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Beauceron

Nicole Cosgrove

July 2, 2021
Height: 24–27.5 inches
Weight: 70–110 pounds
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Colors: Black and rust, black and tan, gray with black and tan, harlequin
Suitable for: Experienced dog owners with active lifestyles, those willing to commit to training and socialization
Temperament: Gentle, faithful, obedient, protective, intelligent

Intelligent and imposing, the dashing Beauceron gives quite the first impression with their powerful build and striking markings. This active breed originates from the French countryside, where they originally served as herders and livestock guardians. This breed’s beauty and talent eventually allowed them to serve in many other roles including as a military dog, rescue dog, and beloved companion dog. Prone to being dominant and stubborn, the Beauceron won’t be the right choice for every family or living situation. If you’re looking for a couch potato, this extremely active breed is not for you! But if you’re an experienced dog owner with plenty of patience and a lot of energy, the Beauceron might just be a good fit for you. Read on to learn more about this unique breed and find out if you might like to welcome a Beauceron into your family.divider-dog paw

Beauceron Puppies – Before You Buy…

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Image Credit: Rutina, Shutterstock
Energy
Shedding
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

What’s the Price of Beauceron Puppies?

Because Beaucerons are still relatively rare in the United States, puppies can be a bit expensive. On average, Beauceron puppies can cost anywhere from $1,200-$1,500 but you could have to pay as much as $2,500 for a quality pup. If you can’t find a puppy in this country, it’s also possible you will need to look into international breeders. Buying and shipping a puppy from another country will add additional expenses for travel and health certifications.

If you prefer to rescue rather than purchase a dog, you may be able to find Beaucerons available for adoption. Most rescues charge an adoption fee and the amount will vary by organization. Adoption fees will almost certainly be less than the cost to purchase a Beauceron puppy. In addition, adoption fees will generally cover some initial health costs such as vaccines and spaying or neutering your new pet.divider-paw

3 Little-Known Facts About Beauceron

1. The Breed Is Also Known By The Nickname “Bas Rogue”

“Bas Rouge” means “red stockings” in French. The Beauceron earned this nickname from their distinctive markings, often a rust-red color. From a distance, many Beaucerons do look as though they are dressed in their finest red socks.

2. They Have Extra Toes!

Most dogs are born with an extra toe on the inside of their front legs, known as a dewclaw. Some breeds have dewclaws on their rear legs as well. However, the Beauceron breed standard specifically calls for a double dewclaw on the rear legs. It is thought that the extra toes help the Beauceron get better traction when working in difficult terrain.

3. They Served In Two World Wars

Smart and versatile working dogs, Beaucerons were utilized by armies on both sides during the World Wars. Military Beaucerons were used to deliver messages, as transporters, and land mine detectors. The British War Museum even has a photograph of a Beauceron leaping over a trench on display.

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Image Credit: Vera Zinkova, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Beauceron

The Beauceron is an intelligent, strong-willed, and loyal breed. They learn quickly with the right combination of positive and firm training. Beaucerons are faithful and protective of their people. Because of their intense loyalty, they can be suspicious of strangers, making proper socialization vital for this breed.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Beaucerons are best for experienced dog-owning families, rather than first-time owners. Because of their activity level and strong personalities, they will do best with active families who are willing to step up to the challenge of properly training and socializing these dogs. Beaucerons can make wonderful family companions but they do require some work to become so. Families who are too busy to keep a Beauceron active or provide them with consistent training should probably consider a different breed.

Beaucerons can do well with kids if they are raised with them or adequately socialized towards them at a young age. Because they are known for their exuberance, Beaucerons should be carefully supervised with small children who could be overwhelmed by a large dog. Beaucerons are usually better suited to families with older children who can be taught the right way to handle and interact with a large, dominant dog.

Natural herding behaviors such as nipping or chasing kids may occur and should not be allowed. Beaucerons are also known to be “mouthy” dogs who may try to grab at hands or legs. Training and plenty of access to appropriate chew toys will help the Beauceron learn to avoid these unwanted behaviors.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Because they were bred as guarding and herding dogs, Beaucerons can be a territorial breed. Combined with their often dominant personalities, this tendency can make it difficult for Beaucerons to get along with other pets.

If socialized early, Beaucerons can learn to get along with other dogs in the family but may not take kindly to strange dogs. Be cautious with Beaucerons around cats or other small pets, as they do have a strong prey drive. Again, with early socialization, some Beaucerons may learn to live with cats but it might be safer to avoid this situation altogether.

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Things to Know When Owning a Beauceron:

If you like what you’ve learned so far about the Beauceron, you might be thinking seriously about getting one of your own. In that case, you’d probably like to learn a little more about what taking care of a Beauceron is like. Here is some more detailed information about properly caring for a Beauceron.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Beaucerons can eat and thrive on any high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet. If your Beauceron is a working dog, they may have different nutritional requirements than a less active dog. Your veterinarian can help you make sure your Beauceron is getting the right diet for their activity level. A Beauceron should be fed the correct food for their life stage whether that is a puppy, adult, or senior dog diet. The choice to feed a commercially prepared or homemade diet is up to you but always consult with a veterinarian if feeding homemade food to ensure it is properly balanced.

Exercise 🐕

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Image Credit: ESTELLE R, Shutterstock

As a general rule, Beaucerons are almost impossible to tire out. This is an extremely active breed that requires daily vigorous exercise. Beaucerons are great dogs for owners who are themselves active and they will happily join in daily runs or grueling hikes. Beaucerons need space to run and they prefer to live on lots of land or with a large, fenced yard.

In addition to physical activity, Beaucerons need regular mental stimulation to keep them from becoming bored and destructive. Beaucerons are happiest when they have a job to do. An athletic breed, they excel at many different dog sports including agility, flyball, and obedience.

Training 🎾

Overall, Beaucerons are intelligent and able to learn quickly. The catch is they are also strong-willed and independent, which can make their training more challenging. Beaucerons respond best to positive training and require patient, firm, and consistent handling. Again, this is not the breed for inexperienced dog owners.

Early socialization is important for the Beauceron because of their natural protective instincts. While they enjoy plenty of outdoor activity, Beaucerons are not a breed that will do well if left out of family life. They want to be with their people and may develop unwanted behaviors if left to themselves regularly.

Grooming ✂️

While they don’t require any special grooming, Beaucerons do shed quite a lot. Their double coat sheds year-round, with extra shedding twice a year. During shedding season, it’s best to brush a Beauceron daily to try and keep the hair under control. Outside of these times, weekly brushing should keep their coats healthy.

Remember those double dewclaws we talked about? Make sure you keep them trimmed as they won’t wear down like the nails that regularly contact the ground. You should also brush your Beauceron’s teeth regularly and keep their ears clean.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Hypothyroidism – An inherited type of hypothyroidism, decreased levels of thyroid hormone, can occur in Beaucerons.
  • Allergies – Beaucerons can develop allergies, either to foods or something in their environment.
Serious Conditions
  • Bloat – Like all large, deep-chested dogs, Beaucerons are prone to bloat, a serious medical emergency. While not an inherited condition, it is something to be aware of and look out for as a Beauceron owner.
  • Hip dysplasiaHip dysplasia, a condition where the dog’s hip joint and socket don’t fit together properly, can occur in Beaucerons. While not life-threatening, this condition can be painful and diminish the dog’s quality of life.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) – This heart condition has been noted in some Beaucerons.
  • Osteochondritis dissecans – Beaucerons can develop this bone disease, seen most often in large breed puppies. This condition is painful and often requires surgery to correct.

Beaucerons are considered a fairly healthy breed overall, but they are prone to a few health conditions you should be aware of. Responsible breeders will check their dogs for these conditions before breeding from them. Be sure to ask your breeder about health certifications before purchasing a puppy.

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Male vs Female

Now that you know all about the Beauceron, the last thing to consider before you go puppy hunting is whether to get a male or female pup. Some dog owners already know which they prefer but if not, are there any differences between male and female Beaucerons to help you decide?

Male Beaucerons are usually larger than females, as is common with most breeds. As we already discussed, Beaucerons have dominant personalities as a general rule. Reportedly, male Beaucerons show more dominant tendencies than females. This can make them harder to train and socialize.

Besides this, the differences between male and female Beaucerons are pretty typical of most dogs. Males overall can be more rambunctious, and females will go into heat about every 6 months or so. Spaying or neutering your Beauceron will help with both of these concerns.

 

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Final Thoughts

 

Although the Beauceron may not be the breed for everyone, those who are able and willing to invest the time and energy will end up with a special dog. A well-trained, well-socialized Beauceron can be both a loyal, sensitive companion and a versatile, tireless working dog. This unique combination of features is part of what has endeared this breed to their people for decades. If you decide to make a Beauceron part of your family, be aware that you’ll need to be committed to helping them become the best possible companion. In the case of the Beauceron, many devoted owners throughout the years certainly found all the effort to be worthwhile!

Related Read: 10 Working Dog Breeds (with Pictures)


Featured Image Credit: Jan dix, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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