||Berger de Beauce, Bas Rouge, Beauce Shepherd
Living with a Beauceron
Temperament: The Beauceron should be high spirited and self-assured, never mean nor nervous. They may be slightly reserved around strangers but should remain gentle and fearless.
Family Dog: Beaucerons are typically good with children if they were raised around them from a young age but should always be supervised around small children because of their energy level and large size. They are sociable with other dogs but can be very territorial.
Shedding: The Beauceron is an average shedder.
Grooming: The coat of the Beauceron is fairly easy to groom and does not require a lot of attention. An occasional brushing is sufficient with more attention paid during the high shedding times. The Beauceron is to be shown in a natural state with no trimming.
Training: The Beauceron is an intelligent dog with excellent memory and a desire to please which makes them very obedient and easy to train. Firm, thorough training from a young age is absolutely necessary.
Exercise: The Beauceron requires lots of daily exercise. They are a working breed and need a job to do. Long daily walks where they are also given the opportunity to run off leash are recommended to keep this breed active and from becoming lazy. Competition or Agility classes are also a good option for meeting their exercise requirements.
Living Conditions: Beaucerons can live in an apartment provided they are sufficiently exercised but a larger living environment with a yard is highly recommended.
Appearance: The Beauceron is a well-balanced, muscular, confident dog of solid build and good height free from any signs of heaviness or coarseness. The overall appearance gives the impression of depth, strength, endurance and agility needed by a herding dog. The Beauceron is an alert and energetic dog who carries himself with nobility demanding respect wherever he goes. Males are characteristically larger than females who are distinctly feminine without showing signs of weakness in substance or structure.
Size: Fully grown adult male Beaucerons have a height of 25½ to 27½ inches at the withers while the height of a female Beauceron ranges from 24 to 26½ inches tall. This breed can weigh up to 110 pounds with fully grown.
Companionship: The Beauceron is a wonderful, loyal companion who is eager to please and likes to know who its master is.
Head: The Beauceron's head is long and chiseled with harmonious lines, an alert and confident expression with no signs of weakness. It should be proportionate to the size of the body with the length from the tip of the nose to the occiput being about 40% of the dog's overall height. The length of the skull and muzzle are approximately equal. The skull is flat or barely rounded toward the sides of the head. The median groove is slightly marked with the occipital bone being visible on the top of the skull and a slightly pronounced stop.
Nose: The Beauceron's nose is should be in proportion with the muzzle and black in color. The tip should be line with the upper lip.
Eyes: The Beauceron has horizontal eyes that are slightly oval in shape. They are dark brown in color and should never be lighter than a dark hazel color.
Ears: The Beauceron's ears are set high on the head and may be cropped or left natural. If cropped the ear is carried erect and pointing slightly forward with the middle falling along an imaginary line with the sides of the neck. Natural ears are half pricked or drop-ears standing off the cheeks, flat, rather short with their length being equal to half the length of the head.
Muzzle: The Beauceron's muzzle should not be too broad, too narrow nor pointed in appearance. When viewed from the side the top line of the muzzle and that of the skull are parallel forming a slightly pronounced stop. The lips should be firm and of good color with the upper lip slightly overlapping the lower forming slight, firm flews without any signs of looseness.
Teeth/Bite: A Beauceron should have a full set of strong white teeth that meet in a scissors bite.
Neck: The Beauceron's neck is moderate in length, muscular and blends harmoniously into the shoulders. The head is carried alert and proudly.
Body: The body of the Beauceron is well balanced and proportionate with the length of body slightly greater than its height at the withers. This breed is well built, muscular and powerful free from any sign of heaviness or clumsiness. The back of the Beauceron is strong and straight with well defined shoulders, a broad, short and muscular loin. The croup is muscular and slightly sloped down toward the tail. The length of the Beauceron's body is slightly longer than its height at the withers. The chest is deep, wide and long, descending to the elbows with a girth that is 20% greater than the dog's height at the withers. The ribcage extends back with long, flexible, curved ribs. The underline has moderate tuck up.
Forequarters: The Beauceron's forequarters are very important to this breeds ability to work and resist fatigue. Their legs should appear vertical with moderately long, muscular, well laid-back shoulders and muscular forearms.
Hindquarters: The angulation of the Beauceron's hindquarters should balance that of the forequarters. They are powerful and flexible giving the dog the ability to move freely without tiring. They appear vertical with wide and muscular thighs. The hock joint is substantial, forming an open angle with the second thigh and the point located at about ¼ of the dog's overall height. The metatarsals are upright and slightly behind the point of the buttock. When viewed from the rear they appear parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground.
Gait: The movement of the Beauceron appears fluid and effortless. They cover maximum ground with long reaching strides and strong, supple movement. When the dog is in motion the head is lowered appearing level with the topline.
Feet: The Beauceron's feet are large, round and compact with firm, supple pads and black nails. The rear toes turn out very slightly. The rear feet have six toes and double dewclaws that form well separated "thumbs" with the nails close to the foot.
Tail: The Beauceron's tail is strong and carried in a downward direction forming a 'J' shape without falling to either size. It should descend at least to the point of the hock. When the dog is in motion the tail is typically carried higher as an extension of its topline.
Color: The Beauceron's coat is Black with Tan markings above the eyes, under the tail, on the muzzle, chest, throat and legs extending from the feet to the pasterns. There may be some white hairs located on the chest. The Harlequin Beauceron has a Black & Tan base coat with patches of blue-gray distributed evenly over the body and in harmony with the base color.
Coat: The Beauceron's outer coat is dense, coarse, about 1¼ to 1½ inches in length and lying close to the body. The coat on the head, ears and lower legs is short and smooth with longer hair around the neck. The coat on the tail and back of upper legs is lightly fringed. The Beauceron's mouse gray undercoat is short, fine and dense never showing through the outer coat.
Life Expectancy: The average life expectancy of a Beauceron is 10 to 12 years.
Characteristics: The Beauceron has a natural instinct to guard its master and home. They are happiest when working or exercising as they are instinctive herders and should not be left alone for long periods of time. They have a talent for tracking, herding, police work, military work, agility, competitive obedience and Schutzhund.
Health: The Beauceron is generally a very healthy breed. Like other large breeds they are prone to bloat and hip dysplasia.
History: The Beauceron, believed to be part of the Doberman's ancestry, is a French herding breed with a long history in Western Europe. They were a brave and rustic sheepdog. Their first historical record dates back to a Renaissance manuscript of 1578. In 1863, Pierre Megnin distinguished between two different types of sheepdogs, one having a long coat, the Berger de Brie or Briard and the other with a short coat, the Berger de Beuce or Beauceron. This was also the first year for the Canine Exposition in Paris during which the Beauceron was shown. In 1889 this Breed was officially named and a Breed Standard was established. In 1897, the first Shepherd Dog Club was established which included both the Beauceron and the Briard. This remained until 1911, when a separate club was established for the Beauceron. Selective breeding during the end of the 18th century made this breed strong and able to withstand bad weather. With this change they also became a gentler breed than they had been in the past. This breed's ability to follow commands without hesitation lead to their use during both major wars in Europe. They were used by the military to transport messages, find trails and wounded, carry supplies and in mine detection. Today, Beaucerons are still used in herding, guarding as well as other forms of work including being used by the French police and army. They are also becoming more popular in Western Europe and North America as a family watch and companion dogs.