Page 263 - ShowSight, March 2020
P. 263

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 definite 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 has been a dog lover all his life. Both his parents and grand- parents owned Beaucerons. From 1995 to 2000, he was a military officer 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” affix. 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 first Whippet in 1989. The next two years she worked for a profes- sional all-breed handler. She had her first 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, confirming her reputation worldwide. Joanne has always admired Beaucerons as far as she remembers. She acquired her first one in
2008 and her second one (Jaguar) in 2014. This 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 first Beauceron in 2008.
What we do outside of dogs is always one way or the other relat- ed to the dogs.
In popularity, The 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. This 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? These ranking num- bers reassure us as most of Beauceron breeders today have more or less good intentions for the breed. They 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 profit only, then this is when we observe so- called “breeders” cutting all costs to maximize profits: For example, they acquire “breeding pairs” of poor, cheap lineage. They 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 first.
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 find 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 different version, our version of this wonderful breed.
Like for many breeds, there are working lines and there are show lines. The former will produce high energy, intense and not recom- mended for first dog owners or family with young kids. We agree with that. However there are also a majority of show lines Beauce- rons out there. These Beaucerons are selected for beauty and brain. They are calm, confident, 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 confident dogs, that will confidently guard your family, while loyally and peacefully standing at your feet. This is the Beauceron we love and strive to breed. They are guardian angels, always keeping an eye on you, observing you and

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