Beauceron Guide

Herding Dog Breeds

The Beauceron is not a dog of extremes, but is a solid, balanced dog as befitting a true multipurpose dog ready to do a long day's work. Its body is powerful yet agile, its jaws strong, its gait fluid, effortless, and ground covering. The head is not held high when moving, but is lowered to the level of the back, as is typical of herding dogs. Its outer coat is straight, dense, and coarse, of medium length; this, combined with a dense undercoat, offers weather-resistant protection. An unusual trait is the presence of double dewclaws on the hindlegs, which seem to be a French tradition for herding and flock dogs. Although they serve no function, they were perhaps at one time associated with the best herders, and are now a breed trademark.

Beaucerons are uncannily intelligent and adept at any task involving learning, memory, and reasoning. They are courageous and calm, and make reliable, thoughtful guardians. This is an extremely loyal breed that is eager to please its family; however, if not properly trained, the Beauceron can run the family. Beaucerons are patient with children, but can be overwhelming to them or try to herd them. They may be wary of strangers and do not take to unfamiliar dogs. They can get along with other family dogs and pets.

AKC RANKING n/a

FAMILY Herding

AREA OF ORIGIN France

DATE OF ORIGIN 1500s

ORIGINAL FUNCTION Herder, guardian

TODAY'S FUNCTION Herder, guardian, police

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 25.5 - 27.5 Weight: 65 - 85

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 24.5 - 26.5 Weight: 65 - 85

OTHER NAME Berger de Beauce, Bas-Rouge

Energy level High energy

Exercise needs High

Playfullness Moderately playful

Affection level Moderately affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Shy

Friendliness toward other pets Shy

Friendliness toward strangers Shy

Ease of training Hard to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Very protective

Grooming needs Low maintenance

Cold tolerance Medium tolerance

Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

This is a dog with an active mind and athletic body, and it needs mental and physical exercise every day. Without adequate stimulation, the Beauceron can become bored and destructive. Don't get a Beauceron unless you commit to taking time to train and exercise it regularly. It is very much a family dog and should not be relegated to a kennel, although it should spend time outdoors every day. Coat care is minimal, consisting of brushing once a week or so.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: CHD, gastric torsion
• Occasionally seen: none
• Suggested tests: hip
• Life span: 10 - 12 years
The Beauceron is an entirely French breed, dating back as far as the late 1500s. It originated in the plains area surrounding Paris known as La Beauce. The largest of the French sheepdogs, it was used as a general-purpose farm dog, driving and protecting sheep and sometimes, cattle, and guarding its family. In 1863, two types of plains flock-herding and guarding dogs were differentiated: the long-coated Berger de Brie (Briard) and the short-coated Berger de Beauce (Beauceron). The Societe Centrale Canine registered the first Berger de Beauce in 1893, and the first breed club was formed in 1922. Well known as the preferred herding dog in France, the breed remained virtually unknown outside of France. The French army employed Beaucerons as messenger dogs on the front lines during both world wars. The breed's extraordinary ability to follow directions, follow trails, and detect mines still makes them a respected military and police dog. They also serve their families as protection dogs. In the 1960s, a concerted effort was made to preserve the qualities of native French breeds, and since that time, the Beauceron?s popularity in France and elsewhere has grown. In 1980, the Beauceron Club of America formed, and, in 2001, the AKC admitted the Beauceron into the Miscellaneous class. They are making their presence felt by excelling in obedience, tracking, agility, Schuzthund and of course, herding.