Beauceron

By | May 19, 2010

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC

Occupation: Herder

Size: 24.5 to 27.5 in tall; 80 to 110 lbs

Longevity: 11 to 13 years

Exercise: Very active

Training: Easy; hard to keep challenged

Grooming: Easy

The Beauceron is a herding dog from France with a documented history going back to the 1500s. The breed was used to herd both sheep and cattle and to protect livestock from predators and thieves. An intelligent, bold, and trainable breed, she has also been used extensively by the military and law enforcement agencies.

The Beauceron stands 24.5 to 27.5 inches tall and weighs 80 to 110 pounds, with females smaller than males. The head is carried proudly, with either natural dropped ears or cropped upright ears. The double coat is short and coarse and is usually black and red, although there is also a harlequin (gray, black, and tan). This breed’s coat requires brushing twice a week, except during spring and fall when shedding is heavier.

The Beauceron does not tolerate a quiet, calm lifestyle well. She needs activity, exercise, and a job to do. If she is not living on a farm herding, then she needs vigorous daily exercise. She should also participate in dog sports.

Training should begin early and continue into adulthood, as this intelligent breed needs mental challenges. She will enjoy advanced obedience, trick training, tracking, air scenting, Schutzhund, and search and rescue training. The Beauceron Club of Canada says, “It must be stressed the Beauceron is not the dog for everyone. They are not suitable for the first-time dog owner unless that person is prepared to seek the guidance of a professional dog trainer.” Without an owner who is a leader, the Beauceron will assume that position, with less-than-pleasant results.

With training, leadership, and a job to do, the Beauceron can be a wonderful family companion. Although rowdy as puppies, adults are good with children. They are great with other dogs in the family but can be assertive with strange dogs. When raised with other pets, they are fine, but they will herd the family cat. Health concerns include hip dysplasia and bloat.