The Beauceron is an uncommon breed with a very loyal following. These majestic and proud dogs are originally French herding dogs but are now guard dogs and family pets. Reserved with strangers, the Beauceron is loving and faithful to his family.
History and Origin
The Beauceron originated in France as a herding dog. It is an old breed with a long history and has been used for centuries to guard and herd flocks of sheep. In the mid 1800s, there were two primary types of dogs used for guarding and herding. These were differentiated into a breed with a longer coat and one with a shorter coat. The longer coated dog became the Briard (Berger de Brie). The dog with the shorter coat became known as the Beauceron (Berger de Beuce). By 1889, the Beauceron was given its official name and a breed standard was finalized.
Today, the Beauceron is still used as a guard dog and herder in many parts of France and is now becoming more popular outside its native country.
The Beauceron became eligible for American Kennel Club registration on March 1, 2007 and may compete in the Herding Group at shows held on and after June 27, 2007
Appearance and Size
The Beauceron is a large muscular dog that has a sturdy and powerful appearance. The head is long with a black nose and the eyes are large, oval shape and chestnut brown. The ears of the Beauceron are often cropped but natural ears are accepted. Natural ears are lifted slightly and do not lie flat on the head. The chest is deep and wide and the tail is long and carried down with a slight J hook at the end. There should be double dewclaws on the rear paws.
The coat of the Beauceron is straight, relatively short and coarse with some fringe. The breed has a thick undercoat that offers some weather resistance. The primary coat colors are black and tan and black, grey and tan.
The adult Beauceron stands around 24 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 100 to 120 pounds.
The Beauceron is a spirited and courageous dog with a natural herding instinct. This breed is very intelligent and loyal but somewhat reserved around strangers. The Beauceron can be independent and excels as a guard dog. Some can be aggressive toward strangers or other animals if not properly socialized as a puppy.
Home and Family Relations
Gentle and loyal to his family, the Beauceron is a good choice for active families with older children if raised with them. Some can become overly protective of their families and not too tolerant of strangers. They get along with other dogs if raised with them but has a tendency to be territorial and potentially aggressive toward intruders.
As a large energetic dog, the Beauceron requires plenty of exercise. They do best in a large fenced yard but can live in an apartment if taken on several walks a day.
The Beauceron is an intelligent dog that is easily trained in obedience and even agility but does require a firm but kind and patient handler. When properly trained they follow their masters like a shadow. They are natural born watch dogs and have excelled in tracking, herding, guarding, and police and military work.
The Beauceron does not enjoy being left alone for long periods of time and may become destructive. Some can be highly territorial and protective of his home and family. This may cause a problem when stranger or other animals approach. The Beauceron should not be allowed to roam off leash.
Common Diseases and Disorders
The Beauceron is a hardy breed that has few known diseases. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:
Gastric torsion (bloat) is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.
Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.
Progressive retinal atrophy is a disease that causes nerve cells at the back of the eye to degenerate. The condition usually begins in older pets and can lead to blindness.
Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.
Ectropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes eversion of the eyelid margin. It most commonly affects the lower central eyelid.