- Dogs suitable for experienced owners
- Extra training required
- Generally healthy breed
- Enjoys vigorous walks
- Enjoys more than two hours of walking a day
- Large dog
- Some drool
- Requires grooming once a week
- Chatty and vocal dog
- Barks, alerts and may be physically protective/suspicious of visitors
- Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
- May need additional training to live with other pets
- May need additional supervision to live with children
- Needs a large garden
- Can live in semi-rural areas
- Can be left alone with training
|Lifespan:||10 – 12 years|
|Weight:||30 – 38.5kg|
|Height:||65 – 70cm|
|Colours:||Coats come in black and tan (see Kennel Club breed standard for
specific marking details) or harlequin (grey and black with tan markings)
|UK Kennel Club Groups:||Pastoral|
|Easy to train:||4/5|
|Tolerates being alone:||1/5|
|Likes other pets:||3/5|
Bold, courageous and quick to learn, the Beauceron is a people dog and a working dog. They dislike being left alone too long and benefit greatly from having a job to do. Strong willed and capable of independent decision making, the Beauceron is not suited to first time dog owners, but will excel with those who enjoy training and canine sports. Naturally a little suspicious of strangers due to their livestock guardian history, they will benefit from early and thorough socialisation and habituation to people and household life.
History and Origins
Country of Origin: France
Originating from the Beauce region of France, the Beauceron became a popular livestock herding and guarding breed throughout most of the north of the country. Thought to be closely related to the long-coated Briard and one of the founding breeds of the Doberman Pinscher, the Beauceron is the largest of the French sheepdogs. Also know as the ‘Bas Rouge’ (Red Stockings) because of their rich red coat markings, the Beauceron was used in the World Wars for multiple jobs including guarding, carrying messages and supplies and for land mine detection.
The breed is so closely related to the Briard that it wasn’t until 1893 that veterinarian Paul Megnin differentiated between the long-haired Berger de Brie (Briard) and the short haired Berger de Beauce (Beauceron) and the Club des Amis du Beauceron was formed in 1922. The UK breed club wasn’t formed until 2009, and it was not until July 2014 that the breed was moved off the Import Register and formally recognised as a Pastoral Breed by the UK Kennel Club.
The Beauceron is generally a very healthy breed, but it is advised that breeding dogs are hip scored and eye tested to ensure the breed remains free of these problems.
The breed club monitor the health of the breed carefully and should be contacted for the most up-to-date information and details of any DNA or additional testing they recommend. Breed Clubs can be found on the Kennel Club website.
This is still a working dog, with lots of energy and a clever, independent mind. Two hours exercise per day, with plenty of additional training and mental stimulation, is needed for the adult Beauceron.
As their history as a working dog suggests, they do well at a variety of canine sports and competitions, although they may find the busy atmosphere of competition over-stimulating if not well socialised. They thrive when spending most of their time engaged with their human family, doing something together.
This is a big dog that likes to spend a lot of time outdoors, so the home should be able to accommodate those needs. A secure garden is essential as these are large, athletic animals easily capable of jumping or climbing insubstantial fencing. Access to interesting and varied local walks will help keep your Beauceron entertained, and while in the right house and with the right management they can live almost anywhere with enough space, they are likely to do better living in the country or very close to it.
Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs.
The short, thick coat is about 3-4cm long, quite coarse and lies close to the body. The coat is shorter on the head and a little longer at the back of the thigh and under the tail – an area that could tangle if neglected. Brush through the Beauceron's coat two or three times a week. Like several French shepherd breeds, the Beauceron has a large double dewclaw on each hindleg which should be checked regularly, together with the rest of the nails.
Easily trained using positive, modern methods, the Beauceron can turn a paw to any activity you’d care to try, including agility, man-trailing, Rally, Canicross, obedience, and much more. Careful attention should be paid to teaching a good recall and care should be taken around livestock. Early socialisation with other family pets, visitors and children is vital. This is a dog for someone who enjoys exercise and training in their own right, rather than as a means to a quiet dog!
The Beauceron is excellent with their own family but this is a large dog who as a puppy is likely to be clumsy and boisterous. They may also be suspicious of visitors. This in conjunction with the amount of exercise and training they require is likely to mean they are not suited to very busy families or those with younger children.
While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.
Did You Know?
- The Beauceron used to protect sheep and other farm livestock against wolves, which were once common across rural northern France.
- Despite being relatively rare, the Beauceron has racked up a number of film appearances, including a James Bond movie, Moonraker; the 1990 Luc Besson film Nikita, and in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.
- Sometimes the Beauceron is known as the ‘Berger de Beauce’ which translates to ‘sheepdog of Beauce’.
- This dog breed has double dewclaws which gives them better traction on rough terrain.
- The Beauceron was used in both world wars and took on a range of tasks from messengers, to transporters and even land mine detectors!