The Beauceron, also known as Berger de Beauce and Bas Rouge, is the largest of the French sheepdogs and was developed solely in France with no foreign crosses. The Beauceron is closely related to the longhaired Briard or Berger de Brie.
Today, the breed is still utilized as a herding dog, working both sheep and cattle, but is also used as a personal protection dog, for tracking, police and military service and Search and Rescue. Looking for a true athlete with a steady disposition, uncanny ability to focus on the task at hand, agility and obedience enthusiasts in Europe and in the United States have successfully turned to the Beauceron as a competition partner.
The Beauceron is an old and distinct French breed of herding dog, developed solely in France with no foreign crosses. Dogs were bred and selected for their aptitude to herd and guard large flocks of sheep as well as for their structure and endurance. Beaucerons were used to move herds of 200 to 300 head traveling up to 50 miles per day without showing signs of exhaustion. The ideal Beauceron is a well-balanced, solid dog of good height, well-muscled without heaviness or coarseness. The whole conformation gives the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness, exhibiting the strength, endurance and agility required of the herding dog. He is alert and energetic with a noble carriage. A formidable dog with a frank and unwavering expression, he demands respect wherever he goes. Dogs are characteristically larger throughout with a larger frame and heavier bone than bitches. Bitches are distinctly feminine, but without weakness in substance or structure. The Beauceron should be discerning and confident. He is a dog with spirit and initiative, wise and fearless with no trace of timidity. Intelligent, easily trained, faithful, gentle and obedient. The Beauceron possesses an excellent memory and an ardent desire to please his master. He retains a high degree of his inherited instinct to guard home and master. Although he can be reserved with strangers, he is loving and loyal to those he knows. Some will display a certain independence. He should be easily approached without showing signs of fear.
The Beauceron is a dog of substance, is an active and serious working dog, with exceptional endurance, keen intelligence and obedience. Loyal and strongly devoted to his master, he is also a faithful family companion. Since the Beauceron has a well developed guarding instinct and is naturally distrusting of strangers, he lends himself well as a protector of house and home. His build, bearing, frank and unwavering expression demand respect wherever he goes.
The French writer Colette was a devotee of the breed and labeled the Beauceron “the country gentleman”. She described them as “affectionate, playful, superb with children, absolutely and deeply attached to their masters. But at the same time, there is something mysterious about a Beauceron. They are like some people who don’t talk much but have a strong presence. They have a dimension, a depth, I have not found in other dogs.” This is the essence of the Beauceron, then and now.
Males 25½ to 27½ inches; bitches 24 to 26½ inches at the withers.
Black and Tan: The black is very pure; the tan markings are squirrel red; the markings are: dots above the eyes; on the sides of the muzzle, fading off on the cheeks, never reaching the underside of the ears; two spots on the chest are preferred to a breastplate; on the throat; under the tail; on the legs the markings extend from the feet to the pasterns, progressively lessening, though never covering more than 1/3 of the leg, rising slightly higher on the inside of the leg. Some white hairs on the chest are tolerated.
Gray, Black and Tan (Harlequin): Black and Tan base color with a pattern of blue-gray patches distributed evenly over the body and balanced with the base color, sometimes with a predominance of black.
Learn more at the America Beauceron Club.