The Beauceron is still very much a rare breed in this country; it is at present registered on the Import Register with the UK Kennel Club.
The breed has its origins in France where many thousands of these dogs are now registered. It has been used mainly as a herding protection dog by the farming fraternity. It is also used by the military for guarding duties and, during the first world war, as a messenger carrying dispatches between the trenches.
The breed has been established for hundreds of years - It can be traced back to 1560 - and has changed very little throughout that time. This has resulted in making it one of the most natural and least exaggerated dogs in existence.
One of the main characteristics of the breed is the large double dew-claws on the hind legs. These are in fact more than just dew-claws, they are real toe joints. To quote the old French farmers, “If a Beauceron does not have double dew-claws it is not a Beauceron and will not be a good worker”.
The accepted colours are Black and Tan and Tricolour (Harlequin) where the coat has grey and black patches, which are evenly distributed over the body, with more black than grey.
They are a large breed with the males reaching twenty-seven inches and the females twenty-six inches at the shoulder. Although large, they are very active and supple. They do not like to be left alone for long periods and love human contact. They are never happier than when their “family” is all together.
They enjoy their training, which needs to be firm but gentle. They do not tolerate harsh handling. It is vital that they are socialised from a very early age. This is a very important part of their training and if they are brought up having been socialised with other dogs they should not be a problem. We have found that Beaucerons interact very well with other breeds.
They train easily as they are an extremely intelligent breed, very willing to learn. Many Beaucerons are now working in obedience, working trials and fly-ball.
The Beauceron is one of the most natural and least exaggerated dogs in existence - and we would like to keep it that way. That is why we recommend that the Beauceron is Hip Scored and Eye Tested. The Beauceron does not suffer from any known hereditary eye disease. We recommend general testing under the BVA scheme to ensure that there are no eye abnormalities and to ensure the continued good health for our breed.
Testing under these schemes is essential for Beaucerons used in breeding programmes. Affected Beaucerons should not be bred from.
The Harlequin coat colour in the Beauceron is the result of the merle gene. It is therefore not permitted to mate together two Harlequins. Any progeny from such a mating will not be registered by The Kennel Club.