Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Unusual Breed: Beauceron

Two uncropped Beaucerons: one in each of their accepted colors: harlequin (merle) and black and tan
A cropped show Beauceron in Poland
The Beauceron is a breed originating in France that was originally bred for its ability to herd sheep and selection was based only on this ability. It is thought that the Briard and the Beauceron originated from the same stock, but were split into separate types according to their coat length some time ago. It is rather large in size, with a harsh coat and ears that may be cropped or left natural. The breed is also known for the double dewclaws that appear on the back legs. The breed is believed to have possibly been one of the breeds that went into the creation of the Doberman pinscher. Today, the two breeds are often confused by those who are not familiar with the beauceron thanks to the similar size, temperament, and frequently cropped ears. Despite this, the breeds are easily distinguished from one another.

Today, the beauceron is commonly used in the same way that German shepherds are: as a rather utilitarian breed that can do search and rescue, police work, canine sports, and act as a service dog. Temperament-wise, the breeds is supposed to be fearless, yet gentle. Though it is popular in France, the breed is unusual in other parts of the world. Other names for the breed include Beauce dog, Beauce Sheepdog, Berger de Beauce, and Red-Stocking. The latter comes from the red that is seen on the breeds' lower legs. Though the usual colors are black and tan or herlequin, other colors were once also rather common, such as solid tan and solid black.

The biggest health issue in the  breed is hip dysplasia, but many other conditions are also common enough  to be of note. Other joint issues, bloat, eye problems, cancer, and numerous other health issues are known to occur in the breed.

Sources are the American Beauceron Club, About Beaucerons, Your Purebred Puppy, Fédération Cynologique Internationale, and the American Kennel Club. Images are from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative commons license or are copyright free: one, two.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful dogs. We had a dog in rescue (when I was active) that was marked so similar to the merle colour. If these guys were smaller I would think that that's what he is!

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  2. I agree. If that dog also had the double dewclaws, I would definitely suspect some sort of relationship!

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