Beauceron, Berger de Beauce, or Bas-Rouge, all three names describe the same
breed of dog.
The Beauceron is a very athletic dog that gives the impression of strength.
They are an incredibly versatile breed with a powerful, muscular build, but with
freedom of movement and liveliness, without heaviness. With their physical
capabilities combined with their work ethic, they excel at many different
things. They are used quite successfully in Search and Rescue work, as well as
drug dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs. They successfully compete in
tracking, obedience, agility, ring, Schutzhund, skijoring, and flyball,
as well as the primary function they were bred for, herding.
Beaucerons are known for their extreme intelligence and are without a doubt
one of the most intelligent of dog breeds. They have excellent memories, and
their principal qualities are obedience, vigilance, calmness, courage,
hardiness, and patience. The Beauceron displays an extreme sense of loyalty and
an eagerness to please his master. They are sensitive dogs and seem to have an
uncanny ability to sense their owners moods and desires.
A unique characteristic of this breed is the double dewclaws on the hindlegs.
These are required by the breed standard. I am often asked why the Beauceron has
double dewclaws. It is French tradition for the French herding
and flock dogs to have double dewclaws in the rear. Some folks say it goes back to
the early days of the breed. The better herders had the double dewclaws.
Eventually, through selective breeding, single dews were bred out. Now, double
dewclaws is a sign of a true Beauceron.
The Beauceron comes in two different acceptable coat colors.
The most common color is black and tan also known as bas rouge (red stockings).
This is the same color you see in the Rottweiler and Doberman.
The other coat color is grey, black and tan, more commonly known as harlequin.
The harlequin has the same black and tan base coat, but they also have grey
mixed in. In the US they might be called a merle.
The Beauceron is indeed a remarkable dog. but it must be stressed that the
Beauceron is not a dog for everyone and may not be suitable for a first time
dog owner. The Beauceron needs a disciplined master who can take the time, and
who has the patience required to train such a dog. If not properly handled a
Beauceron can become quite assertive. The Beauceron requires early, competent
training and socialization by an experienced and disciplined owner. Although
they are patient and protective with children, they may not be the best of
playmate for a child because of their size and their herding and guarding
A well behaved adult Beauceron is not overly hyper, however up until age two or
three they can be extremely active and will require a great deal of exercise.
The Beauceron does not fare well as a kennel dog, or in an apartment. They
should not be left alone for long periods of time. Idleness and loneliness are
the Beaucerons worst enemies. Without proper exercise and activities, a
Beauceron can easily become destructive and unruly due to boredom.