Brave and Intelligent, Highly Respected as a Police Dog


Highly Respected as a Police and Military Dog, This Pet Will Need Daily Physical and Mental Challenge

Relatively unknown outside of its native country of France, the Beauceron is the most favored of all sheep-herding dogs there, because of its tireless ability and desire to work combined with its gentle and faithful disposition. Originally one of the breeds that was used to create the Doberman Pinscher which it closely resembles, this fearless animal was used to protect cattle and sheep from the area’s ravenous wolves, which are now absent from northern France. In 1863, two types of these dogs were identified: one with a short coat, called the Beauceron, or the Berger de Beauce; and one with a longer coat, called the Berger de Brie or Briard.


In the 1800s, France was populated with large flocks of sheep. The Beauceron was a perfect choice as a herder, because it required only two of these dogs to easily control 200 to 300 head of sheep. In addition, the Beauceron was also a great protector, fearless as a guard against wolves, bears, and even wild boar. These dogs possess great endurance and are able to travel 50 miles a day as they guide their flocks.

In 1863, the first dog show for the Beauceron was held at the World's Fair in Paris, although the dog wasn't formally named at that time. Simply referred to as working dogs, the first of the breed to be officially recognized was born in 1891, and registered in 1892 by the Society Central Canine, which was established a decade prior to that. Christened Bergere de la Chapelle, this dog became the "Champion of Beauty."

The name of Beauceron is attributed to Pierre Megnin, a veterinarian and professor of zoology who described these dogs in a book he wrote on war animals. In 1896, standards were established for the breed, both for long hair and short hair, while continuing to be developed by the French Club des Amis du Beauceron (CAB), or Club of the Friends of the Beauceron, established by Pierre Megnin in 1911.

In the later part of the 1800s, sheep herding declined in popularity, resulting in a drop in the need for the Beauceron, as well. To that end, the CAB began to promote the Beauceron as guard dogs for homes and families. Also quite effective as war dogs during both World Wars, delivering messages to the front lines, detecting mines, and supporting troops, the Beauceron became markedly more popular after World War II. While they are still used for their original herding capabilities, today they most often serve as protectors and companions, as well as military and police dogs. In the late 1900s, the breed began to spread to other areas of Europe, including Germany, Belgium and France. The American Beauceron Club was established in 2003, with full acceptance of the breed by the American Kennel Club in 2009. The breed is still not very popular in the United States, but recognition is slowly growing.


Standing 24 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing 66 to 100 pounds in adulthood, the Beauceron has a hard outer coat and a thick, woolly undercoat that becomes even thicker in cold weather, especially if the dog is required to sleep outdoors. Colors are black and tan, or a less common "harlequin" coat of gray, black and tan. The harlequin coat is acceptable in show if it has more black than gray, with no white. Tan markings appear over the eyes and on the sides of the muzzle in black and tan dogs. These markings may also appear on the chest, legs, tail and throat. The fringed tail is carried low.


Brave, intelligent and obedient, the Beauceron is an excellent working dog and learns quickly. It is very responsive to a master's commands, and functions as an excellent police dog because of its fearlessness and loyalty, as well as its patience and keen watchfulness. It is outstanding at detecting danger, as well.

As a family pet, the Beauceron is also unsurpassed. You must train this dog at the earliest age to respect boundaries. Once this dog makes your guidelines its habitual behavior, it will be a joyful, quiet, gentle dog to have around. When expertly trained, the Beauceron can get along well with other dogs and even cats, although it will always need a lot of daily activity to be truly content without reacting to anxiety which drives dogs to become destructive. Although the Beauceron looks somewhat like a Doberman, this dog is really a gentle giant. A highly intelligent dog that absorbs knowledge immediately, this breed will be exceedingly obedient, as long as you establish your role as boss right away. When your pet accepts you as the “alpha dog,” its official leader of the pack, it will be well-behaved around children as well.

Be aware that this dog grows very quickly, becoming very large, about 40 pounds, by the time it's only three months old. Puppies are very active and don't mature for some time, so consistent training and socialization is absolutely necessary.

Surprisingly for such a large dog, the Beauceron can easily tolerate life in an apartment as long as you provide plenty of daily mental and physical exercise. With the inherent traits of working dog, this pet will need to have a job to do, to use both its body and mind to its fullest extent every day.


The Beauceron has a 10-to-12-year life expectancy which is quite long for a larger breed. This is one of the breeds that can experience bloat, which is a life-threatening condition that needs to be taken care of immediately once symptoms arise. If your pet appears to be having digestive difficulties, acting depressed or uncomfortable, consult a vet immediately. Surgery can correct the condition and save your pet's life. Although your pet can be prone to hip dysplasia, 95% of the breeders in the United States will breed only hip-certified stock. Therefore, this is not of particular concern if you buy your pet from a responsible breeder in the United States.


The hard outer coat and woolly undercoat don't require a lot of grooming. Bathe every four months and brush fur with a natural bristle brush several times a week to get rid of loose hair. The Beauceron sheds constantly but lightly most of the time, but heavily in spring and fall. Brush your pet more frequently during fall and spring seasonal shedding. Check and clean ears every week, trim toenails as necessary, and brush teeth with a good doggie toothpaste for fresh breath and good oral hygiene.


AKC Meet the Breeds®: Get to know the Beauceron

Retrieved October 5, 2013.


Retrieved October 5, 2013.


Retrieved October 5, 2013.

Beauceron (Berger de Beauce) (Bas Rouge) (Red Stocking) (Beauce Shepherd).

Retrieved October 5, 2013.


Retrieved October 5, 2013.

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