Beauceron

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The Beauceron is a French herding breed whose oldest records date back to the late 1500s. Pierre Megnin, in 1863, established two types of sheepdogs, one with a long coat, which became known as the Briard, and the other with a short coat, which became the Beauceron. In 1889, the breed name and standard were officially set and in 1911 a breed club was formed just for the Beauceron forever setting it apart from the Briard.

Beauceron

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This is a large, athletic dog bred to work. The body is slightly longer than it is tall and the head is long while staying in proportion with the body. The dark brown eyes are slightly oval and intense. The ears are set high and may either be cropped or left natural. The tail is J shaped and fringed. The short coat is smooth and double layered with the outer being more harsh while the undercoat is soft and silky. The hair is typically longer on the tail and hindquarters. The most common coloring is black with tan markings, but the more rare harlequin has patches of gray, black, and tan.

Beauceron

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The Beaceron is highly intelligent and eager to please which allows them to excel at obedience training. They are quick to understand and respond to commands. They love open spaces and have a strong herding instinct. They need plenty of exercise to release their urge to herd, or they have various behavioral problems including an effort to herd people and small animals. Proper training with a firm and consistent leader will produce a calm and obedient dog. Teach them to have respect for all humans as their pack leader by not allowing them to jump up and always enter or leave the doorway after the human. Establish the pecking order and they will follow you, but if you do not they will expect you to follow them.

These dogs will do OK in apartment living if they are properly exercised. They need regular long walks and time off leash to take in scents and stimulation. Varied activity works the best instead of the same walk around the block every day. They are a beautiful and intelligent companion animal that will be devoted to its family for its entire life.

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Animal lover, web geek, and co-founder of Pet365. On a mission to make pet sites more interesting and, hopefully, put a smile on people's faces along the way. @mattbeswick on Twitter.