The beauceron, also known as the french shorthaired sheperd, shepherd of Beauce or Berger de Beauce is a sheepdog of French origin. There is very little information about this breed in Europe and the rest of the world. It is an intelligent and active dog, capable of developing all kinds of exercises, skills and following proposed orders.
In this AnimalWised breed file we will tell you everything you need to know about the beauceron including its: origin, physical appearance, character, care and health.
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History and Origin
The beauceron is a distinctly French dog who originated in La Beauce near Paris. These dogs were formerly used for multiple functions, including: guiding the herds and protecting them from external threats and protecting property and people.
In 1863 the two breeds of shepherd dogs of France, the short-haired (beauceron) and the long-haired (Briard), were differentiated. The Canine Central Society (La Société Centrale Canine) registered its first beauceron in 1893, and by 1922 the first club of this breed was founded.
These dogs were also used by the French army in both world wars. However, and despite this breed’s great qualities, the beauceron did not become a very popular dog. To reverse the decrease of the presence of this breed, a breed recovery and promotion program was created in 1960. From then on, the beauceron began to gain popularity and actively participate in sports and dog shows, although there is little-known of this breed outside of France.
Its body is solid, powerful, rustic and muscular, but does not give the impression of being heavy. It is slightly longer than its height and it has a straight back and deep chest. Its legs are strong and muscular and its hind legs have a double spur, characteristic of the breed. The head of a beauceron is either flattened or slightly rounded at the cranial. The cranial vault and upper plane of its snout are parallel. Its nose is black.
Its eyes are slightly oval and are arranged horizontally. They can appear brown or hazel, but are always dark. For harlequin colored beaucerons, eyes of different colors are accepted. Their ears are commonly hanging. Fortunately, the custom of ear cropping has been lost and is illegal in many European countries, so the standard of the breed has changed and now accepts natural ears.
It has a long tail of low insertion which end mirrors a ‘J’ shape. The breed standard makes it very clear that its tail should not be amputated.
Its coat is strong, short, thick, dense and smooth. It is between three to four centimetres in length, but shorter on the head. The inner coat layer is thin, dense and velvety. The fur of these dogs can appear black, tan or harlequin.
The height at the withers of the males ranges from 65 to 70 centimetres. For females goes it is from 61 to 68 centimetres. The ideal weight of this breed is not indicated in the breed standard, but the beauceron can weigh between 30 and 50 kilograms.
Beauceron dogs are confident, brave and loyal. They are very intelligent animals capable of learning a diversity of orders, words and actions. They are wonderful dogs that demand good treatment. They react very badly to physical punishment and humiliation.
They are usually very loyal and affectionate with their owners and family, but reserved with strangers. However, if socialized, they can get along great with other people, dogs and pets.
They are excellent animals that usually have a great deal of respect for people, children and all kinds of animals. However, if you have very young children in your home, you should make sure they know no t to treat the dog like a toy, pull its ears or tease it.
The fur of these dogs is very easy to care for. Weekly brushing is sufficient to eliminate dead hair, and bathing is only necessary when the dog is dirty. However, this depends on the activity that the dogs performs outdoors, since due to their active nature, they tend to get dirty easily. You must make sure you do not forget to clean its teeth, nails and ears at least twice a month, to avoid any possible health problems in the future.
Beaucerons are dogs that demand a lot of exercise and company. They are not pets for sedentary people and they do not adapt easily to life in an apartment. They can live well crowded cities, but they need long walks and have to play games. Perfect games for this breed include joining agility training or playing with them a lot at home.
Like most grazing breeds, beaucerons respond very well to different methods of dog training and disciplines. However, traditional canine training does not work well with this noble dog breed. Beaucerons suffer from serious stress if subject to fights, punishment and bad treatments. For this same reason we recommend always using positive reinforcement training with dogs.
If this French shorthaired shepherd is not trained properly it can develop canine behavior problems. If they do not get enough exercise or if they spend a lot of time alone, they can become destructive or aggressive.
This breed needs to begin education from when it is a puppy, with correct socialisation and training. As this dog is incredibly intelligent it will be convenient to start working with basic obedience orders when it is still a puppy. In this way when it reaches its adult stage, it will have well established basic forms of communication for safety and well-being. From the moment your beauceron has learnt all of the basic orders, you can then start working towards tricks, exercises and intelligence games.
The beauceron are usually healthy dogs, but this breed has certain predispositions to some diseases. In addition to following its vaccination and deworming schedule strictly, you should be aware of other possible diseases:
- Hip dysplasia: a degenerative bone disease that affects the mobility of the dog causing pain and discomfort. It is a malformation of the joint and can appear if exercise is practiced excessively. If your beauceron suffers from this disease and is stressed, do not hesitate to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Gastric torsion: gastric torsion happens when we feed or offer water to a dog just before exercise. It is a very serious complication that puts the dog's life at serious risk.
- It is important to check the double spur of the its hind legs frequently, as it can easily be injured. In case of frequent injuries, it may be necessary to amputate it to avoid infection and subsequent damage (although this is against the breed standard and is not accepted). Tpo avoid injuries makes sure its nails and hair are frequently cut, specifically in that area.