The Beauceron, pronounced as the Bo-Sur-Ahn, is a relatively rare dog breed in the United States, but in France, it’s country of origin, it is a beloved sheepdog. Records of the dog breed can be traced back to the Renaissance period around 1578. Let us study the origins, characteristics, temperament, and other facts about the Beauceron.
Cool facts about the Beauceron
- The Shepherd Dog Club, founded in 1897 has a mention of the Beauceron although the breed may have been developed in as early as the 1500s.
- These dogs were commonly employed as messengers during the Second World War.
- Their distinguishing feature includes six toes on each hind paws.
- Originally developed for hunting wild boars, the Beauceron was also employed later as a sheepdog. Today though, it is mostly a house pet.
- The Beauceron is also known by several other names like Berger de Beauce, or Bas Rouge, and Beauce sheepdog. Bas rouge means ‘red stocking’ referring to the red, tan markings on the breed’s legs.
The Beauceron is often compared to the Doberman. Both breeds have black coats with tan markings. They have a long head with a domed skull. Both breeds also have a black nose and dark eyes in accordance with the coat color. Ears, if not cropped, are naturally folded down. They have a moderately long neck and long, muscular body. Hind legs have double dewclaws. Their tail is long and that is the main difference between the Beauceron and the Doberman that usually have short, docked tails.
Beauceron’s coat is smooth, black, and with fringes on the tail and legs. Standard coat colors are black, black and tan, fawn, fawn with dark tips, grey, and grey with black spots.
Beauceron size – Male dogs measure about 28 inches while bitches are around 25.5 inches. The weight is in the range of 66-85 lb.
This is an intelligent, attractive dog breed that loves to work. They come from a long history of herding, so they need plenty of activity but are also protective and loyal to their families as they are to their flock. Their strong herding instincts often make them herd small children and animals.
Beauceron is a strong-willed dog that needs a firm, experienced owner, early socialization, and consistent training. They are confident dogs that are also smart and known to guard their humans and territory fiercely. Though self-assured, a well-trained Beauceron will not be aggressive. Aggression in dogs can be due to several factors, mainly from poor-breeding and puppy mills. Early training, socialization, and responsible dog ownership can all prevent these issues.
Beauceron are mostly wary around strangers and other dogs. So while your pet is still a puppy, you may want to socialize him to other animals and humans. Dogs that grow up around young children are usually good with them but you must still supervise these interactions. Beauceron will not take too kindly to ear-pulling, aggression, or noise from kids, so it is best to teach children to give space to your pet. Beauceron generally makes better pets for families with older, grown-up kids.
Beauceron get attached to their owners and love spending time with them, indoors and outdoors. Your Beauceron will be a great exercise partner and he is certainly not a couch potato. So make sure you get him out and about at least twice a day. Beauceron do well in apartments as well as a home with a fenced yard. These active, energetic dogs need to expend energy else they can get bored and destructive. Always take your dog out on a leash; their strong herding skills can kick in anytime they see small animals or objects moving.
Training a Beauceron
Being rather intelligent, the Beauceron is easy to train. However, training should begin early on, while your pet is still a puppy. Start with house training and crate training. A crate provides a secure home for the pet to sleep in. Dogs almost never soil their sleeping quarters as long as the crate is of a comfortable size. In the first few months, you must take your pet out several times for bathroom breaks. This way, you can prevent household accidents.
As your Beauceron grows, teach him basic commands like come, sit, stay etc. Consistent training will yield results provided you keep things positive. Reward good behavior with tons of praise and treats and soon your pet will behave the way you want him to.
Beauceron have a hard outer coat and wooly undercoat that hardly needs any grooming. Still, occasional brushing will help prevent parasites and also benefit your rugs and furniture during the annual shedding season. They are average shedders and blow their coat annually during spring and fall. Bathe them every 2 months or as needed. Clean their ears, trim their nails and brush their teeth as the situation demands.
Where to find a Beauceron
Start by looking for Beauceron rescue dogs at a shelter near you. If none are available, seek out reputed breeders on the Beauceron Club of America’s website. Once you have shortlisted good breeders nearby, try to visit their kennels. Observe the dogs there: do they appear healthy? How is their temperament? How do they greet the breeders? Are the puppies scared or timid? Do they appear well-fed and groomed? It is very important that the breeder you shortlist shows a willingness to answer all your questions about the breed. In turn, she/he should also ask you several questions about your household and the reasons why you are looking for a Beauceron puppy as a pet. This will help you understand their intentions behind their breeding programs. A good breeder will also want their pet to go to a good home.
The average life expectancy of the Beauceron is about 12-15 years. They are generally healthy dogs but could develop hip dysplasia, allergies, bloating, and dermatomyositis – a condition that affects the skin, muscles, blood vessels, and body fat. Gastric torsion or bloating is also seen in these dogs.