The Beauceron dog breed is big, strong, powerful and loyal. Updated 2022.
The Beauceron dog breed comes from the short-haired variety of the French flatland sheepdogs that used to found throughout France. This is a well-built, muscular and solid dog, looking a bit like a cross between a Rottweiler and a German Shepherd. This makes it sound ferocious and maybe aggressive, but in fact the Beauceron has an endearing and gentle personality.
Originally used for herding sheep and cattle, the Beauceron has many traits of the Herding Dog group. They are suspicious of strangers, but not sharp nor intimidated. They will watch how their owners react to a new person or situation, and react in line with the owner's behavior.
But the initial suspicion makes them natural guard dogs, even though they were not used to guard and protect the herd. Even their herding behavior is different from other dogs in the group. The Beauceron does not gather up a flock of sheep the way a Border Collie can, for example. Also, they will herd at a distance, preventing the odd animal from leaving the herd, as opposed to an Australian Cattle dog, which works much closer with the animals.
This is an intelligent and smart breed, keen to please it's owners, but it is relatively slow to mature, not really becoming an adult dog until around 3 years old. This means that training must be extended over a long period of time. The Beauceron is not good for first-time dog owners, as they may not understand and appreciate the intelligence of the breed, and how it may 'take over' if not properly trained.
As young dogs, they are lively and exuberant. They need to be shown that jumping on people (or any other socially unacceptable behavior) is not allowed. This is a sensitive breed, and that means correcting the dog in a gentle but firm manner, with lots of praise for good behavior.
By nature, however, this is a gentle and soft dog breed once they grow up. They bond very strongly with their owners, and become very protective of their home and family.
This is a shepherd dog breed from France, used for herding sheep and cattle to market, not for rounding up flocks in the field. In this role, they herded their flock from a distance, keeping an eye out for any animals trying to leave the group, and also for any threats from wild animals or strangers.
Their intelligence and work ethic makes them very adaptable, and they have excelled in many roles and positions; during the world wars they worked as messengers; delivering urgently needed small supplies such as medicines; detecting landmines; and in search and rescue of injured soldiers. The bravery of the Beauceron is legendary.
This breed has continued to be used in similar roles since the world wars, working as Police dogs and Search and Rescue dogs. After the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, a Beauceron was used extensively in the search and rescue efforts.
Height; 25 to 27 inches (male), and 24 to 26 inches (female).
Weight; 70lbs to 110lbs
Life Span; 10 to 12 years.
As an intelligent breed with a background in herding and guarding, the Beauceron dog breed is not difficult to train, but training needs to be continued over several years, and thereafter good behavior rewarded and bad behavior corrected consistently.
As mentioned, they do not become 'adult' until around 3 years of age, so they an extended puppyhood and 'teenage' phase. This needs to be understood and appreciated when training the dog. The best method seems to be sessions of 5 to 10 minutes repeated 3 times a day, to keep the dog's attention.
This is an imposing and impressive breed. As a watch dog, they may not be quite as alert as some smaller breeds, but their ancestry of herding and protecting sheep and cattle means that they are vigilant, and will bark if they think something is not as it should be.
Once alert to a situation, the Beauceron dog makes a formidable guard dog. First, there is the deterrent effect of a dog this size and bulk. This a BIG dog, with the look of a Rottweiler combined with German Shepherd. At up to 110lbs (nearly 50kg), it looks like the Mike Tyson of the dog world.
The appearance alone of the Beauceron dog is enough to put off most would-be intruders. And if somebody is persistent (or stupid) enough to try to gain entry, this dog will have him on the floor in seconds. His ancestors were expected to take on wolves in defense of the flock; taking down a man is much easier.
This must be one of the best guard dogs in the world, which may seem at odds with it's gentle and endearing behavior within the home and family. But this is a common theme with many big breeds, such as the Irish Wolfhound, labelled "Gentle when stroked, but fierce when provoked".
The Beauceron dog is easy to groom, with its short, dense double coat. The undercoat is fine and soft, great for heat retention. The top coat is coarse and waterproof. This dog sheds a lot, especially during the twice a year BIG shed.
A good thorough brushing once a week is necessary, at a minimum. This will get rid of dead hairs before they get on the furniture!
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The Beauceron is sometimes seen with cropped ears, like a Doberman. This breed naturally has long ears, like a Labrador Retriever. We do NOT agree with ear cropping. This is done purely to give the dog permanently erect ears like a German Shepherd. But it is not natural nor is there any good reason, other than cosmetic. It is painful and disfiguring for the dog, and we condemn it outright.
The Beauceron dog is a generally healthy breed with few issues. However there are a couple of things to be aware of. The National Breed Association recommends the following tests;
There is also an issue with bloat, a sudden and life-threatening condition. The risk of this can be reduced with an anti-gulping bowl.
Beauceron dogs feature in several films, but I could not find a famous Beauceron. If you are aware of any, please let me know, by using the Contact Me link. Thank you!
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