AKC Dog Breeds: Beauceron

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Herding Group
Height: 24-28 inches   Weight: 80-100  pounds  Color: black-and-tan

The Beauceron is one of France's most ancient and most beloved dogs, with a history dating back as far as the sixteenth century and a crucial role in some of the greatest conflicts of the twentieth century--as well as a peaceful yet no less crucial role in peaceful matters of everyday rural life. Dogs were bred and selected for their aptitude to herd and guard large flocks of sheep as well as for their structure and endurance. Beaucerons were used to move herds of 200 to 300 head traveling up to 50 miles per day without showing signs of exhaustion. The ideal Beauceron is a well balanced, solid dog of good height and well muscled without heaviness or coarseness. The whole conformation gives the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness, exhibiting the strength, endurance and agility required of the herding dog. He is alert and energetic with a noble carriage. A formidable dog with a frank and unwavering expression, he always demands respect wherever he goes.

General Appearance
The athletic Beauceron gives an impression of strength, freedom of movement and liveliness, without heaviness. The structure is similar to that of the Belgian Malinois except the Beauceron is larger - about the size of a Doberman Pinscher. There are two coat colors, one is black-and-tan with specific tan markings, two lozenges above the eyes, tan on the bottom of the upper lip and throat, two tan spots on the breast, tan on the bottom of each leg and a tan marking in the shape of a lyre under his tail. The second is harlequin with patches of gray, black and tan. The hair is short with longer fringes on the tail and hindquarters. The outer coat should be harsh, never soft or silky, and should be lined with a wooly, fluffy undercoat - ensuring good thermal insulation. The Beauceron has a distinctive double dewclaw on the hind legs, making six toes per rear foot. The dewclaws must not be removed if the dog is to be shown. The ears are generally cropped, in which case they stand erect. Natural ears should be half-pricked with one-third of the ear erect. The fringed tail reaches at least to the hocks and is carried low in the shape of a letter "J." The eyes are dark, horse chestnut color with a proud and serious expression.


The Beauceron is a brave, faithful and highly intelligent dog. Fearless, vigilant, and patient, the Beauceron has an aptitude for obedience training and is known for his quick and thorough understanding of his master's desires. They are an excellent natural guard dog whose appearance and demeanor command respect. The Beauceron is happiest when it is working or exercising in wide-open spaces. They are instinctive herders who will herd everything in sight unless trained to do otherwise. Calm, obedient and very loyal, the Beauceron is always eager to please its master. They like to know who is boss and then they follow. They are generally good with children if they are raised with them from puppyhood, although this large energetic breed can be overwhelming to a small child.


Beaucerons present few problems as far as grooming goes. Their dewclaws will require some amount of trimming, of course, but only when they get too long or cause damage to the dogs. As far as their coats go, the only grooming you might need to do in order to keep your Beauceron in good health is to brush the dog more often than normal during shedding season, which happens at the usual rate for dogs of the Beauceron's size and type.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The Beauceron is generally a healthy, hardy breed. Some lines are prone to bloat and like any breed over 40 pounds, the Beaucerons are prone to hip dysplasia. Ninety-five percent of all breeders in the U.S. breed only hip certified stock. it has a life expectancy of 10-12 years.

Activity Level

Beaucerons were bred as herding dogs--which means, above all, outdoor dogs. That means in turn that they're going to want to spend as much time outdoors as possible--and in order to build the strongest possible relationship with your dog, you'll want to spend time outdoors with them as well. Long walks are a given, and a bare minimum as far as exercising a Beauceron goes. You'll also want to take some time to go jogging, to take long bike rides, to play elaborate games of fetching, and possibly even some swimming or other strenuous activity. (One activity to avoid is probably chasing--Beaucerons, being herding dogs, will no doubt love it, but you, being chased by a one hundred-plus pound dog, will no doubt have some reservations about engaging in this kind of play more than once.)


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