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Breed Priorities – The Beauceron

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322 – November/December, 2018


The Beauceron is the largest French herding breed and is closely related to the Briard. Recognized by AKC in 2007, it currently ranks 141st (as of 2017 statistics) among AKC’s 190 breeds. The Beauceron is a very smart, willing, and versatile breed and has been used for military and police work as well as protection and herding. With a strong personality, the breed is better suited to experienced dog owners.

There were two challenges in conducting a survey of Beauceron experts on their priorities for their breed. One was getting enough photographs to create outlines. While show photos have the dogs in the needed profile stack and the coat is short so the outline is clear, there are relatively few Beaucerons shown, so finding enough photos of different, very good dogs and, especially bitches, was difficult.

The second issue is common to nearly all low entry breeds: identifying enough experts and then persuading them to contribute. We found a few breeder-judges; four said they would take the survey, and two did so. Thirteen other experts agreed to join the project, and seven completed surveys were received from them. The nine who contributed have been in the breed for more than twenty years on average.

The experts were asked to prioritize a list of breed characteristics taken from the Beauceron standard from most important to least important. Below are the virtues in order by the experts’ average rankings, with 1 being the most important.

1. Character gentle and fearless
2. Movement fluid, effortless, covering ground in long-reaching strides
3. Males 25 1/2 to 27 1/2 inches; bitches 24 to 26 1/2 inches
4. Back straight and strong
5. Strength, endurance, agility
5. Shoulders moderately long, muscular, with good layback
7. Length of body slightly greater than height at withers
8. Skull and muzzle of equal length
9. Frank and unwavering expression
10. Medium in all proportions
11. Chest wide, deep, long, descends to point of elbow
12. Thighs wide and muscled
13. Tail carried down, descending at least to hock, forming a slight J
14. Eyes horizontal, slightly oval, dark brown
15. Full complement of strong white teeth, evenly set, scissors bite
16. Outer coat coarse, dense, lying close…undercoat short, fine, dense, downy

Click here to read the complete article
322 – November/December, 2018

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