This breed is known for centuries in Western Europe and was used mostly as a pastoral dog. This is one of the breeds used to create the Doberman. The name is a little misleading, because these dogs are spread across all northern France, not only in the area of Beauceron.
A distinctive feature of the breed is the additional finger of the hindquarters. The first standard was written in 1893 by the veterinarian Paul Megnin. In 1922 was created the first Beauceron Kennel Club.
The breed is very old. Even though the original type was rough and extremely aggressive, the selection that followed made it more balanced, although this is quite a difficult dog to train for an amateur.
In the past Beauceron dogs were used to protect the flocks from wolves attacks. In recent years French police select the best puppies for sale, train them from an early age and later they are used as service and rescue dogs. These dogs are also used to help people with visual or hearing problems.
The Beauceron reaches a height of 61 to 70 cm and weigh about 30 to 40 kg (may be more). Their hair is rough with woolly undercoat, which becomes thicker in winter, especially if the dog sleeps outdoors. The standard colors of these dogs are black, brown and gray.
In black and brown dogs, brown appears in two points above the eyes, sides of nose, or cheeks. Spots could be seen also on the front of the neck, under the tail, on the legs and breast.
Character and behavior
The Beauceron is known in France as a guard and working dog in the farm. They are athletic, strong and durable dogs. They are calm, intelligent, gentle and fearless. They posses hardworking, brave nature.
The Beauceron is a bold yet sweet dog who loves games. He has highly developed guarding instincts and is reserved with strangers. On the other hand, they usually follow their owner's example when it comes to greet someone and are not too sharp or shy.
Training and education
These dogs are ready to learn at a very high level. However, their physical and mental development is slow in comparison to other similar species.
It is believed that they become mentally and physically mature after the age of three years, so you should not rush with their education. Be patient. In the beginning you can start with short sessions of 5-10 minutes. They will achieve much better results than with long and hard training.
All the rules must be determined in the first month, the Beauceron can become an unbearable dog or an irreplaceable companion. It depends on you.
The average life expectancy of the Beauceron is about 12 years. Like other large breeds, he is prone to hip dysplasia.
Care must be taken to his pins which can be hurt quite easily during walks and games. He needs lots of exercise.
There is nothing sadder than to see your proud companion age prematurely and begin to decline around the age of six or seven years, become deaf, blind, bilious. The Beauceron, of course, has to die one day, but in most cases it will remain strong and full of energy until the last weeks, it will remain the dog you've always known and loved.
Grooming and care
These dogs feel best when they are at home, but can sleep outdoors when they are used as guards. Their thick and dense coat protect them even in extreme winter conditions.
Like all large dogs, the Beauceron should avoid exercising after eating because this could cause expansion or twisting of the stomach.
Children and other pets
With proper training and socialization the Beauceron gets along well with cats and other pets. This breed is suitable for active families with older children, having experience in growing dogs.
In 2008 these dogs make their debut at Westminster Dog Show of the English Kennel Club.