Beauceron

Height: 25-28 inches
Weight: 65-100 pounds
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Colors: Black, tan, rust, white
Suitable for: Active families, those looking for a low-shedding dog
Temperament: Loyal, Loving, Protective, Dominant, Energetic, Intelligent

The Beauceron is a French herding dog that is large, muscular, and intelligent. He will form a close bond with his owner and become a protective guard dog. He has been described as a Collie in a large body, thanks to his intelligence and his herding capabilities. As well as being used as a herder, the Beauceron has a history of servitude as a police dog, has been popular with the Armed Forces, and is highly effective as a rescue dog.

As a high energy dog, the Beauceron does best when living in a large home with an equally large fenced-in yard. He is unlikely to do well in an apartment. If you do keep this breed in an apartment, be prepared to offer him three vigorous walks a day.

He will thrive on regular activity and will do very well when undertaking tasks that require both physical and mental aptitude. He will perform well in dog agility classes, although owners will need to be experienced at training and asserting their dominance, while also being prepared to socialize the breed early in their development.

Well-trained and well-socialized Beaucerons can make excellent companion dogs, and they thrive on human companionship almost as much as they do on exercise.

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Beauceron Puppies – Before You Buy…

Beauceron puppy
Image: Orphée, Wikimedia

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

What’s the Price of Beauceron Puppies?

The Beauceron remains a popular working dog and is a purebred breed. As such, buying one can prove expensive, with typical costs ranging from $1,200 to $2,000. Even higher prices are paid for those with award-winning and proven heritage.

Despite their cost, their physically demanding nature, their need for socialization, and their tendency to want to dominate dogs and other animals means that you might find some examples of this breed in shelters. If you are considering adopting this breed, make sure you meet them properly first. If they have not been socialized, or have not received adequate training, they can be very difficult to handle, and even more difficult to live with.

The Beauceron is prone to some genetic health conditions. Parents should have been screened for dysplasia, which can be common in breeds of this size and physical stature. Ask to see screening results and check on the Canine Health Information Center website to see if the breeder is part of the scheme. Be sure to at least meet the mother, if not both parents of your potential puppy.

When evaluating a breeder, look at the condition in which the puppies and their parents are kept. Ensure that the dogs are bright and happy, that they do not have any obvious signs of physical problems, and ensure that they are responsive to sound and movement when you are around them. A good breeder will have no issue with you meeting the dogs and asking questions. They will likely have questions of their own because they will want to ensure that their puppies are going to a suitable home.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Beauceron

1. They Are Also Known As Bas Rouge

This French herding dog is also known as Bas Rouge, which translates as Red Stockings, because of their markings. They are usually black or dark brown with red stockings. The breed was one of several that were used to create the Doberman Pinscher, and they do share similar coat patterns. The Beauceron is closely related to the Briard. While the Briard is a long-haired herder, the Bas Rouge is a short-haired breed that will require less grooming and coat maintenance. Both breeds are renowned for their herding capabilities, however.

2. They Are Not Considered Suitable For First Time Owners

The Beauceron is not considered a suitable breed for first-time owners. They are very energetic and require a lot of work to ensure that they are getting enough exercise. This should include daily walks, but the breed prefers a brisk walk or even a run rather than a sedentary amble. And although the Beauceron is a highly intelligent breed and is considered trainable, his handler must assert his dominance to enjoy the best results. This combination of intensive energy requirements and experienced handling means that he is best reserved for owners with previous experience of similar breeds.

3. The Beauceron Is Built For Challenging Conditions

Beaucerons have several physical traits that make them ideal for otherwise difficult and challenging conditions. First of all, breed standards for the Beauceron and the related Briard dictate that they have a double dewclaw on the rear legs. Double dewclaws provide large breeds like these with additional traction and make it easier to work on muddy and rough terrain.

Their coats are also weatherproof. Although the Beauceron has a short coat, it is very dense which protects against the cold and helps keep the rain at bay. The coat and claws would have proven very useful when herding and even today, your Beauceron will enjoy walking in all types of weather. Also, while the Beauceron can live indoors or outdoors, they often prefer outdoor living.

Beauceron close up
Image Credit: Pixabay

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Beauceron

The Beauceron is loving and loyal to his family. He will be protective and makes an excellent guard dog and protector. With good training, he will accept strangers and be a companion to all members of the family. However, this training is important, if you want him to fit in well at home.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Beauceron will get on very well with family members themselves, often proving to be a loving addition to the family unit. However, some factors mean he may not always be the best choice as a family companion. First, he can be wary of strangers. This isn’t ideal when you have visitors. If you do buy this breed as a family pet, ensure that he is socialized from a young age so he learns that not all strangers are to be feared. You should also ensure that you meet both parent dogs. If they are bright and friendly, there is a good chance that your puppy will have picked up the same traits and will welcome friends and family to the home, or at least accept them.

Known to be both gentle and playful around children, bear in mind that the Beauceron is still a large breed, and accidents can happen. You should supervise time between your dog and very small children to prevent any accidents from occurring.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The other factor that prevents the Beauceron from making an excellent family pet is that he will not get along with other family animals. Whether you have dogs, cats, or smaller animals, he will need to be introduced when both animals are young. This will help ensure that they get along and that your Beauceron treats the others as part of the family unit and not as a threat or prey.

Beauceron and sheep
Image: Pikrepo

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Things to Know When Owning a Beauceron:

The Beauceron can adapt to a lot of situations at a young age, but there are some traits and factors that you need to consider before buying one of the breed.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Beauceron is a large dog with large dietary requirements. You should expect to feed him between three and five cups of food per day. If he is an active, working dog, he will eat more than if he leads a more family-orientated life. You should measure the food you provide and share between two or three meals a day. Also ensure that you feed a good quality food, and choose one that is geared towards his activity level and stage of life.

Exercise 🐕

Exercising a Beauceron is a major challenge and it will take up a lot of your time. If he is a working dog, then he should get adequate exercise in this way. If not, he will need three walks a day and they should be vigorous walks, rather than gentle strolls. Agility and Schutzhund classes not only exercise him physically, but they will keep him mentally agile too. Such is his strength and his desire for physical activity that Beaucerons can also be used for carting and mushing.

Training 🎾

You should consider training and socialization an important part of owning this breed. The Beauceron requires early socialization. This will teach him that new situations are not to be feared, and he will learn that you do not need protection whenever new people or other animals are around. The breed can be wary or even aggressive around other dogs, but early socialization will help counter this, too.

Puppy classes will not only teach basic commands like sit and stay, but they will teach you how to assert dominance fairly and evenly. Classes will teach you how to be consistent in your commands. The Beauceron is not a good choice of dog for first-time owners. While he is eager to please his owner, he is a very dominant dog, and if you do not assert your dominance as the pack leader, he will take on the role.

Because the breed is quick to pick up commands, you must choose the commands. If you fail to give clear instructions, your dog will learn their own habits, and it is a lot more difficult to correct a bad habit than to form a good one in the first place.

Beauceron dog
Image: Pixabay

Grooming ✂️

With a soft undercoat and a dense overcoat, the double-coated Beauceron is quite easy to groom. He does shed and will shed even ore during the two shedding seasons of the year. During this time, he will require daily brushing, but a weekly brush will suffice for the rest of the year. At all times of the year, his coat is easy to brush and maintain. All you need to do is to clear away dead hairs.

You will need to help manage the length of your dog’s claws. Long claws can be painful and uncomfortable, although regular walks on concrete can help manage them without having to clip nails.

Brush your dog’s teeth three times a week, more often if he is comfortable with the process. Poorly maintained teeth can lead to the same dental issues that humans get, including decay and tartar buildup. A dog with a toothache is unlikely to eat properly, either.

Start clipping your dog’s claws and brushing his teeth when he is a puppy. This will get him used to the process. If you start when he is older, it will be a lot more difficult, and you are more likely to have to get help from a groomer or veterinarian.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Beauceron has a life expectancy of approximately 12 years. He is prone to certain genetic conditions, and while parental screening can help avoid some of these within the breed, it doesn’t guarantee that your dog will be free from such conditions.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Osteochondritis dissecans
  • Allergies
Serious Conditions
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy

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Male vs Female

The male dog is larger and heavier than the female, often markedly so. While the bitch is more feminine, she will still have a good shape and be muscular and large.

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Final Thoughts

The Beauceron hails from herding stock but has enjoyed use as a guard dog, service dog, army dog, and rescue dog. He is considered easy to train and will pick up new commands quickly and readily. His trainability is such that he will be learning new habits all the time, even when you are not necessarily teaching him. Be prepared to put in plenty of time at puppy classes, join obedience classes, and look for ways in which you can exercise him physically while stimulating him mentally and you will benefit from a well-rounded canine companion.

Although the breed will do better in a house with a fenced yard, he can live with children of any age and families of any size. He will need socialization early in life to ensure that he responds well to strangers, however.

If you are looking for a guard dog and have the time and experience to ensure that he is trained well, a Beauceron can make a loyal, loving, and protecting family companion.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay