The Beauceron is a large, versatile French dog that has historically been used for roles including herding and guarding, and that is distinctive due to having double dewclaws on their hind legs! Historically, the breed was one that widely had their ears cropped into a pointed appearance, but now that this needless process is thankfully banned, they can be seen with their natural, slightly drooping ears.
Notably, the Beauceron is one of the breeds that was formative in the development of the much more widely recognised Doberman Pinscher dog, and is itself descended from longhaired sheepdogs from France. The Beauceron is a tall, medium built dog with a black and tan coat, and is still widely owned throughout France as both a working dog and a companion.
If you are wondering if the Beauceron is the right choice of dog for you, in this article we will look at the main traits and care requirements of the breed in more detail. Read on to learn more.
The Beauceron is most widely owned within France as a guard dog, and as a general purpose farm working dog that is capable of both herding and protecting livestock. They are lively, watchful and intelligent dogs that should be calm and fearless as well as gentle when the situation warrants it.
They have heightened natural guarding abilities, and are comfortable working and living outside. They can be suspicious and watchful with strangers, but they are adept at taking their cues from their owners, and will be perfectly friendly with newcomers when properly introduced.
They are reflective and not fiery in temperament, and are affectionate and very protective of their families.
The Beauceron often lives outdoors and is used to spending a lot of time outside and on the go, working, guarding and patrolling their property. They are used to being kept in the country and having a relatively large territory, and within the domestic home, need to be able to go out regularly and be walked several times a day.
They are often seen competing in dog sports such as obedience, agility and flyball, and can also be seen working at herding and tracking events too, making them highly versatile dogs in general.
The Beauceron is a very intelligent dog breed that is very amenable to training and learning new skills, and works hard to please. Like some other large breeds, however, they do not reach full mental or physical maturity until they are around three years old, which means that training for a full wide skillset can take some time.
When mature, they are more than capable of retaining a wide vocabulary of training commands, including complex chain commands.
They require a slow, steady training programme throughout the first few years of their lives, with regular training sessions and lots of variety.
As a protective dog that can also turn their paws to herding, the Beauceron is watchful and quick to react to the presence of other animals, often instinctively herding and potentially hunting small prey. However, their prey drive is not on an equivalent level with some other breeds such as terriers and sighthounds, and they can usually be trained for effective recall and taught not to chase.
The Beauceron is not a pack dog, but they are more than capable of working effectively with other dogs as part of a team, and are used to being housed with other dogs. Good early socialisation means that they are usually more than fine with other dogs that they meet out on walks, and as with when meeting new people, introductions to other dogs usually ensure good conduct and appropriate behaviour.
Because they are so amenable to training and working to please their owners, they can be trained to share their homes with smaller pets such as cats, providing that this is managed properly from the get-go. They may on occasion attempt to herd the cat if the urge takes them, but this is not usually a huge problem within the breed!
Outgoing, affectionate and protective of their families, the Beauceron will soon learn that the children are part of their pack, and will encompass protecting and watching over them as part of their role in life. They are friendly and loving with their families, and will often seek out children for cuddles and affection! They will also play happily with children, and enjoy going walking and out to play with older children.
Introductions should once again be managed carefully, particularly if you have visitors with children over to the home, to ensure that the Beauceron does not perceive them to be a potential challenge.