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Owczarek francuski beauceron 009pl.jpg
The Beauceron
Other names French Shorthaired Shepherd
Beauce Shepherd
Berger de Beauce
Bas Rouge (Red Stocking)
Country of origin France
Weight Male 70–100 lb (32–45 kg)
Female 66–85 lb (30–39 kg)
Height Male 26-28in (65-70cm)
Female 25-26in (61-68cm)
Coat Harsh outer coat with woolly, fluffy undercoat
Color Black with tan markings, or black and mottled grey with tan markings
Life span 10-13 years
Also registered in the USA by the North American Beauceron Club - NABC.

The Beauceron is a guarding and herding dog breed whose origins lie in the plains of Northern France. The Beauceron is also known as Berger de Beauce (sheepdog from Beauce) or Bas Rouge (red-stockings).



This breed stands 61 to 70 cm (24 to 27.5 inches) in height and weighs 30 to 45 kg (66 to 100 pounds). Its standard colouring is black and tan (referred to in French as "rouge ecureil", squirrel-red) or tan and grey (harlequin). Other colours, such as the once prevalent tawny, grey or grey/black, are now banned by the breed standard. The coat is short, close and smooth; the tail is sturdy and long and hangs in a "J" shape.

Although most breeds may or may not have dewclaws (many owners of other breeds remove dewclaws, especially if the dog is used for field and hunting), an important feature of the Beauceron is the double dewclaw. A beauceron must have double dewclaws, which form well separated “thumbs” with nails on each rear leg, anything less will result in disqualification.[1] [2] [3]


The Beauceron is known in France as a guard dog and child minder, a helper around the farm (herding sheep or cattle), and/or a ring sport dog (primarily protection training). This athletic, healthy and long-lived breed has been bred to be intelligent, calm, gentle, and fearless. Adults are typically suspicious of strangers and are excellent natural guard dogs. On the other hand they typically take their cue from their handlers when it comes to greeting strangers, and are neither sharp nor shy. They do best when raised within the family but they can sleep outside, the better to act as guards (their weatherproof coats make them ideal dog kennel users even in the coldest winters). They are eager learners and can be trained to a high level. However, their physical and mental development is slow, relative to other similar breeds (e.g. German and other large shepherds): they are not mentally or physically mature until the age of about three years, so their training should not be rushed. Several five- or ten-minute play-training exercises per day in the early years can achieve better results than long or rigorous training sessions.


A French herding breed known for centuries in western Europe, the Beauceron is noted as one of the breeds used to create the Doberman Pinscher.
The regional name is somewhat misleading. The breed was found throughout northern France, rather than just in the Beauce region. Although quite different in appearance, the Beauceron and the long-haired sheep dog, the Briard, stem from similar ancestral stock, sharing the trait of double dewclaws on the hind legs. Like the Beauceron, the Briard is found throughout northern France, and despite implications from its name, also did not come exclusively from the Brie region.

In 1809, Abbé Rozier wrote an article on these French herding dogs, in which he described the differences in type and used the terms Berger de Brie and Berger de Beauce.

In 1893, the veterinarian Paul Megnin differentiated between the long-haired Berger de la Brie and the short-haired Berger de Beauce. He defined the standard of the breed, with the assistance of M. Emmanuel Ball. In 1922, the Club des Amis du Beauceron was formed under the guidance of Dr. Megnin.

In 2008, the Beauceron made its debut in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.


History as a working breed

A Beauceron

A very versatile breed, the Bas Rouge is used to both guard and herd sheep and cattle. It was once very useful against wolves, now long gone from northern France. The breed served in both World Wars as messenger dog, supply transport dog, detection of land mines and rescue of the wounded.


  1. ^ Breed Standard
  2. ^ Standard du Berger de Beauce
  3. ^ Nouvelle page 1
  • Vous et votre beauceron (French), written by Pierre Boistel, published by Editions de l'Homme, January 8, 1991, ISBN 2761909003, 166 pages
  • Les Berger Francais (French), written by Philippe De Wailly and Alain Dupont, published by Solar, September 12, 1999, ISBN 2263026584
  • Beauceron, written by Meg Purnell Carpenter, published by Kennel Club Books, May, 2007, ISBN 9781593783716, 160 pages
  • Le Beauceron (French), written by Monique Reverdy, published by Artémis, May 21, 2003, ISBN 2844161812, 144 pages

External links


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