionally athletic and strong breed with a body structure that is similar to that of the Belgian Malinois. It gives an impression of strength, freedom of movement and liveliness.
They look stern and imposing and make a vigilant watchdog. Beaucerons bear a passing resemblance to German Shepherds. As part of their value as watchdogs, they depend on their fairly large, threatening appearance.
It has a distinctive double dewclaw on its hind legs that causes it to have six toes on each rear foot. The ears of this breed are usually cropped and stand erect, and their eyes are dark, chestnut-colored, and possess a solemn, proud expression.
They are used quite successfully in Search and Rescue work, as well as drug dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs.
Temperament and Tendencies of the Beauceron
Beaucerons are noted for their excellent memory and instinct to guard all persons, property and animals of their home. The breed is a brave, faithful and highly intelligent dog. It is friendly, very calm, protective of children, and fearless. It is perfect for both inside and outside the house and can be trained for different activities.
The Beauceron display an extreme sense of loyalty and an eagerness to please their master. They are happiest when they are working or exercising in wide-open spaces.
The breed should appear self-assured. They should never be aggressive, timid, or worried. Although reserved with strangers, the character of the Beauceron should be gentle and courageous. Any display of fear or unjustifiable aggression is not to be tolerated.
Beauceron Training and Care
One of the keys to successfully training a Beauceron is to train it early. Early socialization is required as well. Beaucerons must have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored. They usually express their boredom by barking and destructive chewing. Bored Beaucerons can make a mess of your house and yard.
Beaucerons are prone to bloat; 2 to 3 feedings per day with small portions is best.
The Beauceron’s coat requires little grooming or maintenance. This breed’s coat should be groomed occasionally and given some extra care during shedding season. Beauceron are average shedders.