History and Origin of the Beauceron Dog Breed
Called by some as ‘the king of sheepdogs,’ the Beauceron is a French dog breed that is both elegant and powerful. A good herding dog instinctively rounds up sheep instead of being trained to do so. However, since a sheepdog’s herding and hunting instincts tend to overlap or intertwine, it tends to round up sheep roughly and like a prey unless it is trained otherwise.
Also called Berger de Beauce, the Beauceron has a fierce hunting instinct that is right close to the surface. Thus, a well trained Beauceron makes a great shepherd – it can round up sheep and will not hesitate to face straying sheep and unwelcome strangers.
The Beauceron’s Origins
The popular belief is that the Beauceron dog breed originated from France ‘s Beauce region. This is simply not true. The Beauceron originated from a family of shepherding dogs that were found throughout France , not just in the Beauce region. The Beauceron shares its lineage with the Briard dog breed. (Like the Beauceron, the Briard does not originate from Brie, but it was common throughout France .) The Beauceron and Briard were considered the same animal up until the later part of the 19 th century when differences between the two breeds were officially recognized by a commission composed of scientists and veterinarians.
The Ideal Sheepdog
The Beauceron dog breed is common in Continental Europe. During the 20th century in Continental Europe, the Beauceron was primarily used for herding sheep in pastures and along roadways. The Beauceron was the ideal sheepdog to farmers with limited manpower in this region because it only took two Beaucerons to successfully control 200 to 300 sheep. However, as industries started spreading to the countryside, the number of open pastures diminished. Today, the Beauceron’s role as a sheepdog is down to simply escorting flocks from one fold to the next.
A Natural Guard Dog
The Beauceron’s hunting instincts is most prized by dog owners. The Beauceron possesses agile reflexes and it is always ready to attack. Because of its instinctive mistrust of and wariness to strangers, both human and animal, the Beauceron is the ideal guard dog. If another dog so much as strays into its territory, the Beauceron will not hesitate to attack. The Beauceron is a naturally aggressive and spontaneous breed, but these traits are tempered by its unconditional loyalty to its owner and impressive aptitude for obedience.
Because of its powerful combination of intelligence, aggressiveness and loyalty, the Beauceron must be carefully trained. Because it is fiercely independent, the Beauceron can be hard to control. It also tends to resist changes. If poorly trained or not loved, the Beauceron can pose a serious danger. In addition, it can be next to impossible to get the Beauceron to accept city life no matter how much discipline or affection is given to it; however, the Beauceron can become an affectionate and protective pet if it is raised simultaneously with its master’s children.