Breed Spotlight: Beauceron
At Keshet, we are always pleased to have different breeds stay with us and we enjoy the many opportunities to get to know each of our four-legged friends. Not long ago, we had a pure bred Beauceron stay with us for a few days. It was a great experience and, although we knew some basic facts, we admittedly didn’t know very much about the breed. This prompted us to do a little digging in order to find out more about these impressive dogs. As it turns out, the Beauceron is a versatile breed with a long and formidable history. Beaucerons also go by other names, including, Berger de Beauce, Bas Rouge and the French Shorthaired Shepherd. The Beauceron’s ancestral lines can be traced back centuries where it is believed they originated some time during the French Renaissance. Originally, this breed was used in the plains of Northern France for guarding and herding livestock, jobs the breed still excels at today.
These dogs are intelligent, brave, and keenly watchful but can be fairly head-strong at times. These qualities in themselves make for an excellent guardian or herding dog but may become problematic for some owners. Training should be started at an early age to curb their naturally strong herding instincts which will prevent unpleasant behaviours from developing later on. Generally, Beauceron have an eager to please personality which makes training easy. Besides herding and guarding, Beaucerons have been known to do quite well in Agility, Flyball and other canine sports. They are ideal working dogs and were trained throughout history to perform various important jobs. During the first and second world wars, Beaucerons were used as messenger dogs in the trenches to relay important information. They were also used to facilitate supply transport, land mine detection, policing, and search & rescue.
There is significant evidence to suggest that the Briard and Beauceron both originate from the same ancestral stock. Furthermore, we have come to know that both the Doberman Pincher and Rottweiler are descendants of the Beauceron. There are many similarities between these breeds including their stature, black and tan colouration, and temperament. All of these breeds are known to be independent and strong willed but can also be extremely loyal and affectionate. One key characteristic that sets the Beauceron apart from similar breeds is the double dewclaw on their hind legs which has become a breed standard. Beauceron are a hardy breed but they are prone to many of the conditions that affect other large breed dogs, such as, hip dysplasia, bloat, cancer and bone disease.
The breed seems to be gaining popularity in North America for their trainability and winning temperament, which also makes them a great family pet. To date, we have only met one pure bred Beauceron and, as it turns out, he was an awesome representation of his breed. We look forward to meeting more Beaucerons and other unique breeds in the future so that we may learn about them and share as we go.