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Introduction to the Beauceron

Beauceron, Berger de Beauce, or Bas-Rouge, all three names describe the same breed of dog.

Paisley du Pla de la Jasse and Nolwenn  - click for full size

The Beauceron is a very athletic dog that gives the impression of strength. They are an incredibly versatile breed with a powerful, muscular build, but with freedom of movement and liveliness, without heaviness. With their physical capabilities combined with their work ethic, they excel at many different things. They are used quite successfully in Search and Rescue work, as well as drug dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs. They successfully compete in tracking, obedience, agility, ring, Schutzhund, skijoring, and flyball, as well as the primary function they were bred for, herding.

Beaucerons are known for their extreme intelligence and are without a doubt one of the most intelligent of dog breeds. They have excellent memories, and their principal qualities are obedience, vigilance, calmness, courage, hardiness, and patience. The Beauceron displays an extreme sense of loyalty and an eagerness to please his master. They are sensitive dogs and seem to have an uncanny ability to sense their owners moods and desires.

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A unique characteristic of this breed is the double dewclaws on the hindlegs. These are required by the breed standard. I am often asked why the Beauceron has double dewclaws. It is French tradition for the French herding and flock dogs to have double dewclaws in the rear. Some folks say it goes back to the early days of the breed. The better herders had the double dewclaws. Eventually, through selective breeding, single dews were bred out. Now, double dewclaws is a sign of a true Beauceron.

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The Beauceron comes in two different acceptable coat colors. The most common color is black and tan also known as bas rouge (red stockings). This is the same color you see in the Rottweiler and Doberman. The other coat color is grey, black and tan, more commonly known as harlequin. The harlequin has the same black and tan base coat, but they also have grey mixed in. In the US they might be called a merle.

The Beauceron is indeed a remarkable dog. but it must be stressed that the Beauceron is not a dog for everyone and may not be suitable for a first time dog owner. The Beauceron needs a disciplined master who can take the time, and who has the patience required to train such a dog. If not properly handled a Beauceron can become quite assertive. The Beauceron requires early, competent training and socialization by an experienced and disciplined owner. Although they are patient and protective with children, they may not be the best of playmate for a child because of their size and their herding and guarding instincts.

A well behaved adult Beauceron is not overly hyper, however up until age two or three they can be extremely active and will require a great deal of exercise. The Beauceron does not fare well as a kennel dog, or in an apartment. They should not be left alone for long periods of time. Idleness and loneliness are the Beaucerons worst enemies. Without proper exercise and activities, a Beauceron can easily become destructive and unruly due to boredom.

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