368 – Beauceron: Rustic Farm Dog and Living Fence


Beauceron: Rustic Farm Dog and Living Fence

Our Love the Breeds panel discusses Beauceron, the ancient French farm dog described as a “living fence” in their native country.

Beauceron may be shown with cropped or uncropped ears. This is a litter with dam at center bred by Elaine Giannelli.

According to breeder Elaine Giannelli, in France, the Shepherd would go out to the field with his sheep and the Beauceron would go out like a fence and keep the sheep where they were supposed to be while they grazed …

“The Beauceron was a farm dog so he did a lot of things besides just move the sheep… he would take the sheep out during the day to graze, move them to another graze and then bring them back home and then protect the farm in the evening,” said third-generation French breeder Eric Vavassori.

Beauceron were developed more than 600 years ago to serve as rustic farm dogs and a “living fence” to move stock to new pastures and keep them where they belonged.

Moving sheep and cattle required a substantial, hardy dog, the panelists noted. The Beauceron stands up to 27 ½” tall and is considered a stronger, lower key type of dog than the German Shepherd Dog or Malinois.

“They definitely have an activity level,” Beauceron owner Sidney Wilcox said, “but they’re not manic … they’re not a Border Collie, they’re not constantly go go go go go go go go go …. they don’t have the focus, the intenseness of a Border Collie or

Panelist Sidney Wilcox and her harlequin Beauceron.

Malinois, but they are high-energy with a sense of humor.”

New Beauceron fancier Sara Reid agrees. “Never laugh at a Beauceron! They’ll just keep doing whatever made you laugh.”

The Beauceron was accepted in AKC’s registry in 2007, but the history of the breed dates back centuries.

“They say that when the French settled in Louisiana that they brought a couple Harlequins with them,” Giannelli said, “and that’s where the Catahoula (Leopard Dog) got (the merle gene)… that was from way, way back when the French first came to Louisiana.”

Panelist Sara Reid with her Beauceron, Misha.

The breed has a strong personality, the panelists observed. It needs firm, fair and consistent training and above-average amounts of socializing, they noted.

“Temperament could be an issue,” Vavassori said. “Why? Because a long time ago, the Beauceron was a farm dog and he was on the farm only to protect the family and to manage the sheep. So, the dog was not socialized. The dogs must be socialized early, early by the Breeders and after by the owners, more than German Shepherd or Labrador…”

A healthy breed, the Beauceron is generally long-lived by large breed standards, with a strong worldwide population. Learn more here.


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