1. Key Characteristics
- AKC Group: Herding
- Height: 24–27.5 inches
- Weight: 70–110 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 10–12 years or longer
Old working dogs developed in France, Beaucerons have a black nose; dark brown, slightly oval-shaped eyes; ears, either cropped or natural, that are set high on the head; and a fringed tail covered with hair that usually hangs down to form a J (ear cropping and tail docking for non-working dogs are illegal in some countries).
The double coat is short. The top coat is harsh while the undercoat is smooth.
Coat colors include shades of black and tan. Blue-gray patches (harlequin) are sometimes present in addition to the black and tan coat.
2. Where They Came From
A Renaissance manuscript dating to 1578 is thought to be the oldest record of the breed.
The dogs appeared over the following few centuries until Pierre Megnin separated the herding breed into 2 groups in 1863. The dogs with long coats later became known as the Berger de Brie (Briard), and the ones with shorter coats became known as the Berger de Beauce (Beauceron).
The first Shepherd Dog club was formed in 1897. Shortly after the breed standard and name were decided and accepted in 1889, a breed club was started specifically for the Beauceron in 1911.
The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2007.
3. How Friendly Are They?
The Beauceron has long been recognized for being gentle, obedient, faithful, brave and fearless.
They have a tireless work ethic and are happiest when they have a job to do. They are eager-to-please and smart dogs, making them easy to train for a firm, consistent leader. They are loyal and protective of their family members.
The breed makes a good watchdog because they are alert to their surroundings and are quick to identify potential danger. They may attempt to herd people but enjoy the company of older children — their size and energy may cause them to knock children over accidentally.
They are good with dogs and cats but should be socialized at an early age.
Some may chase after cats unless they have been raised and socialized with them when they were young.
Beaucerons can become disobedient and destructive without physical and mental exercise. They can also be reserved with strangers but are never mean.
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4. Is This the Right Dog for You?
HIGH: Beaucerons need a lot of exercise to expel energy. They do best with work or an assigned task to perform.
Daily walks and play are required, and they should be allowed to run freely in a secure area. Apartment living is fine because Beaucerons are active indoors, but they will still need daily outdoor exercise. A large yard is preferable.
People who don’t have much indoor and outdoor space are recommended to add a female Beauceron to their family. The males can be dominant and difficult to handle at maturity.
MEDIUM: The coat sheds an average amount and is easy to maintain, although additional grooming may be required during periods of heavier shedding. Outdoor working dogs should be checked regularly for debris and insects.
Regular maintenance of the nails, ears and teeth is highly recommended to ensure good overall health.
LOW: The only notable health problems for the Beauceron include hip issues (dysplasia) and gastric torsion (bloat). Less common ailments include allergies and dermatomyositis.
Watch this Beauceron’s fancy workout moves:
5. Where to Adopt One
Start here to look for a Beauceron near you. Because they are strong working dogs not normally in high demand in the United States, they may be difficult to find.
If you decide to go through a breeder, make sure their practices are reputable and ask for health clearances for the eyes, hips and heart for adult dogs or the parents of a puppy.