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Beaucerons: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Beauceron temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Beauceron dog breed

This old French breed may look like a cross between a German Shepherd and a Doberman Pinscher or Rottweiler, but it is most definitely purebred! I've owned Beaucerons myself.

This is a confident, steady-tempered, usually serious dog.

Athletic and agile, he needs hard exercise (running, hiking, fetching). A walk around the block is most assuredly not enough. Too much confinement and too little exercise 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, the Beauceron is usually keen-eyed and watchful, aloof and discriminating with strangers. Socialization must be early and frequent so that his watchfulness doesn't shade into suspiciousness or aggression. Shyness is 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.

Beaucerons were bred to be herding dogs, so they might try to poke or push people and other animals – this is an attempt to move them along or gather them together.

Indeed, Beaucerons like to control everyone and everything. They require a confident, consistent owner who knows how to lead.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is large, athletic, and ruggedly handsome
  • Has a short easy-care coat
  • Looks stern and imposing, and makes a vigilant watchdog

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.


Dog Breed Traits – Which Traits Are Right For You?

In this brand new series, I'll help you decide which dog breed traits would best suit you and your family, your home and yard, and your lifestyle, so you can choose the best dog breed for your family.

Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament  is less predictable than the inheritance of physical  traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.

FREE eBooks by Michele Welton

dog icon"Respect Training for Puppies"  and "Teach Your Dog 100 English Words"  are free step by step guides to teaching your pup to be calm and well-behaved.

dog icon"11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy"  is a free guide to keeping your dog mentally, physically, and emotionally happy and healthy so you can enjoy a longer lifetime of companionship.

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  • You can avoid some negative traits by choosing an ADULT dog from an animal shelter or rescue group. With an adult dog, you can easily see what you're getting, and plenty of adult Beaucerons have already proven themselves not to have negative characteristics.
  • If you want a puppy, you can avoid some negative traits by choosing the right breeder and the right puppy.

More traits and characteristics of the Beauceron

If I was considering a Beauceron, I would be most concerned about...

  1. 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.

    I don't recommend this breed if you want a casual pet for your family. Beaucerons were never intended to be simply household pets. Get them involved in herding, or tracking, or agility (obstacle course), or advanced obedience, or schutzhund (protection), or carting, or a similar canine activity. They must have physical outlets for their energy and mental outlets for their intelligent minds.

  2. 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.
  3. Potential animal aggression. Beaucerons can be fine with the pets in their own family. But many individuals are dominant or aggressive toward strange dogs of the same sex. Some have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures.
  4. 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 very dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things.

    To teach your Beauceron to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. Read my free online training programs.

  5. Potential health problems. Bone and joint disorders are much too common in Beaucerons. You need to avoid irresponsible breeders who haven't x-rayed their dogs' hips and elbows before breeding them. See Buying a Beauceron and Beauceron Health for more advice.
  6. Finding one and paying the price. This breed is not that common and breeders are charging a lot for them.

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

My best-selling books – now available  FREE  on my website

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy is for puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know. Click here to read for free.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say. Click here to read for free.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life. Get my honest advice about all 11 Things before you bring home your new puppy, because some mistakes with early health care cannot be undone. Click here to read for free.

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