BeauceronHome » Dog Breeds » Beauceron
The Beauceron is a large to giant purebred from France also known as Berger de Beauce (Sheepdog from Beauce), or Bas Rouge (Red Stocking) because of markings on its legs. It does very well in events such as obedience, dog agility, flyball, herding, showmanship and tracking. As a herding dog it is able to deal with large numbers of sheep and has great endurance, able to herd a flock up to 50 miles in one day.
|The Beauceron at A Glance|
|Other names||Berger de Beauce, Bas Rouge, Red Stocking, Beauce Shepherd|
|Average size||Large to giant|
|Average weight||70 to 100 pounds|
|Average height||24 to 28 inches|
|Life span||10 to 12 years|
|Coat type||Harsh, dense, medium, water repellant|
|Color||Black, tan, grey|
|Popularity||Not popular – ranked 147th by the AKC|
|Intelligence||Very intelligent – one of the smartest breeds|
|Tolerance to heat||Moderate – take him out at cooler times of the day during hotter months|
|Tolerance to cold||Very good – able to happily go out in cold weather|
|Shedding||Moderate plus has heavy seasonal shedding twice a year|
|Drooling||Low – not a breed prone to slobber or drool|
|Obesity||Average – not prone but if allowed to over eat and not well exercised it can gain weight|
|Grooming/brushing||Low maintenance – more regular brushing though will help lessen the loose hair|
|Barking||Occasional – expect some barking but it should not be frequent|
|Exercise needs||Very active – needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation|
|Trainability||Moderate to hard – experience is needed as it responds only to good leadership|
|Friendliness||Good with socialization – tends to be more friendly to women than men|
|Good first dog||Moderate – this breed is definitely for experienced owners|
|Good family pet||Very good with socialization|
|Good with children||Very good with socialization|
|Good with other dogs||Moderate – socialization needed along with supervision|
|Good with other pets||Moderate – socialization needed|
|Good with strangers||Moderate to good – socialization is needed as the wariness can turn to suspicion|
|Good apartment dog||Low – too large and needs a yard|
|Handles alone time well||Moderate – okay with short periods but not lone periods|
|Health issues||Somewhat healthy – especially prone to bone and joint issues|
|Medical expenses||$485 a year for basic care and for pet insurance|
|Food expenses||$270 a year for a good quality dry dog food and dog treats|
|Miscellaneous expenses||$245 a year for license, basic training, miscellaneous items and toys|
|Average annual expenses||$1,000|
|Cost to purchase||$1250 to $1500|
|Rescue organizations||Several including the American Beauceron Club Rescue and Save a Rescue|
|Biting Statistics||None reported|
The Beauceron's Beginnings
Despite being named for a region in Northern France, Beauce, the Beauceron could actually be found all over northern France at least from the 1500s onwards. Manuscripts from 1578 mention the breed. An article was written by Abbe Rozier at the start of the 19th century on French herding dogs and in it he talks about a dog called the Berger de Brie and one called Berger de Beauce. Both come from the same or similar ancestors but developed into different breeds. It was used to herd sheep but also to help move cattle and as a guard dog, especially from wolves once common in France.
In 1863 the first Beauceron was shown in a dog show in Paris and in 1897 a shepherd dog club was formed. For a time the dog was aggressive and snappish but further development in the late 1800s made the temperament softer. In the late 18th century a standard for the breed was defined by Paul Megnin a veterinarian, and he also helped set up the first specific breed club, the Club des Amis du Beauceron on 1922. These French dogs remained popular in France but did not take off in other parts of Europe.
New Lease on Life
During the first and second world wars the Beauceron was used by the French army in several roles including supply transport, search dog, messenger, rescue dog, land mine detection and police dog. After the war they continued to be used as both military and police dogs. Sometime during or after the second world war the breed came to the US but it was and still is a rare breed there. The Beauceron Club of America started in 1980 but the AKC did not recognize the breed until 2007. Today it is ranked 147th most popular registered breed by the AKC.
The Dog You See Today
The Beauceron is a large to giant dog weighing 70 to 100 pounds and standing 24 to 28 inches tall. It is a strong athletic dog and has a body that is a little longer than it is tall. The coat is double with hard, dense, medium length water repellant outer and a woolly under. Common colors are black, tan, grey and red. It has double dewclaws on the back legs and a long tail. It also has red stockings on the lower part of its legs, hence the name bas rouge. It has drop ears or half pricked ears set high and they are cropped in places where that is still allowed. The dog has powerful jaws, a muzzle that is broad or narrow and pointed and it has dark brown eyes that are oval shaped.
The Inner Beauceron
This is a very good watchdog, it is alert and will let owners know if someone breaks in. It also has strong protective instincts so if needed it will act to defend you and protect the family. It still makes a good farm and sheep dog but can also be a good companion in the right home. It is an athletic and active dog but is also calm and gentle, intelligent and courageous. It tends to be wary of strangers and needs socialization to make sure that does not turn to aggressive suspicion.Advertisement
It prefers to be with its family inside but it can be left outside as a guard dog. It is a confident, serious but loyal and friendly breed. It needs an active and strong owner who can be the pack leader otherwise it will try to control you all the time. Its herding instincts may lead it to try to herd people sometimes too. Training will be needed to stop it. This breed is a slow one to mature and it is a lot more active indoors too when it is a puppy. Interestingly this dog seems to do better with female people rather than male. It is not a good dog for a first time owner, experience is needed.
Living with a Beauceron
What will training look like?
When it comes to training the Beauceron is not easy even though it is intelligent. For experienced owners it can go a lot smoother, and some can even be eager to learn, but it will still be a gradual process. Keep sessions short and interesting, you will get better results than ones that are too long and boring. Make sure you are clearly the boss, be firm and consistent and once you have established the rules make sure your dog is made to follow them. This breed has a strong temperament and an independent mind so there will be times when it will push back and try to be the dominant one. You have to prepare for that and make sure you do not give in. With the right approach it will become an obedient and well trained dog.
Along with obedience training you also need to make sure that as soon as you have it home you start its socialization. This will help prevent its wariness turning to aggressive suspicion or stop it from becoming overly fearful and it will teach it how to respond appropriately to different places, people, animals, noises and so on.
How active is the Beauceron?
Beauceron are very active dogs, it needs an owner who is active and happy to be so. It can join you for a hike, a jog, running, biking, brisk walks and so on. This is not a breed that will be happy with just a quick walk around the block, it needs a lot more than that. If it does not get enough mental and physical stimulation it will become restless and destructive. Ideally it needs a home with a yard or some land it can play on. It can also be taken to a dog park for some fun games with you and with supervision it can also have the opportunity to socialize with other dogs. This breed needs variety in their mental and physical opportunities, just walking it the same route each day is not enough. It also needs a minimum of an hour of physical exercise a day as well as opportunities for mental challenge as provided with training, or a rotation of certain toys.
Caring for the Beauceron
There is a low level of maintenance when it comes to looking after this breed. It sheds a moderate amount which can become more frequent during seasonal shedding times. Brushing regularly will help take care of some of that loose hair and will keep the coat looking healthy and shiny. You still need to be ready for regular vacuuming and hairs around the home. Bath time should be just when it really needs one to avoid drying out its skin.Advertisement
There are other things that need doing apart from taking care of its coat. Its teeth should be brushed two to three times a week, its ears need a check and a clean once a week and its nails should be clipped when they get too long, if it does not wear them down with its activity. Take care not to clip too low down, there are nerves and blood vessels in them, they are not like ours. If you cut too low you can cause pain and bleeding. If you are unsure have your vet show you how to do it, or have a professional groomer take care of it for you.
Beauceron will need to eat 3 to 5 cups of a good quality dry dog food each day, split into at least two meals. How much exactly can vary depending on how much exercise it gets, its level of metabolism, its build, health and age.
How is the Beauceron with children and other animals?
With socialization and when raised with the children it can be good with them, and will be protective of them. It will need to have firm rules in place so it does not try to dominate or herd them. With its own family though it is affectionate and will happily play just supervise young children as they can get knocked over, and make sure they know not to poke or pull at the dog. With other pets it can learn to accept them when raised with them, but in general is a territorial dog so some do not get on well with others. With strange pets or animals in its yard it will be likely be aggressive. With other dogs it is dominant when it comes to dogs that are same sex as it is, and supervision will be needed in places like dog parks. Socialization for other animals and dogs is essential.
What Might Go Wrong?
This breed should live for between 10 to 12 years but there are some health issues it is prone to especially joint and bone problems. Watch out for things like bloat, hip dysplasia, heart problems and eye problems.
Reports of dogs attacking people and causing bodily harm from over 30 years in both the US and Canada do not mention incidents involving the Beauceron. However it is worth noting this breed is rare and so there is less chance of the few that are in North American being responsible. That does not mean this breed is not capable as it certainly is. It can be aggressive, and its protective nature can become a problem without socialization and training to control it. It is also essential it gets enough mental stimulation and physical exercise. Also keep in mind all dogs can have off days.
Your Pup’s Price Tag
A Beauceron puppy will cost about $1250, as it is rare in the US. That is just for a pet quality dog from a decent breeder. If you want to buy from a top breeder of show quality dogs you are looking at $2000 or more. Even though finding a good breeder may take some time and you may have to be placed on a waiting list this route and wait is much better than using less than savory breeders from places like puppy mills, pet stores and back yard breeders. A cheaper option is to check out rescues and shelters, but again there is less chance of finding a purebred Beauceron waiting to be adopted. If you do, it is more likely to be an adult rather than a puppy. Costs will vary from $50 to $400 and medical procedures will be done and shots kept up to date.Advertisement
Those medical needs if not taken care of by the breeder or shelter will have to be seen to by you. It will need to be examined by a vet, have blood tests done, be dewormed, vaccinated, micro chipped, spayed or neutered. These costs come to about $300. Items it will need include things like collar and leash, a crate, bowls and so on and these will cost another $200.
Annual costs are going to come to a starting figure of $1000. That will include about $270 a year for a good quality dry dog food and dog treats. $485 a year for medical basic care like check ups, tick and flea prevention, shots and then pet insurance. Finally miscellaneous costs of $245 a year for things like a license, basic training, toys and miscellaneous items.
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The Beauceron is a rare breed in the US so finding one from a breeder that is trustworthy may be a challenge and take some time. When you do find one you need to be truly prepared for the needs it has. Do not get this dog if you are not an active person, with dog ownership and training experience. This breed needs attention, mental challenge, socialization and training. When raised well it will be faithful and loyal, affectionate and protective. If it is not raised with care it can become aggressive, hard to control, destructive, fearful and dominant.