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Beauceron

 Photo of Beauceron
Photo: Courtesy of Meg Purnell-Carpenter

Beauceron Books

Group: Working || Breed Standard

History

The Beauceron is a French shepherd dog dating back to the 1500's, said to be developed solely in that country with no crosses to foreign breeds. Originating in the plains region surrounding Paris known as La Beauce, the Beauceron is also known as Berger de Beauce (Shepherd of the Beauce) and even Bas Rouge (Red Stockings). The Beauceron was used as a livestock herding and guarding dog extensively on farms in France. Most often with sheep, but were also used with cattle. Their ability to follow commands without hesitation was well utilised during both wars in Europe, where the military used them on the front lines to run messages. Beaucerons were also used to pick up trails, detect mines and support commando activity. In recent years the breed has been used as police and military dogs. In 1990 two French Beauceron were imported into the UK. In 1998 a dog from their first litter was the first Beauceron to be exhibited in the UK.

Description

Height: Dogs: 65-70 cms (25½-27½ ins); Bitches: 63-68 cms (25-27 ins).

A large, solid and powerful dog which is bold, fearless and intelligent. They have a strong neck giving proud head carriage, with dropped ears which are flat but not set close to the head. They have a firm body with muscular wide loins and a body slightly longer than their height at the withers. An unusual feature is their rear double dewclaws which are set close to their foot. They carry their tail low and hanging straight with a loose hook at the end. They move with a good reach, displaying strength in an effortless and free extended trot. Their coat is short, rough, thick and course, laying close to the body, and has a short fine, soft and dense undercoat.

Character/Temperament

The Beauceron possesses great balance of character and is the same throughout its life. When it has adopted a master or family, it becomes loyal and will not falter. It is bold and must be able to take responsibility for defending its family and property. Its expressions and imposing size give it the asset to challenge all intruders. It takes on any allotted task very seriously. It will not bark without good reason. It will not tolerate unfair punishment, but against that for reward, a caress is sufficient. It will be a little clumsy in its mark of affection but, in doing so, it will be self controlled with children, suggesting great gentleness. The adult character will depend a great deal upon its period of training/education which, importantly should last until ten months of age. It must be stressed that the Beauceron is not a dog for everyone and may not suitable for a first time dog owner. The Beauceron needs a disciplined master who can take the time, and who has the patience required to train such a dog. If not properly handled a Beauceron can become quite assertive. A well behaved adult Beauceron is not overly hyper, however up until they are two to three years of age they can be extremely active and will require a great deal of exercise. The Beauceron does not fare well as a kennel dog, or in an apartment. They should not be left alone for long periods of time, as they often suffer from separation anxiety. Despite their foreboding appearance, Beaucerons are tolerant by nature and do well in family situations. The breed will not usually tolerate harsh physical treatment from adults. Dogs that have grown up with children are very gentle with them.

Breed Health

As with most herding breeds, Hip Dysplasia must be watched out for.

Breed Care

With their short coat the Beauceron does not require a lot of grooming, but a brush about once a week will keep his coat in good condition.

Exercise

With a high drive, performance attitude and seemingly endless energy this breed is at its happiest when working and requires a great deal of exercise.

Training

Highly intelligent, with an extreme sense of loyalty and an eagerness to please, the Beauceron is easy to train, and has a strong ability to follow commands without hesitation, quickly understanding commands and desires. They are very sensitive to moods, to the point that many owners believe there is a psychic bond between them and their Beauceron. But in order for the Beauceron to be well behaved and not become assertive, correct handling, training and socialising from an early age is a must for these powerful dogs. Despite their powerful appearance, the Beauceron does not tolerate harsh treatment, and responds well to training by reward and not punishment. Being herding dogs they instinctively herd livestock, but will also guard their territory. See our books on training


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Last link added: 03 Apr, 2007