OVERVIEW OF THE BEAUCERON
The Beauceron is large and strong but also incredibly intelligent, lively, and adaptable as a herder. Imagine a dog with the intelligence of a Border Collie but only weighing 100 pounds. Women especially adore them since they make a striking but caring friend and protector.
Beaucerons are powerful, tough, and huge, standing up to 27.5 inches tall at the shoulder yet remaining graceful and balanced in every way. The French call them Bas-Rouge, which literally translates to “red stockings.” This is because of the scarlet coloring on their feet that contrasts beautifully with their otherwise black coats. Breed enthusiasts describe their long, well-chiseled heads as candid and self-assured and their dark brown eyes as projecting expressiveness. But, they aren’t good for people who have never had a dog before because, being a dominant breed, it may end up dominating their owners. Well, that shouldn’t stop you from getting one because socialized and well-trained Beaucerons become sensible watchdogs and guardians who are especially adept at taking care of the small and frail.
The first mention of the Beauceron can be traced back to 1578. The breed is the biggest of the French sheepdogs, which makes it stand out. Besides tending to the flocks of sheep, it also used to herd cattle and served as a watchdog. Its name originates from a town called La Beauce, which is near Paris.
At the end of the 19th century, many canine-centric groups were established, including 1882’s Societe Centrale Canine. In 1893, it recognized the very first Berger de Beauceron, prompting the creation of a breed standard. Then, in 1922, the Club des Amis du Beauceron was established.
Although Beauceron’s traditional role as a sheepdog gradually disappeared due to modernization, it adapted well to the police and military.
The French army started using Beaucerons, and the breed rose to fame as a bomb-sniffing and messenger dog hero in both World Wars. It continues to serve in the military and law enforcement. In 2007, the Beauceron gained official recognition from the American Kennel Club. As of right now, this breed is #153 on the list of all AKC-recognized canine species.
The Beauceron is characterized by its well-rounded coat and striking “squirrel red” and black tuxedo. On the other hand, they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns (patches blue-gray and black). Most of their coats are short, but the neck and hind legs have thicknesses and fringe that can exceed one inch in length.
The Beauceron has a long, thick tail that forms a slight curve and adds to the sleekness of the breed. Their long, broad heads have ears that may be clipped, naturally set, or hanging loose. Be aware that cropping procedures are controversial. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, crops are normally performed for cosmetic reasons only and have no known health advantages. They might hurt the pup as well.
These dogs shed, like many herding breeds, and season shedding can be heavy. As a result, owners must brush their Beauceron dogs every day. To maintain healthy feet and joints, Beaucerons, like dogs of all breeds, benefit from having their nails trimmed every other week. In addition, they require monthly trimming of their double dewclaws, a breed-specific characteristic that truly jumps out to strangers.
The intelligence of the Beauceron is a distinguishing quality that makes them keen and entertaining learners. Whether you want to teach them basic or complex skills, they are great learners. Obedience and rally, scent work, agility, herding, and more are just some competitive canine activities that these dogs excel in learning. But, due to their intelligence and high levels of energy, they are best owned by someone who does not tire easily, who does not prefer to spend time alone, and who can throw a Frisbee for hours on end.
The Beauceron’s sharp, alert vision was developed over generations of selective breeding to recognize and track the rapid movements of large flocks of sheep. That’s why it’s no surprise that kids and small animals alike may inspire exciting games of chase thanks to their rapid and erratic movement. The Beauceron may dislike an unexpected neighbor or an animal that enters their yard without warning. They form strong attachments with their human parents and are devoted to their families.
Beaucerons do not enjoy spending the entire day inside or in a kennel. They’d much rather be with you and join in on your regular activities. Beauces thrive with owners willing to devote a lot of time and energy to stimulate their physical and mental development. After a day filled with enrichment opportunities and quality time with family members, Beaucerons are content to relax on the couch with you and watch a movie.
FOOD AND HEALTH OF THE BEAUCERON
Beaucerons thrive on quality dog food, whether purchased premade or made at home under a vet’s supervision. Fast-growing Beauceron puppies may require more calories, so feed your Beauceron according to their age and weight.
The nutritional requirements of a working Beauceron might be considerable. So, it’s important to frequently check your dog’s health to ensure that its diet is sufficient. On the other hand, some Beaucerons tend to gain too much weight, so pay attention to how many calories your dog eats and how much it weighs. Treats are a good way to train a dog, but giving them too many of them could make the dog fat. Find out which foods are good for dogs and which ones aren’t. Talk to your vet if you are worried about your Beauceron’s diet or weight.
Additionally, these dogs need more than just a daily stroll around the block to maintain their happiness. They need to be able to use their sniffing, herding, and chasing instincts regularly. A healthy and happy lifestyle requires a regimen with good quality food and regular enrichment activities.
The Beauceron is a great competition companion if you’re looking for (and ready for) a true athlete with an uncanny capacity for attention. These dogs require daily exercise such as long walks, runs, or treks to run off excess energy and exercise their innate ability to hunt and capture. They’d much rather be with you and join in on your regular activities. They thrive in open spaces with six-foot barriers where they can run freely and on lengthy hikes where they can sniff and explore their surroundings.
Beaucerons are excellent in jobs ranging from livestock herding to being a search and rescue hero. They require regular opportunities to exercise their intellect and excel at picking up new abilities and tricks in a secure setting, but they are also delicate and easily overstimulated.
They adapt well to most environments, although their dark coats make them sweaty in the sun. After a satisfying swim or snowball fight, some Beaucerons prefer a cozy place to slumber close to their loved ones. They’ll be unhappy being alone all day because they want to be where you are. The Beauceron is devoted to and very close to his family, making it your favorite traveling companion.
Training and socialization
An inexperienced Beauceron owner should enroll the dog in positive reinforcement training sessions, beginning with puppy kindergarten and continuing through maturity, so that the dog can acquire a variety of valuable skills, interact with other dogs and puppies and meet new people. When exposed as puppies to tiny creatures such as cats or birds, or children, they are kind and affectionate siblings. Additionally, due to their size and strength, it is imperative to educate them on how to walk properly while wearing a body harness and leash.
These dogs are great at many professions, but they like consistency and may not love the loud and chaotic settings that come with the territory of public locations. They crave companionship, but a Beauceron will find the excitement of a summer festival or a trip to the dog park too much to handle.
When properly socialized, the Beauceron may be a lovely family member and a great pet for households with cats, toddlers, and other canines. Still, potential owners should remain on the lookout for signs of aggression towards children and other small animals, as these dogs have a long history as working and herding dogs and are predisposed to find quick movements appealing.
Health concerns of Beauceron
There are always some health issues with every breed. Find out from the breeder what health examinations the sire and dam have undergone and whether they are aware of any health problems running in their family. Even if a breeder is very careful, health problems can still occur. The breeder’s response to concerns like these is a better indicator of the breeder’s reliability. Dog owners of the Beauceron should do well to familiarize themselves with the disease, its symptoms, and the best course of action in the event of an outbreak.
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)
Hip joint laxity (floppiness of the hip joint), a subluxation (partial displacement of the hip joint), and significant arthritic change (a degenerative condition) are the main abnormalities in canine hip dysplasia.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
This disorder affects the heart’s muscles which leads to abnormal growth and poor pumping. The heart’s bottom chamber, the ventricle, swells in size and loses its capacity to contract, making it unable to pump blood to the body or lungs.
Dogs can suffer from a wide variety of eye conditions. All dogs, no matter what breed, should have an annual ophthalmologic examination performed by a board-certified vet in that specialty.
Food allergies and environmental allergies are both possible causes. Milk and beef products, grains (wheat, soy, corn), poultry, and eggs are among the top eight food allergies.
Pancytopenia is an abnormality of a low number of blood cells, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It results in a reaction to malfunction in the bone marrow’s blood-forming stem cells.
Gastric dilation and bloat
The majority of dogs affected by this illness have deep chest cavities. The presence of gas causes the stomach to expand. In certain instances, the stomach twists on its axis (known as torsion) and closes off both ends. If this illness is not addressed immediately, generally by surgery, it could be fatal to the dog.
Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
OCD is caused by a cartilage problem surrounding the head of particular long bones. This problem is hereditary. Most of the time, it happens in the elbow or shoulder joints. It rarely happens in the hips or knees. Flaps and cracks in the articular cartilage are signs of the condition. These cracks and flaps cause inflammation, lameness, joint instability, pain, and degenerative joint disease.
GROOMING INSIGHTS FOR BEAUCERON
These are huge, lively, and incredibly intelligent dogs, weighing in at 70 to 110 pounds and standing an average of 25 to 28 inches for males and 24 to 27 inches for females. Though these traits make them adaptive, they are not ideal for people who have never owned a dog before.
The only difficult aspect of grooming these canines is trimming their nails. The Beauceron is special in that it has double dewclaws, a trait shared by very few dog breeds. Double dewclaws are thought to help a dog’s stability, which would benefit the dog in activities like herding.
In the modern era, dewclaw removal is standard practice, especially in the United States. It is unusual to find a puppy with its dew claws still attached, but the practice of shaving is gaining more and more backlash, and Beauceron breeders do not shave their dogs since the “dewclaws” are a breed standard and are far longer and thicker than those on most other breeds. Beaucerons must have their nails, and dewclaws cut regularly.
The Beauceron, like most herding breeds, is prone to shedding. During the peak shedding seasons of fall and spring, you may need to brush your Beauce as often as once a week, if not more frequently. Because of their short and thick coats, washing and de-stinking them after an exciting and messy outing is a breeze. To keep your Beauceron feel good and to look their best, they will need routine demating and brushing of the belly area.