Like other breeds in the Herding Group, the Beauceron is very versatile and easy to train for a variety of tasks besides herding. Beaucerons also serve as military dogs, police dogs, assistance dogs, therapy dogs, as well as family companions and protectors.
Perhaps the best description of the Beauceron’s character was given by Maurice Luquet, DVM. “The Beauceron’s intelligence is manifested in its good and rapid comprehension of its master’s desires. Beauceron are noted for their excellent memories and their ancestral instinct to guard all the persons and property of their home. Their principle qualities are obedience, vigilance, calmness, courage, hardiness and patience. They are without a doubt one of the most intelligent of breeds. Their expression and their behavior are ample demonstrations of these traits. The Beauceron, with their stern appearance, is always ready to intervene in a situation, knows how to command respect, yet will keep calm and only intervene when necessary. These qualities are only surpassed by the Beauceron’s extreme sense of loyalty and its eagerness to please. They are sensitive dogs and seem to sense their master’s moods.”
Beaucerons are very patient and tolerant, and make excellent family companions. They are gentle with the elderly and children. They are sociable with dogs they know, but they are territorial and intolerant of intruders onto their premises. However, in my experience, after supervised introduction, visiting dogs are tolerated as long as they mind their manners.
They also do well in off-leash situations such as the beach or hiking in the mountains and do not take sport in killing wildlife or attacking other dogs, but will defend if attacked. (I must emphasize, for the safety of the dog, the importance of having the dog properly socialized and trained in basic obedience, especially to come when called, BEFORE taking it to these types of off-leash situations.)
Being herding dogs, they instinctively try to herd animals standing together, horses, goats, sheep, ducks, cattle etc, but should be discouraged from herding everything in sight since they risk being injured in the process if not properly trained. The Beauceron is indeed a remarkable dog, but they are not for everyone. In particular, Beaucerons require early, competent training and socialization by an experienced and disciplined owner and do best when integrated into the family “pack.”
The breed Standard describes the Beauceron as ‘a strong dog but without heaviness. It is a tall dog (averaging 26-27.5 “) and can weigh 100 lbs. They should convey a sense of strength and agility, possess double dew claws on each rear leg, carry well-cropped ears high on the head, have a dark eye and a long (at least to the hock) tail that is carried down with a slight ‘J’ near the end. The coat is short and double (much like a Rottweiler) and occurs in two accepted colors: black and rust bi-color, and ‘Harlequin’ in which the black is merled with grey. They do shed seasonally, but when brushed weekly rarely develop any odor. Coat care and grooming requirements are limited to bathing when desired. The Beauceron is generally an ‘easy keeper,’ with good appetite and digestion and very good health