What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Beauceron Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014
The Beauceron is a confident, steady-tempered, usually serious dog.
Athletic and agile, he needs hard exercise (running, hiking, biking, fetching). A walk around the block is most assuredly not enough, and too much confinement can lead to destructive behaviors and rambunctiousness, especially in youngsters.
Mental exercise (advanced obedience, agility, herding, Schutzhund) is just as important to this highly intelligent breed.
Matching his stern appearance, he is aloof and discriminating with strangers, keen-eyed and watchful. Socialization must be early and frequent so that his watchfulness doesn't shade into aggression. Shyness and spookiness are unfortunately present in some lines.
Most Beaucerons are territorial with other animals, but usually good with the pets in their own family, if raised with them.
You must discourage their habit of poking or pushing people and other animals in an attempt to move them along or gather them together.
Beaucerons like to control everyone and everything and require a confident, consistent owner who knows how to lead.
If you want a dog who...
- Is large, athletic, and ruggedly handsome
- Looks somewhat like a Shepherd/Doberman cross
- Has a short easy-care coat
- Looks stern and imposing, and makes a vigilant watchdog
- Is uncommon -- not many people have one
A Beauceron may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Vigorous exercise requirements
- Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young
- Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough
- Aggression or fearfulness toward strangers in some lines, or when not socialized enough
- Aggression toward other animals
- Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
- Chasing and nipping at things that move: children, joggers, other animals, bikes, cars
- Waiting lists (hard to find) and a high price tag
A Beauceron may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Beauceron
If I was considering a Beauceron, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Beaucerons MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing. Bored Beaucerons can make a shambles of your house and yard.
If you simply want a casual pet for your family, and don't have the time or inclination to take your dog running or hiking or biking or swimming, or to get involved in herding, or tracking, or agility (obstacle course), or advanced obedience, or schutzhund (protection), or carting, or a similar canine activity, I do not recommend this breed. Beaucerons were never intended to be simply household pets. Their working behaviors are inappropriate in a normal household setting. Trying to suppress these "hardwired" behaviors, without providing alternate outlets for their high energy level, can be difficult.
- Providing enough socialization. Most Beaucerons have protective instincts toward strangers. They need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of "good guys." Then they can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they may be suspicious of everyone, which could lead to biting. Some Beaucerons go in the opposite direction -- without enough socialization, they become fearful of strangers, which can lead to defensive biting.
In this day and age, the legal liabilities of owning any breed that looks intimidating and has a history as a guard dog should be seriously considered. People are quicker to sue if such a dog does anything even remotely questionable.
- Animal aggression. Many Beaucerons are dominant or aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex. Some have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures.
- The strong temperament. The best Beaucerons are versatile working dogs, capable of learning a great deal, but they have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. Some Beaucerons are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
To teach your Beauceron to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Beauceron Training Page discusses the program you need.
- Health problems. Bone and joint disorders abound. To keep this breed healthy, I strongly recommend following all of the advice on my Beauceron Health Page.
- Finding one and paying the price. In the United States, this breed is not common, and breeders are charging $1000 and up.
To learn more about training Beaucerons to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Beauceron the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Beauceron. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Beauceron might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Beauceron home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Beauceron...
When you're acquiring a Beauceron PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Beaucerons who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
MORE OF MY ARTICLES YOU MIGHT ENJOY.....
What Works, and What Doesn't
|Puppy Training Schedule: What To Teach, and When|
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|Teach Your Dog Words|
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