Let’s Talk Breed Education!
1. Where do you live? What do you do “outside” of dogs? 2. In popularity, the Beauceron is currently ranked #124 out of 192 AKC-recognized breeds. Do you hope this will change or are you comfortable with his placement? 3. Do these numbers help or hurt the breed? 4. Does the average person on the street recognize him for what he is? 5. Are there any misconceptions about the breed you’ d like to dispel? 6. What special challenges do breeders face in our current economic and social climate? 7. At what age do you start to see de fi nite signs of show-worthiness (or lack thereof)? 8. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? 9. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to your breed and to the sport? 10. What is your ultimate goal for the breed? 11. What is your favorite dog show memory? 12. Is there anything else you’ d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. ERIC VAVASSORI & JOANNE BOUDREAULT
2008 and her second one (Jaguar) in 2014. Th is second acquisition has allowed Eric and Joanne to meet. Beaucerons des Monts du Lac and its breeders reside in Queen Anne, MD. Its founding breeder, Eric Vavassori, is originally from France. He and all his dogs immigrated to the USA in 2018. He has been breeding and showing Beaucerons over there since 1997. His wife Joanne Boudreault is originally from Canada. She has been showing dogs since 1990 and breeding Whippets since 1997. She acquired her fi rst Beauceron in 2008. What we do outside of dogs is always one way or the other relat- ed to the dogs. In popularity, Th e Beauceron is currently ranked #124 out of 192 AKC-recognized breeds. Do we hope this will change? We are comfortable with these numbers, we have no problems selling our puppies and that is the most important. When a breed is too popular, this is when you see the wrong hands getting into breed- ing Beaucerons. Th is is how popularity ranking can destroy a breed more than helping it. So we are very happy with this #124 rank. Do these numbers help or hurt our breed? Th ese ranking num- bers reassure us as most of Beauceron breeders today have more or less good intentions for the breed. Th ey will go to Europe to get new blood and they will do health tests. On the other hand, when the desire to breed dogs is pro fi t only, then this is when we observe so- called “breeders” cutting all costs to maximize pro fi ts: For example, they acquire “breeding pairs” of poor, cheap lineage. Th ey skip the health tests, they mass produce litters, they do not not socializing puppies, etc. As a rule of thumb, as long as these ill-intended “breeders” do not set their eyes on the Beauceron, the breed is in good hands with the current breeders found in the USA. Does the average person recognize our breed? I would say 19 people out of 20 will ask if this is a Shepherd and Doberman mix. We then always explain the same thing: No this is a very ancient breed of 500 years of age, they actually came before the Rottweilers and Dobermans. Historians say they used the Beauceron breed to create those breeds, so you are correct in saying they look like them, and this is because the Beauceron came fi rst. Are there any misconceptions about our breed? In France, where Beaucerons are an extremely popular breed, almost as much as Golden Retrievers, many people own a Beauceron, such as families, retired, young couples, etc. However, strangely in the USA, we fi nd the Beauceron is often portrayed to be the equivalent of a breed as the Malinois: such as high strong, high drive, and not for everyone! But we would like to dispute that and in defense of the Beauceron, give you a di ff erent version, our version of this wonderful breed. Like for many breeds, there are working lines and there are show lines. Th e former will produce high energy, intense and not recom- mended for fi rst dog owners or family with young kids. We agree with that. However there are also a majority of show lines Beauce- rons out there. Th ese Beaucerons are selected for beauty and brain. Th ey are calm, con fi dent, stoic, easily trainable and can be trusted in any family with young kids or even retired individuals. In the USA we always hear about Beaucerons being a high energy, hard to control dog (the living fence type). But many lines including ours strive on producing calm and con fi dent dogs, that will con fi dently guard your family, while loyally and peacefully standing at your feet. Th is is the Beauceron we love and strive to breed. Th ey are guardian angels, always keeping an eye on you, observing you and
Eric has been a dog lover all his life. Both his parents and grand- parents owned Beaucerons. From 1995 to 2000, he was a military o ffi cer and K9 handler in the French army. He then worked as a dog instructor in several clubs for 15 years. Two years ago, he was the captain of the French team for the World Championship for search and rescue dogs. Since 1997, Eric has bred more than 45 litters of Beaucerons under “des Monts du Lac” a ffi x. His dogs have won the highest awards for Beaucerons both in the United States of America and Europe. Joanne has also been a dog lover all her life. She acquired her fi rst Whippet in 1989. Th e next two years she worked for a profes- sional all-breed handler. She had her fi rst Whippet litter in 1997. Today her Whippets are found all over the world in some of the most reputable Whippet kennels. In 2019, Joanne has being invit- ed to judge the Swedish Whippet Club National Specialty Show, con fi rming her reputation worldwide. Joanne has always admired Beaucerons as far as she remembers. She acquired her fi rst one in
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MARCH 2020 | 261
“OUR GOAL IS TO PROMOTE THAT BEAUCERONS ARE
INCREDIBLY MAJESTIC LOOKING DOG, OOZING IN BREED TYPE, WITH STOIC POISE AND OF GREAT PRESENCE, THAT CAN CALMLY GUARD YOUR FAMILY USING ITS JUDGEMENT AND HIGHLY INTELLIGENT BRAIN.”
on breed type and judges reward breed type. Very little, if any, emphasis is placed on dog structure. To say the least, not many breeders over there understand dog structure. When Eric immi- grated to the USA in 2018, it had been a bit of a culture shock for him. In the USA, in general, dogs are selected for and judged based on structure fi rst. Th e understanding of Beauceron breed type in the USA is not quite known yet. All this knowledge has allowed Eric to merge two broad visions of an ideal Beauceron, one based on breed type and one based on structure. Th is has allowed him to truly grow as a breeder and breed even better dogs. We are both very excited about the future of our breeding program now that we are located in the USA. PAMELA FROST My 1st love is Rottweilers which I have owned since 1974 and have bred fi ve litters between 1999 and 2018. I got into herding with my Rottweilers and have been lucky to put AKC, AHBA and ASCA herding championships on a num- ber of the Rottweilers that I have bred. Herding is what led me to the Beauceron. After all the years of herding with my Rott- weilers, I decided to try a “herding” breed and I fell in love with the Beauceron. My fi rst Beauceron was Luc du Chateau Rocher, born 2/15/2015, who I acquired from Karla Davis, well-known and respected Beau- ceron breeder. Luc is an awesome dog, fi nishing his AKC CH at 11 months old. He went on to earn is GCHS last year and made the trip to Westminster in 2019 as the #1 male Beauceron in the US. For 2018, Luc has also earned an HSAs in AKC herding. He has a natural tending style of herding. I did also acquire Magie Noire du Mont des Croisettes from French breeder, Agathe Leurs, in 2016. She is a GCH and also has earned an HSAs in AKC herding. Magie Noire also shows much talent at tending herding. Luc and Magie Noire have had two litters of puppies in 2018 and 2019. One male, Mordu, earned his AKC CH at ten months old. Th ese young dogs still have a lot of growing and training to go in order to assess the success of this pairing. I live in Southwest Washington state (about 45 minutes North of the Portland, Oregon airport). Outside of dogs? Surely you jest! I retired from life as a programmer and database manager about 20 years ago. Since then I spend my time on our 40 acre farm manag- ing Dorper sheep, Irish Dexter cattle, Nigerian Dwarf goats and various poultry. Th e farm and livestock were acquired for the dogs to facilitate herding training. Do I hope the breed’s popularity will change or am I comfort- able with the placement? I would be happy if the Beauceron does not become too popular. Unfortunately, being popular has proven to not be in the best interests of any breed of dog for a number of reasons. People (like myself ) fi nd the Beauceron very attractive, but
sometimes they make you realize you feel certain emotions even before you know it yourself. Th e Beauceron is a “brain” breed, we cannot live without them. What special challenges do breeders face? Breeding Beaucerons or any other breed, we all do face the same challenges. As long as we have our dogs we have no challenges. What age do you start to see de fi nite signs of show-worthiness? We usually have a good indication around three to four weeks of age. Our sorting of show potential vs family pet gets fi rmed up until eight weeks of age. At eight weeks we sell everyone except the show potential ones. Most important thing about our breed for a new judge to keep in mind? We highly recommend all new, but also seasoned judges, to be participants at judges eduction seminars on Beaucerons. We are always available on behalf of the American Beauceron Club to present our seminar to any judges wanting to learn more about the breed. Eric being originally from France, his Beauceron experience is deep. A few highlights to keep in mind about the Beauceron breed standard: Head must be lupoid in type and chiseled, neck must be carried proudly when standing, chest should be deeper than 50% of the dog’s height, feet are compact and large with, of course, the double dewclaws in the back, the back is strong and straight, tail base carried not above backline. Finally, the Beauceron is a shep- herd: so it must have powerful e ffi cient movement! Please read the standard for more details on the breed standard. Th e best way to attract newcomers to our breed? Having bench shows or “Meet-the-Breed”, to showcase the best temperament dogs standing on a table for the public to see, admire and ask questions about the breed. Ultimate goal for our breed? Promote that Beaucerons are incredibly majestic looking dogs, oozing in breed type, with stoic poise and of great presence, that can calmly guard your family using its judgement and highly intelligent brain. Th is is what our dog Jaguar is for us (CHB Jaguar Noir des Monts du Lac). Wherever she is, all eyes are attracted to her beauty. She stoically stands and waits for people to admire her. However, if someone attacks one of us, she becomes another dog in fi ercely defending us. Our favorite dog show memory? We actually have a few. Th e kennel produced four World Winners, fi ve French Champions (in France only two champions are awarded every year per breed). Th e kennel also produced the fi rst Beauceron ever to win an AKC All- Breed BIS and the fi rst and only (until this year) Beauceron to win Herding Group 3rd at Westminster Kennel Club in 2013, and this year this highly prestigious performance got repeated by the niece of this dog, placing herself at the 3rd position of the Herding Group at Westminster! Anything else we’d like to share about our breed? In France, at All-Breed and especially Specialty Shows, Beaucerons are persis- tently selected for head and breed type only. Breeders select based
262 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MARCH 2020
“THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR A NEW JUDGE TO KEEP IN MIND IS
MOVEMENT, TYPE, BALANCE AND TOPLINE. THE TOTAL PACKAGE IS OFTEN LOST. I AM AN AKC APPROVED MENTOR AND RINGSIDE MENTOR JUDGES ALL OF THE TIME.”
I think that many of the people that I see with Beaucerons are not always very mindful of keeping their dogs under control. Realize that I am, at heart, a Rottweiler owner, and we are typically very careful and mindful always of our dogs and how they interact with other people and dogs since we are fi ghting breed prejudice from many people. Does the average person on the street recognize the breed? I would say that the average person typically still has no idea what breed of dog a Beauceron is. It’s not uncommon for people to ask me what sort of mixed breed it is. What special challenges do breeders face in our current econom- ic and social climate? Producing Beaucerons with substance. At what age do I start to see de fi nite signs of show-worthiness? Puppies are typically assessed fi rst at eight weeks of age. Between eight weeks and ten months, as the puppy grows up and out and up and out, there are glimpses that will suggest future show worthi- ness. By the time the puppy is a year old, you should have a very good idea. However, we must remember that the Beauceron will still grow (not as fast) for as long a up to four years old with most fully mature by three years old. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Th e Beauceron breed standard. Too often it appears that judges will rely on familiar professional handlers to bring them a “good” dog when, in fact, that dog may not live up to the breed standard. Th e Beauceron is meant to be a dog with substance—the standard says, “Dogs lacking substance shall be severely penalized.” What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? Involvement in any number of existing dog events has the potential of increasing awareness of the breed. Th e AKC “Meet the Breeds” program is a great opportunity to show o ff the Beauceron at an AKC dog show. Just about any time I take my Beaucerons out— to the local farm store, Home Depot, Petco, the local park—people fi nd the Beauceron very attractive and want to meet my dogs. My ultimate goal for the breed? Have a healthy, sound dog physically and temperamentally that can still do what it was bred to do—herd. My favorite dog show memory? GCHS Luc du Chateau Rocher HSAs CS CGC TT winning Group 1. JANIS ROSENTHAL I live in Brooksville, Florida. I am a practicing attorney and head up a legal department for a public company. Th is keeps me pretty busy. In popularity, Th e Beauceron is currently ranked #124 out of 192 AKC-recognized breeds. Do I hope this placement will change? Do these numbers help or hurt my breed? I am very comfortable with the placement and would prefer it not move up in the popu- larity rankings. When I started, the breed was ranked in the 160s.
moving up in popularity encourages changing breeders to breed in order to meet the demand rather than carefully and thoughtfully breeding to the standard Does the average person recognize my breed? Some do, some don’t. Are there any misconceptions about my breed? Yes. Th e Beau- ceron is not really a French Shepherd, bigger is better and any dog from Europe must be good. In the United States we have health standards and a standard of perfection for the breed. Meeting those standards means something important and committing to main- taining the breed to do what it has been bred to do for centuries is most important. What special challenges do breeders face? Th e challenges any breeder faces is maintaining a breeding program to meet the stan- dard of perfection and not maintaining one’s program to meet the economics of the day. My biggest concern are people becoming commercial breeders that are not committed to the preservation of a very special breed. As far as the social climate, bullying of respect- able breeders must end. Humans entering into a “pack” mentality on social media is simply not acceptable. At what age do I start to see de fi nite signs of show-worthiness? Most dogs can complete championships around one and a half to two years old. I see the vision of “show-worthiness” in females around 18 months and in males two and a half to three years old. I have learned to be patient, possibly fi nishing championships, but waiting and watching for the mature dog to have the “it” factor. What is the most important thing about my breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Movement, type (being a true shepherd), balance and topline. Th e total package is often lost. I am an AKC approved mentor and I ringside mentor judges all of the time. My question always is, “What do you see?” What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? Be pleasant, nice and willing to teach and mentor. My ultimate goal for the breed? Maintaining the breed that was a War dog in WWI, creating and maintaining dogs that are true shepherds no matter what is winning in the show ring and working to create healthy dogs for future generations. Favorite dog show memory? I have been in the sport for a long time. It is hard to choose just one memory with one breed. My family and I had many breeds and many dogs over the years. My favorite memory of all time was my family’s foundation Australian Cattle Dog winning the breed’s fi rst Best in Show in 1980. As for Beaucerons, winning Winner’s Dog at the National Specialty (and I didn’t expect it). I did not have someone set up to take him back in while I showed the special I brought with me. Th at year we (Dr. Bitz and I) brought fi ve dogs, won 1st and 2nd in puppy bitch, WD, BOS and AoM. Th at was nice. Anything else I’d like to share about the breed? Th e breed is high energy and generally a happy dog. Th ey love to run and jump and play.
264 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MARCH 2020
JUDGING THE BEAUCERON
F irst and foremost the Beauceron is a herd- ing dog and must be of a structure that would give the impression they could herd a large flock of sheep all day long. Th e Beauceron is a well bal- anced dog, well muscled without heavi- ness or coarseness. Dogs are characteristi- cally larger with a larger frame and heavier bone than bitches. Bitches are distinctly feminine but without weakness in sub- stance or structure. Th e Beauceron should be confident with no trace of timidity. Although they can be reserved with strangers they should be easily approached without showing signs of fear. Size Males 25 ½ -27 ½ " and Bitches 24"-26". Disqualification: Over or under size. Proportion: “Medium” in all proportion. Length of body slightly greater than height. Bitches can be slightly longer than dogs. Substance: Powerful, well built, well muscled, without sign of heaviness or clumsiness. Dogs lacking substance should be severely penalized. Head Long and well chiseled, in proportion with the body. Th e length of head is about 40% the height of the dog. Th e height of width of the head are slightly less than half the total length. Th e skull and muzzle are of equal length. Seen in profile, the top lines of skull and muzzle lie roughly in parallel planes. Skull: Flat or slightly rounded near side of head. Stop: Slightly pronounced and equidistant from occiput to tip of nose. Muzzle: Proportionate, not narrow, pointed or excessively broad. Ears: Set high. May be cropped or natural no preference to be given to one
By Karla Davis
Chest: Th e chest is wide, deep , long and descends to the point of the elbow. Girth of the chest is greater than the height at the withers by 20%. (In Europe they measure the dogs and record in a written critique). Ribcage extends well back with long, flex- ible and moderately curved ribs. Body & Legs Body: Th e length of the body from the point of the buttock is slightly more than the height of the dog at the withers. Forequarters: Legs are vertical when viewed from front or in profile, shoulders are moderately long with good layback, feet are large, round and compact. Nails are black. Hindquarters: Angulation balanced with forequarters, vertical when viewed from rear or side,upper thigh broad and muscular, hock at a point roughly ¼ of the height at withers , forming well open angle with lower thigh. Metatarsals are verti- cal, slightly further back than the point of the buttock. When viewed from behind, metatar- sals are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Feet are round and compact, toeing out slightly. (A French judge once showed me that if you measure around from the inside dewclaw to the outside toe, the center of that measure- ment of the foot is what points forward.) Dewclaws: Double dewclaws on each rear leg. Two separate toes with nails placed close to the foot. (When examining for the dewclaws if they can be clearly visu- alized it is not necessary to handle them as one would “feel” for them on a Briard.) DQ: Anything less than 2 dewclaws on each rear leg. Tail In repose the tail is carried down and descends at least to the point of the hock. It forms a slight “J” without deviation to
style over the other. Natural ears are half pricked , ½ the length of the head. DQ: Natural ears upright and rigid. Nose: Proportionate to the muzzle, well developed, never split and always black. Eyes: Horizontal and slightly oval, dark brown, never lighter than dark hazel. Walleye (blue, light blue, particolored) acceptable in harlequin. DQ: Yellow (bird of prey) eyes, walleye in black/rust dogs. Lips: Firm and well pigmented. Slight but firm flews Teeth: Scissor bite preferred, level toler- ated. DQ: Overshot or undershot with loss of contact. Absence of 3 or more teeth, first premolars not to count. Neck: Muscular and of good length, united harmoniously with shoulders. Topline & Chest Topline: Straight and strong. Withers are well defined. Loin is broad, short and muscular. Croup is slightly sloped in direc- tion of tail attachment.
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Pencilling of black on toes and blending of black on the leg markings is allowed. ( Th e rust markings in general tend not to have crisp edges but rather blend in the transi- tion from black to rust. Th e markings need not be excessive but they need to be there. DQ: Complete absence of markings (solid black dog), clearly marked, solid white spot on chest more than 1 inch in diam- eter. White hairs are tolerable. Harlequin color: Th e harlequin is a blue merle. Th ey have the black/rust base color with the blue/gray patches distributed over the body in a balanced pattern. Th e gray can be light to dark and the black hairs are interspersed within the gray. Th ere can be more black than gray. Rust markings are the same as the black/rust dog. DQ: Head entirely gray (without the blend of the black), too much gray (again without the blend of the black), black on one side gray on the other. Clearly marked, solid white spot on chest more than 1" in diam- eter. Th e harlequin tends to darken with age. Some more than others. Th ey are born very brightly marked then the gray blends with the black as they get older. Some retain more of the demarcation between the black and the blue/gray blend and oth- ers get more of a roany look to their gray markings but the markings are still there. Temperament Th e Beauceron is self assured with a frank approach, never mean, timid or wor- ried. Th ey can be reserved with strangers but should be gentle and fearless. Any display of fear or unjustifiable aggression is not to be tolerated. Dogs that can’t be examined should be excused. This article was written based on a program used in judge’s education presentations.
Eldorado 318, walleye in the harlequin.
the left or right. In action Th e tail can be carried higher, becoming an exten- sion of the topline. DQ: Docked tail or tail carried over the back. ((Some will relax (straighten) their tail when standing still but the “J” will reappear as soon as they move.)) Gait Movement is fluid and e ff ortless Th e head is lowered approaching the level of the topline. Dogs with clumsy or ine ffi - cient gait must be penalized. Th ey must give the impression that they could cover a lot of ground throughout the day without becoming exhausted. Coat & Colors Coat: Short and smooth on head, ears an lower legs. Longer on body 1 ¼ "-1 ½ ". May be longer around neck. Tail and thighs are lightly fringed. Th e undercoat t Height outside of standard t Split nose, color other than black, unpigmented areas t Bite overshot or undershot with loss of contact t Absence of 3 or more teeth, first pre- molars not counting t Yellow eyes, wall eye in black/rust
is short, fine, dense and downy, prefer- ably mouse gray, very tight, and does not appear through the coat. Th e Beauceron is to be shown in its natural state with no trimming or sculpting. DQ: Shaggy coat. (In 30 years, I have never seen a shaggy coated Beauceron.) Black/Rust color: Black is pure and rich. Rust markings range from tan to rust colored. Th e French standard (and the AKC standard since it follows the French standard) states the markings should be “squirrel red”. I personally prefer the term rust because even though the squirrels in Europe may be red, the squirrels in the western United States are for the most part gray except the ground squirrels which are a light tan color. Th e rust markings are: Spot over each eye, on the sides of muzzle, on chest with two patches preferred over solid breast- plate, throat, under tail and on lower legs. t Natural ears carried upright and rigid t Docked tail, tail carried over the back t Anything less than double dewclaws on each rear leg t Shaggy Coat t Any color other than Black/rust or Harlequin
t Complete absence of markings t Well defined, solid white spot larger than 1 inch in diameter t In the Harlequin too much gray, black on one side gray on the other, head entirely gray
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