This french shepherd dog, known for his courageous temperament and strong-willed, yet easily trainable, character, is also an excellent guard dog. This energetic, dominant breed needs consistent training and plenty of exercise.

This ancient livestock guardian breed was once used to control and protect flocks of sheep in the plains around Paris.
Rare dog breeds
Belgian shepherd dogs
Guard dogs


The short-haired cousin of the Briard, the Beauceron might also be part of the Doberman ancestry. The term "Berger de Beauce" appears for the first time in 1809 to separate this short-haired type from the long-haired type, called "Berger de Brie" or "Briard".

The first Beauceron club was formed in 1911.

After the two World Wars, during which the Beauceron proved of great value as military dog, the breed's popularity spread to France's neighouring countries, as well as to the United States. The Beauceron is now increasingly used as guard dog and for police work.
Physically halfway between the Mastiff and the Doberman, the Beauceron is a powerful, agile and quick working dog. They stand 25-28 inches (64-71 cm) tall and weigh 66-85 lbs (30-39kg), with females smaller than males.

The coat is overall short, while the buttocks and tail are slightly fringed.

Beaucerons are highly protective of their home and can prove fearsome guard dogs. Their courage and watchfulness also make them excellent rescue and police dogs.

Their tolerant and patient temperament, make them generally well-adapted to family life. They can appear as brutal, but are very sweet with children and great with other dogs. However, prospective owners should bear in mind that these dogs are primarily working dogs, which need plenty of exercise. They are not fit for apartment life.
Merle-speckled (harlequin) Beauceron
Merle Beauceron
Beauceron with uncropped ears
Like most shepherd dogs carrying strong herding traits, the Beauceron will attempt to herd any group of two or more. Therefore, consistent, but gentle, training is essential with this breed, in which case the Beauceron will be one of the most loyal and obedient among dog breeds. They are very obedient with owners who can keep their alpha position. However, lack of training or harsh treatment can easily generate neurotic behavior.  They are, therefore, not usually suited for first time owners.
Beauceron puppy
Character and Temperament
This coat is known as 'harlequin' (danoisée in French), even though it is different from that of the Great Dane harlequin. In the US this coat is known as 'merle'.
The coat color is black with tan markings, in particular on the legs, hence the nickname of the breed "Bas Rouge", meaning "Red Stockings". A three-colored, merle-speckling coat is also accepted: black, grey and the necessary tan markings.
The eyes are dark and the ears are generally cropped. Natural ears are half-erect.

In addition to the four regular toes, two dewclaws are required on each hind leg. Beaucerons lacking this feature are disqualified from any competition.
(French Shepherd, Beauce Shepherd, Berger de Beauce, French Shorthaired Shepherd,  Bas-Rouge)

Catherine Marien-de Luca for Dog Breeds of the World 2004-2010 © All rights reserved by and

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French shepherd puppy
Further Reading:
Le beauceron by Pierre Legatte and Jean-Luc Vadakarn
Le Beauceron by Monique Reverdy
Les 20 Meilleures Chiens de garde by Rene-Pierre Audras
Dogs - The Ultimate Dictionary of over 1,000 Dog Breeds by Desmond Morris
The Atlas of Dog Breeds by Bonnie Wilcox
Canine Lexicon by Andrew De Prisco
Beauceron puppy
Advanced Schutzhund (Howell Reference Books)by Ivan Balabanov
More information:

Training Dogs:
For Protection Work by Fred Mandilk
More information:

An Owner's Guide to Raising Your Pet Protector
by Lori Berg, Michael ''Gypsy'' Stratten
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