The Beauceron was developed in France in the 1500s. It is the largest of the French sheep dogs and was highly prized as a shepherd's companion and herder, a general farm dog, and a guard dog. In the First World War Beaucerons were used as messenger dogs in the trenches, and for land mine detection. They are also used as Police and Search and Rescue dogs. They have a characteristic double dew claw. This breed is thought to have been the starting point in the development of the Doberman Pinscher.
The Beauceron is a remarkable dog with a remarkable history. Fearless, calm, and intelligent, it is an ideal working dog and a great companion. The breed's herding instincts are intact, and they will 'herd' small children within a family. They like being with people and are easy to train. They are slow to mature, though, and this makes training tricky for the first three years. Once old enough, though, they excel at training and are very good with tasks involving learning and memory, as well as agility and obedience in general. You need to be strict with them, though.
Beaucerons like to please their owners and show unquestioning loyalty to their human family. They are protective of their friends, and correspondingly suspicious of strangers until their owners have reassured them that these people are friends. They are good with other pets if introduced at an early age. Being very clever, they need a firm, but affectionate, hand at all times. An untrained Beauceron will run the house and have you all rounded up like sheep.
These energetic dogs need plenty of daily exercise. They have loads of energy, and love to burn it off outdoors. They also need a good dose of regular affection too in the form of cuddling up on the sofa - but only when it suits them. They need to be given tasks to keep their inquisitive minds active, and to prevent boredom. They love problem-solving games involving snacks, where the dog has to work out how to get the tasty treat out of a ball, etc.
The dog's coat doesn't need much grooming, just a weekly brush to remove dead hair. They are robust in health too.
Beaucerons are intelligent and courageous. Bred as sheep dogs and guard dogs, they have an instinctive mistrust of strangers, but form close bonds with their human family. They are usually good with children, but after the first three years they lose their puppyish personalities and focus on their instinctive role as herd/guard dogs.
This dog needs lots of exercise and needs a firm and confident hand when training, in order to progress from puppyhood to obedient adulthood.
Beaucerons occasionally suffer canine hip dysplasia (CHD), progressive renal atrophy (PRA: degeneration of the retina leading to blindness), gastric torsion, and bloat.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 10 - 13 years
- Weight: 64 - 100 lb
- Height: 24 - 27.5"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium - Short
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Country
- Minimum Home Size: Large House
- Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
- Breed Type: Herding
- Size: Large
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Over 2 hours