Beauceron is a shepherd dog from the French Middle Ages, which has reached our days without undergoing almost any changes.
- Breed name: Beauceron
- Country of Origin: France
- Weight: 30-45 kg
- Height (height at the withers): males 65-70 cm, females 61-68 cm
- Life expectancy: 10-13 years
- Beauceron or French Shepherd is a fairly rare breed in our country.
- The animal is large, well balanced athletic build, agile, fast and hardy.
- Historically, Beauceron is distrustful of strangers. To avoid problems in the future, you need to properly educate the dog from childhood.
- The character of the French Shepherd can even be called tough. Dogs of this breed (more often males) tend to dominate. To find a common language with a pet and achieve mutual understanding, you will have to put a lot of time and effort.
- Urban residents need to know that Beauceron is not a very suitable dog for apartment maintenance. The reason for this is the dog's active temperament and the need for constant physical activity.
- Beauceron is distinguished by a slow maturation process – up to two or three years old, the dog is not considered an adult.
- Middle-aged and older children immediately need to explain the basic rules of behavior with such an animal. Beauceron will not tolerate pranks for a long time, but if the norms of friendly communication are observed, it is quite capable of becoming a devoted friend and protector for a child. If there are very little ones in the house, the dog will immediately take custody of the smallest members of the "pack". Beaucerons are great babysitters.
- It is necessary to train a French shepherd dog. Beauceron was created for service and work, and it is simply not humane to deprive a dog of its true purpose.
Beauceron - an aboriginal breed, a direct descendant of the wolf. Initially an irreplaceable shepherd dog, today it is rightfully considered a first-class watchman and a full-fledged family member who has earned the absolute trust of a person. Beaucerons embody the best features of the canine family: strength, endurance, endless devotion, the ability to be companions and the willingness to protect those they love.
History of the Beauceron breed
If we talk about the origin of the Beauceron breed, two main hypotheses are put forward today. According to one of them, the ancestor of the French smooth-haired Shepherd was a fossil peat dog, the remains of which were found in the area of the Jura mountain range. According to another, the ancestor of Beauceron was a wolf. In favor of this version, there is a great similarity of animals not only in appearance, but also at the intracellular level. Only geneticists can dot the "I", but at the moment this problem is not being investigated.
The following is known for sure: the Beauceron breed was formed on the territory of modern France almost without any outside influence. Evolutionary development led to the emergence of a fairly large, very powerful and hardy dog, which was successfully used in hunting large animals.
Over time, the development of agriculture, especially pastoral animal husbandry, led to massive deforestation and a significant decrease in the number of hunting objects – bears, wild boars and deer. A person had an urgent need for herding dogs, and at first the priority task of such animals was to protect the flock from wolves and even robbers.
The first documentary information about the French Shepherd can be found in a manuscript that dates back to 1578. Much later, in 1809, one of the Catholic abbots wrote a treatise "Work in agriculture", where he covered in detail the question of the correct use of dogs for sheep grazing. The author described two types of dogs: a long-haired shepherd dog Brie and a much more powerful guard dog, which can cope with a wolf alone.
Half a century later, in 1863, a dog show was held in Paris, where the French Beauceron was first presented to the public. However, the breed received official recognition later, in 1896. The commission of authoritative experts approved at its meeting the first standards of two varieties of the French Shepherd – Berger de Brie (long-haired) and Berger de Beauce (smooth-haired). The name "Beauceron" was given after the French region of Bos. A year later, under the auspices of the French Ministry of Agriculture, the first kennel club of this breed was established. The official club, which was engaged directly in Beaucerons, appeared in 1911. It exists to this day and strictly controls the breeding of representatives of the breed in France.
Berger de Beauce are very popular in their own country, but they are much less known abroad. Experts say that this is for the best. None of the "outsiders" had a hand in the breeding work, which allowed us to fully preserve all the working qualities of dogs to this day.
Today Beauceron in France is an excellent service dog, which is successfully used both in the army and in police work.
Beauceron is a large dog, with a powerful muscular build, but by no means looking heavy. Quite often, Beaucerons are confused with Doberman or rottweiler , or with a half-breed of these breeds with sheepdogs.
The height of females ranges from 61 to 68 cm, males – from 65 to 70 cm. The body weight ranges from 40 to 50 kg, depending on the sex of the animal.
The size is proportional to the body, the skull is rounded, embossed. The stop is soft, smooth. The frontal furrow is traced, the occipital protuberance is clearly expressed. The size of the skull and the length of the muzzle are proportional. The face of the Beauceron is slightly elongated, but not sharp and not narrow. The bite is scissor-shaped.
Always black, the lobe is well developed.
Deep-set, rounded shape. The color is dark, and heterochromia is possible in harlequins. Beauceron always has a clear, calm and friendly look.
Planted high, if not cupped – can be hanging or semi-standing, not pressed to the cheeks, not long (no more than ½ the length of the skull). Docked – stand straight, slightly turned forward, but without tilting either to the center or apart.
Muscular, long, harmoniously passing into the withers.
Beauceron's body is athletic, with developed muscles. Not long and not short. The chest is well developed, high. The back is straight, the croup is slightly inclined. The loin is wide.
Long, has a saber-shaped shape.
Front – muscular, straight. The rear ones are strong. The popliteal cavity is located low. The presence of two dewclaws is mandatory.
Arched, rounded, with elastic sole. The claws are always black.
Beauceron's hair is smooth on the head, short on the body (no more than 3-4 cm), rough and tight-fitting. There is a longer fringe on the buttocks and underside of the tail. The undercoat is thick, fluffy, mouse-colored, should not be visible through the outer hair.
For the Beauceron breed, there are two traditional color options.
- Black and tan. Black – thick and saturated, tan – in the color of squirrel fur. The location of the red markings: above the eyes; on the sides of the muzzle with a decrease to the cheeks, they do not reach the ear; on the chest (it is better if there are two markings); on the lower part of the neck; under the tail; on the limbs, gradually disappearing closer to the top, from the outside the legs rise approximately ⅓ length, on the inner one is slightly higher.
- Harlequin. The coat is black and gray in color with a uniform distribution of both colors or with some predominance of black, a small white spot is allowed on the chest. Red tan is distributed in the same way as in the case of black and tan color. Such an option is valued more highly due to its rarity.
Any deviations from the standard are considered shortcomings, the severity of which is determined separately in each case.
The grounds for the disqualification of Beauceron at the exhibition are:
- aggressiveness or, conversely, fearfulness of the dog;
- height deviations and a lightweight backbone;
- light or multicolored eyes (if the color is not harlequin);
- not a black nose lobe;
- bite defects;
- lack of dewclaws on the hind legs;
- ears standing straight, if they are not cupped;
- shortened tail;
- difference from the standards in color and structure of the coat (completely gray head, lack of tan, shagginess; harlequins have a predominance of gray).
Males should have clearly defined sexual characteristics.
Beauceron is a dog with an even and balanced type of psyche. It is a highly socialized creature that gets along well with both relatives and other animals. The French Shepherd, which may seem strange for such an independent dog, is in dire need of manifestations of mutual love and affection on the part of a person.
The presence of such traits as observation and attention to detail is genetically inherent in the character. Beaucerons are smart, quick-witted, work well in a team.
The complexity of the character is given by the desire of the "boss" to dominate, which is especially noticeable in males. The desire to manage is expressed quite clearly and is often directed not only at other animals in the house, but also at family members. Many owners joke that Beauceron, as a true shepherd dog, considers others helpless sheep, for which he is entirely responsible. Maybe it really is. Willingness to protect the weak is a distinctive feature of Berger de Beauce. That is why even small children can be safely entrusted to them.
Many are surprised by the habit of this dog to bite slightly-to pinch people's legs. Such behavior absolutely does not pose a threat to human health, but it is connected with the fact that in this way the distant ancestors of today's shepherds managed herds, pointing them in the right direction of movement. This gesture is by no means aggression, but simply a manifestation of vigilance and concern for others.
Beauceron implicitly accepts the authority of the owner and obeys him in everything. Do not confuse this with servility and servility. To paraphrase the classic, we can say that "bos" will serve, but will never serve. You can build such a relationship with a dog only through justice, respect and love. It should be noted that such love for the owner has a negative side. These dogs are very difficult to endure long separations and may even get sick.
The character of Beauceron is strongly influenced by his lifestyle. A dog that does not have sufficient physical exertion, the ability to throw out the accumulated energy, may soon become irritable, aggressive or, conversely, indifferent to everything.
Beauceron education and training
Beauceron's upbringing begins from the very first day of his appearance in the house. Considering that the dog grows up quite slowly (males – up to two or three years of age, bitches - a little faster), you should be prepared to keep the issues of dog upbringing and training under constant control all this time.
The process begins with the fact that the baby must clearly learn a number of simple rules. The puppy is accustomed to the place, the mode of eating, the time of walking. The "Boss" should understand the prohibition on begging, you can not allow him to gnaw shoes and spoil household items, even if he is still a very baby, and his tricks touch you rather than anger. It will take some time and patience of the owner to achieve the result. Remember that any manifestation of violence and injustice towards the dog can permanently destroy your relationship with Beauceron. It is important that the owner himself is engaged in the upbringing of the puppy – the help of the household in this matter will not be the best solution. Firstly, the baby will simply be lost, whose requirements he should fulfill, and, secondly, with this method, you will definitely not be able to become a real "leader" for the dog.
French Shepherds are very smart. You can start training them from an early age. Beauceron's temperament is such that he does not accept routine and monotony. It is better to train in a playful way and not unnecessarily overload a young dog.
When starting training, take into account the characteristics of your pet's character and remember that success will come only if you can establish contact and achieve complete mutual understanding. Train your dog consistently – from simple commands to more complex ones. Do not try to immediately achieve a variety of tricks. If there are any difficulties, it is better to take a step back than to forcibly try to force the animal to execute this or that command. Moreover, we are talking not only about physical punishments, which are absolutely unacceptable. Moral pressure can also seriously disrupt the balance of your relationship, because the Beauceron is a very sensitive dog.
It is better to train the "boss" in quiet places, away from the hustle and bustle. So your pupil will not be distracted once again and will achieve the desired result faster. You need to encourage the dog for success with treats. To make this method more effective, conduct classes with your pet either before feeding or 4-5 hours after it. A well-fed animal works reluctantly and simply does not see much interest in earning tidbits.
Having managed to properly educate and train Beauceron, you will get an amazing dog – a devoted friend and reliable defender.
Care and maintenance
Beauceron is an unpretentious dog, and its content is reduced to compliance with a number of simple requirements.
Grooming consists in periodic combing with special combs. During the molting period, it is necessary to remove the fallen wool daily, although it should be noted that dogs of this breed rarely shed.
It is enough to bathe Beauceron once a month or if necessary, if the dog is dirty. Special pet shampoos are used for water procedures. The claws of Beaucerons are cut off if necessary, if they become too long and begin to cause inconvenience to the dog. Eyes and ears need to be kept clean, removing the dirt that has appeared with cotton swabs.
It seems most reasonable to get an animal of this breed to the owners of country houses. As a habitat, you can arrange an aviary of the right size, but you should not keep Beaucerons on a chain. If it is impossible to avoid this in certain situations, try to reduce the time of restriction of freedom as much as possible. When kept in an apartment, you cannot do without long systematic walks with good physical activity.
There are two ways to organize the dog's nutrition – use ready-made dry food or natural products.
Ready-made feeds seem preferable to many. This is both a saving of the owner's time, and a guarantee that the animal will receive with food everything necessary for development and health, but only if specialized high-quality formulations are used.
If you make up the beauceron diet from natural products, then remember:
- from meat products, it is better to opt for veal or chicken. Pork is too fatty and is not recommended for these dogs;
- it is not worth giving milk to adult dogs, low-fat cottage cheese and cheese will bring much more benefit;
- cereal porridges in the diet are simply necessary;
- fruits and vegetables are also mandatory on the menu.
Beaucerons, like most dogs, have a potential sweet tooth, but here you have to be strict. Cakes, sweets, chocolate are not for your friend. Moreover, pet stores offer as an alternative a large assortment of dog treats, which can and should be successfully used during training, and just to pamper your pet.
Beauceron health and Diseases
Dogs of this breed are distinguished by good health. With proper care, Beauceron gets sick infrequently and up to 10-12 years of age, and sometimes longer, retains cheerfulness and efficiency.
French Shepherds are not susceptible to specific hereditary diseases. Even hip or elbow dysplasia, which is quite common in large dogs, is quite rare for Beaucerons. The percentage of stomach inversion diagnosed in these animals is very small, but there are still such cases. Males aged from 5 years are most often affected. If your pet suddenly begins to show characteristic symptoms – urge to vomit, bloating, severe pain in this area, a sharp deterioration in the general condition – immediately to the clinic. Without urgent surgical intervention, the animal may die.
Sometimes representatives of this breed have heart problems.
The ears of Beaucerons used to be docked without exception, no pathogenic microflora developed in an open "ventilated" shell. Today, in many countries, it is forbidden to subject dogs to such surgical intervention. Harmful microorganisms in the uncapped ear receive much more comfortable conditions for development, which can lead to the development of otitis media of various types. It is better to entrust the treatment of such a disease to a specialist.
Compliance with vaccination schedules, deworming, as well as the organization of proper nutrition play an important role in maintaining the health of your pet.
How to choose a puppy
Those who want to get a Beauceron should know that in our country it is a very rare breed, so it is impossible to buy an animal via the Internet or at the bird market. Any such offer is 100% deception.
A guarantee of blood purity can only be given to you in a serious respected nursery that specializes in breeding Beaucerons.
A French Shepherd puppy can sometimes be waited for a long time. If you have such an opportunity, use this period to get acquainted with the breeders, see the parents of the unborn baby, evaluate their temperament, intelligence, character, and study the pedigree.
A Beauceron puppy is usually taken at the age of about seven weeks. In a specialized nursery by this time, the baby will undergo specially designed testing. According to its results, experts make predictive assumptions about what kind of character a dog may have and how his working qualities will manifest themselves. When buying a French shepherd, ask about the test results of your chosen one.
If the baby did not pass the test, choose the most lively and playful.
In addition, pay attention to the following nuances.
- Beauceron should be cheerful, cheerful, moderately active and curious.
- The puppy by the age of 7-8 weeks is already quite large, with a shiny glossy coat.
- Eyes and ears should be clean, without unpleasant odor.
- The paws of a healthy puppy are thick, with a strong bone, on the hind limbs – two thumbs.
- The darker the color of the Beauceron iris, the better. Marble puppies can have eyes of different colors.
- The color of the tan is allowed to be light with yellowness (it may darken with age), but it is preferable that the areas of the coat are initially darker with a reddish tinge.
Photos of beauceron puppies
How much does Beauceron cost
Dogs of this breed are very rare in Russia. It is quite logical that Beauceron puppies are not cheap. A puppy from a specialized kennel will be evaluated depending on the class. The smallest amount, about $400, will be charged for a pet-class animal. Such a dog will be an excellent companion for you, but it will not be allowed to breed. Are you planning to become a breeder? For a Beauceron suitable for this purpose in the future, you will have to pay about $600. If you are ambitious and want to own a champion dog, then you should pay attention to show-class puppies, the price of which fluctuates around $800.