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Beauceron

Life span: 10-12 Years

Height: 66-71cm (Male); 64-66cm (Female)

Weight: 80-110 pounds

The Beauceron is a smart dog, bred to herd and guard. Its brain can be compared to that of the Border Collie, although its body is stronger and with a very different appearance. They tend to act as puppies until approximately the age of three years old, so be sure you’re ready for what this friend has to offer!

Physical Characteristics

This breed has a strong body full of muscles and a strong and sharp set of teeth. Their ears are short and sit high atop their head, bending down although not quite falling, when cropped these will stand erect although this is not recommended due to its cruelty. The tail is relatively long and is naturally kept down, when wagging it is upright. Their eyes are brown with a black nose and their doublecoat is short, made up of a protective harsh overcoat and a soft and dense undercoat. The coat can be black and brown or grey with no white. They also have double dewclaws.

History

Known as the largest French sheepdog, this dog has records dating back as far as 1578 and was used to herd and guard sheep and cattle, along as to be the protector of the family’s home. Originally the Beauceron formed part of a single breed along with the Briard, being separated in 1863. Its name comes from La Beauce, an area surrounding Paris, although they were also found in northern France. It is suspected one of its descendants might be the Doberman. Although highly popular in France, this breed was unknown to the rest of the world, until 1960, when its popularity outside of France began to grow. Used as a messenger in World War I and II due to its ability to follow directions, detect mines, carry supplies, protect and follow trails. Nowadays they are used as protectors and pets. The breed was registered in 1893 by the Societe Centrale Canine, its club forming in 1922, followed by the Beauceron Club of America in 1980 and part of the American Kennel Club in 2001.

Personality

Unlike many herding breeds, the Beauceron is easy to train as it aims to please its owners. It is intelligent and loyal, always protecting its family. They tend to be calm but also wary of any strangers whether human or canine, although they do get along with other house pets as long as they are introduced when young. Regarding children, they may attempt to herd them, especially if the children are particularly young. Even though they are willing to please, they need their owner to become the leader so the Beauceron does not attempt to take that role.This is easier to achieve when training begins at a young age. Sometimes they might come off as stubborn by not listening to a command, but repeating it firmly will let the dog know you mean what you are telling it, leading to it obeying you.

Health

Like many other breeds, the Beauceron can be very healthy, but can also suffer from:

Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.

Hip dysplasia, a disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may be hereditary and/or affected by the environment they reside in.

Ear Infections, which can be prevented by constant cleaning of any debris or excess wax.

Allergies that produce the same symptoms you see in humans, and depending on the cause, different treatments can be used.

Care

Their coat requires very little grooming done by brushing once a week. However, they do shed plenty all year and twice during shedding season, where they should be brushed daily. Their nails, including the double dewclaws, should be trimmed regularly and their teeth brushed. This breed needs a lot of exercise and variation in these in order to provide mental stimulation as well. Training should start at an early age, obedience training specifically as well as socialization. Positive reinforcement works best with this breed, physical correction will cause a very negative reaction. They can get too excited when greeting someone, often jumping on them or grabbing them with their mouths, this should be seen in the early stages of obedience training.

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