Beauceron dog breed is known for its intelligence and efficiency as a herding dog. But today these powerful canines are employed for the protection of households. They are highly focused on the instructions given by its owner and love to learn. Loyal to the owner and the household, they maintain a calm disposition but they are brave dogs that can rise to any occasion and act courageously if need be. That’s why they are considered good guard dogs. They are especially good with children too.
The origin of Beauceron dog breed is traced to 16th century France where they were mainly used in farms for herding sheep, driving cattle and acting as the guardian of the establishment. The name comes from La Beauce, the agricultural area that lay outside the city of Paris.
Two variants of this dog breed had evolved by mid 19th century. One of them was the herding dog Berger de Brie, also called the Briard. They had long coats which distinguished them from the other type Berger de Beauce which was also called Beauceron. This short-coated type was generally used for guard duty, and was registered at the Societe Centrale Canine group by the end of that century.
Though this breed had a long history as a herding dog and enjoyed the reputation as an excellent breed for the purpose, little was known about it beyond its place of origin. These valiant dogs had taken part in military service during World War I and World War II. Since they could follow instructions to the letter, they were very useful for finding hidden mines and following trails.
A club was formed in the United States in 1980 named the Beauceron Club of America, but it took another 20 years for the Kennel Club of America to recognize Beauceron and include it in the miscellaneous class.
Beauceron dogs typically have an imposing figure, standing tall at more than two feet at the withers. They can weigh up to 100 pounds which gives them great advantage as a guard dog. It is often described as rustic.
The dog is typically bi-colored with black and tan, even though tawny, grey and merle combinations are known to occur. Those dogs with a predominantly black coat typically have a tan colored spot above each eye. The muzzle, throat, and chest can have various amounts of tan coloration. The lower part of the limbs are also tan, which has earned these dogs the name Bas Rouge, which means red-stockings in French because the this particular shade of tan is referred to as rouge by the French.
The short ears stay half folded when the dog is relaxed, bur the ears perk up instantly when it is alert. The log tail is held close to the body except when the dog is running with the tail extended. Another typical characteristic of the breed is the double dewclaws.
These highly intelligent dogs are known for their calm temperament and gentleness, but they are fearless and naturally protective in their attitude. They are suspicious and reserved with strangers, but they react according to the expression of their owners.
Grooming and exercise
Beauceron has a double coat and are known to shed copiously. A thorough brushing once every week should reduce this and keep the dog well-groomed.
These active and intelligent dogs need plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They do not like to be cooped up all day, and may show its displeasure and boredom by indulging in destructive activities. Ideally, a free run of a fenced yard should be available to your dog if you’re keeping it as a family pet rather than a work dog.
They make great family dogs and love to spend time with their human pack. But they can stay outside at night for their guard duty. Their double coat provides ample protection from the elements.
These dogs are excellent for advanced training and their slow progress to adulthood ensures that you have a 3-year window for training the puppies.
Common health issues of Beauceron dog breed
Beauceron is a long-lived dog with a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. Being a an old breed with a long history outdoor pastoral life, this sturdy dog has a strong constitution and is free from most of the diseases plaguing other recently developed breeds. Occasional incidence of gastric torsion and susceptibility towards hip dysplasia are the health issues affecting this breed.