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Bas Rouge Breed Description

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Breed Organization

American Beauceron Club

Native Country

Other Names
French Shorthaired Shepherd, Red Stocking, Beauceron, Berger de Beauce, Beauce Shepherd

Life Expectancy
Approximately 10-12 Years

Litter Size
Average 6-7 Puppies

Breed Group

General Description

The Bas Rouge is an old and distinct French breed of herding dog, developed solely in France with no foreign crosses. Dogs were bred and selected for their aptitude to herd and guard large flocks of sheep as well as for their structure and endurance. Bas Rouges were used to move herds of 200 to 300 head traveling up to 50 miles per day without showing signs of exhaustion. The ideal Bas Rouge is a well balanced, solid dog of good height and well muscled without heaviness or coarseness. The whole conformation gives the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness, exhibiting the strength, endurance and agility required of the herding dog. He is alert and energetic with a noble carriage. A formidable dog with a frank and unwavering expression, he always demands respect wherever he goes. Dogs are characteristically larger throughout with a larger frame and heavier bone than bitches. Bitches are distinctly feminine, but without weakness in substance or structure. The Bas Rouge should be discerning and confident. He is a dog with spirit and initiative, wise and fearless with no trace of timidity. Intelligent, easily trained, faithful, gentle and obedient. The Bas Rouge possesses an excellent memory and an ardent desire to please his master. He retains a high degree of his inherited instinct to guard home and master. Although he can be reserved with strangers, he is loving and loyal to those he knows. Some will display a certain independence. He should be easily approached without showing signs of fear.

Breed Standard

Head: Long (2/5 of height), chiseled, with a flat skull. Stop not pronounced. Slightly convex forehead. Muzzle neither straight nor pointed.
Ears: Set on high. Naturally drop, short and flat, but not close against the head. Carried erect if cropped.
Eyes: Round, dark color. Frank regard.
Body: Solid, powerful, well-developed and muscled, but not heavy. Muscular neck. Broad, deep chest. Straight back. Croup barely sloped. Broad loin.
Tail: Carried straight down reaching the hocks and forming a slight J-hook. Slightly bushy.
Hair: Flat on the head. Heavy and dense, lying close to the body (3 to 4 cm long). Slight fringing on thighs and along underline. Very short, fine, dense, soft undercoat preferably of slate color.
Coat: - Black and tan (bi-color), Berger de Beauce (most common). Glossy black. Tan is squirrel red. Tan markings: spots above the eyes, on sides of muzzle, throat, and under the tail. Tan extends down legs to feet and wrists (coloration pattern forms a "sock" whence the name Berger de Beauce, or Red Socks).- Harlequin: Gray, black, and tan (tri-color): even amounts of gray and black in spots with the same characteristic tan spots.
Size: Dog: 65 to 70 cm. (25.6-27.5 in).Bitch: 61 to 68 cm (24-26.7 in).
Weight: 27 to 37 kg. (60-82.8 lb).


The Berger de Beauce is descended from the "Plains Dogs" that guarded the flocks near Paris. At the end of the 19th century, the short-haired "Plains Dogs" were named Bas Rouges; long-haired varieties were named Briards. E. Boulet (best known for his Griffons) introduced the breed and helped set up the French Shepherd Club in 1896. In 1911, the Friends of the Bas Rouge Club was founded. The name "Berger de Beauce" was given to the Bas Rouge because of the tan markings on its legs, that look like socks (bas). Breed selection has vacillated between working dogs, show dogs, dogs bred to compete in guard and defense events. Nevertheless, the Berger de Beauce is above all a herder. Very popular in France, this breed is almost unknown in other countries, except Belgium.


The Bas Rouge is known in France as a guard dog, a helper around the farm (herding sheep or cattle), and/or a ring sport dog (primarily protection training). This athletic, healthy and long-lived breed has been bred to be intelligent, calm, gentle, and fearless. Adults are typically suspicious of strangers and are excellent natural guard dogs. On the other hand, they typically take their cue from their handlers when it comes to greeting strangers, and are neither sharp nor shy. They do best when raised within the family but they can sleep outside, the better to act as guards. They have a double smooth coat that is short. They are eager learners and can be trained to a high level. However, their physical and mental development is slow relative to other similar breeds (e.g. German and other large shepherds): they are not mentally or physically mature until the age of about three years, so their training should not be rushed. Several five or ten minute play/training exercises per day in the early years can achieve better results than long or rigorous training sessions.


This breed is forthright, courageous, fast, hardy, and alert, and has amazing dissuasive powers. He is wary with strangers and not easily won over.This dog is loyal to his owner and gentle with children. He bonds to the entire family, but guarded when strangers are present. Owners are warned that this breed openly exerts its dominance over other male dogs. His well-developed sense of smell is used to sniff out truffles. A wise breed, he is forthright, dynamic, and courageous when working, yet is obedient and easy to handle.

This hardy "country gentleman" needs space to run and is not suited to apartment living. Do not leave him leashed; he cannot tolerate being closed in. This dog needs firm training, discipline, and lots of exercise to burn off energy. He matures late. Two to three brushings per month are sufficient. Dewclaws must be trimmed regularly.


The Bas Rouge is generally a healthy, hardy breed. Some lines are prone to bloat and like any breed over 40 pounds, Bas Rouges are prone to hip dysplasia. Ninety-five percent of all breeders in the U.S. breed only hip certified stock.

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