The formidable Beauceron was bred to have the stamina and smarts required to herd and guard 300 head of sheep in France. Powerful and energetic, Beaucerons have a glossy black coat with deep mahogany markings. It's important this breed has a job to keep them busy, and an assertive dog owner with experience training vibrant, strong-willed dogs. Beaucerons will anoint themselves as pack leader if they see an opening. But the breed is obedient and learns fast when their trainers are firm, consistent, and treat them with respect. Beaucerons are wary of strange people and dogs, and are highly protective of flock and family. Though intimidating in public, Beaucerons are sensitive, playful, and gentle when relaxing with their people.
Beaucerons are also known as Labrador, Lab, Black Lab, Yellow Lab, and Chocolate Lab.The Beauceron is also called French Shorthaired Shepherd, Berger de Beauce, Beauce Shepherd, and Bas Rouge.
Physical Description/Breed Standard
Coat - Beaucerons have a double coat with a coarse, dense outer coat between 1 ¼ and 1 ½ inches long. The short, downy undercoat is not visible through the flat outer coat, which lays close to the body. The coat has a rich sheen. The colors are black and tan, and Harlequin (gray, black, and tan). The black is deep and solid, covering most of their body. The tan markings are squirrel red and present as two spots above the eyes, two spots on the cheek, two spots on the chest, the lower part of their muzzle, beneath their chin, and on the lower third of their legs. Harlequins have a black and tan base with blue-gray patches over their entire body.
Breed Standard and History
Beaucerons are substantial dogs who are athletic and muscular, and show no indication of clumsiness. Their medium frames are well balanced. The breed's gait is powerful with the effortless movements needed to circle their herd and cover great distances every day. Beaucerons carry their head with pride on a muscular neck and survey their territory with a frank, watchful, and self-assured expression. When in motion, their heads drop to the level of their back, like most herding dogs. Their slightly oval eyes are dark brown. Beaucerons have a courageous, observant nature, but should never be aggressive unless given just cause.
Beaucerons developed in France during the Middle Ages to help farmers protect and herd their vast flocks of sheep and livestock. They draw their name from La Beauce, the vast agricultural plains between the Seine and the Loire rivers. Beaucerons are closely related to the Briard and indeed were considered the same dog until they were separated in 1896 to distinguish between the long and short-haired varieties of the breed. Beaucerons are short coated while Briards sport long coats. The powerful Beauceron works far back from the flock and is known as a gentle herder who doesn't scare livestock. The courageous and intelligent breed was enlisted for military and police work in World War 1 and they have continued doing that work ever since. The American Kennel Club recognized Beaucerons in 2007.
AKC Breed Category
Though intimidating, Beaucerons are known as sensitive companions who pick up on the moods of their owners. Beaucerons are bold, energetic, and playful with their favorite people. They are devoted to their families, but standoffish with strangers until they size them up as friend rather than foe.
Are Beaucerons Good with Kids? While devoted to the kids of their family, Beaucerons are likely to herd them and won't tolerate mistreatment. They are also very large and may unintentionally knock small children over. The breed is best suited to families with teens who are experienced dog handlers.
(Note: Every dog has a unique personality and distinct life experiences that impact his disposition. As a rule, adults should always supervise playdates between kids and their four-legged friends.)
Are Beaucerons Good with Other Pets? Beaucerons shouldn't live with other pets. They are too dominant to cohabitate peaceably with other dogs and may view cats and other small animals as prey.
Beaucerons are highly protective of their flocks, whether they are sheep or people.
Are Beaucerons Good Guard Dogs? Beaucerons are excellent watchdogs and guard dogs. They will bark ferociously when strangers approach their territory. Intimidating both in appearance and action, Beaucerons will put themselves between their owners and danger without hesitation.
Beaucerons are one of the most energetic dog breeds and require owners who are able to take them out for hours of vigorous exercise every day.Specific Concerns
Indoor Though a hardy breed, Beaucerons should live indoors with their families. The breed gets bored when left alone and will find a way out of the yard in search of adventure—which unsafe for themselves and others. Beaucerons do best when they have access to a large yard or acres of property where they can play, run, herd, and train under their owner's watchful eye.
Outdoor Beaucerons should be outdoors for most of the day with their owners. This breed flourishes when they are working hard, whether they are running for miles, learning a new agility skill, or herding sheep.
Exercise A healthy, adult Beauceron requires two to three hours of vigorous physical activity each day, in addition to training and walks. It's important they have active owners with the time and energy to take them running, biking, or hiking for miles.
Endurance Beaucerons have the stamina to herd through long days across distances of up to 50 miles.
Activity distance rating
Food The food needs of Beaucerons vary based upon their activity level and age. The quantity of food will differ between Beaucerons who exercise for full days most of the time, and those who only exercise a few hours each day. Talk with your veterinarian about the best type and quantity of food for your Beauceron.
Alone Time Beaucerons get bored easily and become destructive when left alone for too long. Additionally, time alone means they are not getting the exercise they need. If you must leave your dog at home alone for hours at a stretch, bring home a different breed.
Health and Grooming
10 - 12 years
Beaucerons have an easy-care coat that needs brushing once a week, and only requires a wash every two months, or when they get dirty. Wash your Beauceron's ears weekly with a gentle, dog-friendly cleanser to prevent dirt build up that can lead to infections, and brush his teeth several days a week. Trim his nails every month or so to prevent painful cracking.
Common Health Issues
Beaucerons are generally healthy dogs but may develop some breed-specific health conditions, including:
You can minimize serious health concerns in your Beauceron by purchasing your dog from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices, and through screening for common diseases and conditions.
Beaucerons are self-confident and strong-willed; expect pushback from them during training. They are smart and learn quickly when they have confident trainers who take a firm, consistent, and fair approach.
Beaucerons benefit from advanced obedience training that supports good behavior, as well as dog sports that keep them active. If they don't have a flock of sheep to herd, they can show off their natural herding skills playing Treibball, a dog sport in which they herd large balls.
Sporting Dog Training
Beaucerons are herding dogs who are not known for their hunting skills.
Are Beaucerons hypoallergenic?
Do Beaucerons like water?
Sign up for email now, and save $10 on your next purchase of $50 or more. This offer is valid for new subscribers only and will be sent to your email address shortly.Submit
Trips & Schools
For more than 150 years, we have offered the strongest return policy in the business. We will refund your money on any purchase that isn’t 100% satisfactory.
Anytime, for any reason. It’s that simple.
Orvis Commits 5% of pre-tax profits to protecting nature.
“If we are to benefit from the use of our natural resources, we must be willing to act to preserve them.”
– Perk Perkins, Chief Executive Officer, The Orvis Company
Copyright 2018, The Orvis Company Inc. Since 1856.