The Beauceron is a French breed dating back to the 1500's. It is the largest of the French Sheep dogs and was used in a multitude of ways from shepherding, farm dog, to guarding and protecting sheep from predators. During the First World War, the breed was also used as messenger dogs in the trenches, for land mine detection and as Police and Search and Rescue dogs. They have a characteristic double dew claw. It is also believed to have been the main breeding stock in the development of the Doberman Pinscher.
The Beauceron is a fearless, calm and intelligent breed, making it an ideal companion as a working dog. They retain their herding instincts and can therefore herd small children within a family. They like to be around people and are easily trainable, but tend to be slow to mature, making training tricky for the first 3 years. They excel at training involving learning and memory and do well with agility and obedience in general. They like to please their owners and will show unquestioning loyalty to their family. They are protective of those around them and suspicious of strangers until their owners tell them all is okay. They are fine with other pets if introduced at an early age. Training needs to be slow and steady, as mentioned above, they are puppy like for the first 3 years until they mature. This is a highly intelligent breed that needs strict training, they are clever and will spot weakness within their owners, so need a firm, but affectionate, hand at all times. An untrained Beauceron will run the house. They are energetic and require a fair amount of daily exercise. They like to run and be outside and seem to have boundless energy. However, they will want affection in the form of cuddling up on the sofa when it suits them. Giving them tasks to do will help the inquisitive mind work well and prevent boredom. Problem solving such as food related games where the dog must work out how to get treats out of a ball etc will keep them entertained.
The coat needs minimal grooming, just a weekly brush to remove dead hair and the solid body of the breed rarely suffers illness. Only rarely seen - Canine Hip Dysplasia and Gastric torsion.
Beaucerons have an intelligent and courageous temperament. Bred as guard dogs they can be untrusting of strangers but will form tight bonds with family. They can be good with children but have a more serious temperament acting as a guard rather than a playmate.
This dog needs lots of exercise everyday due to its working nature and must be confidently trained from puppyhood to develop into an obedient adult.
Health problems that may affect Beacerons include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), progressive renal atrophy (PRA: degneration of the retina leading to blindness) and bloat.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 10 - 13 years
- Weight: 29 - 45 kg
- 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
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