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.
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
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.
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)
Original idea, design and development by C. Marien-de Luca. Photos of the Dog Breeds of the World sphere of flags by Mark Stay. Photos © Global Photographers (Beauceron on white background); Marianne Limbach (Merle Beauceron); Cynoclub (two Beauceron puppy photos).
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