Page 266 - ShowSight, March 2020
P. 266

                BEAUCERON Q&A
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 fighting 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 definite signs of show-worthiness? Puppies are typically assessed first 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? The 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. The 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. The AKC “Meet the Breeds” program is a great opportunity to show off 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 find 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.
I live in Brooksville, Florida. I am a practicing attorney and head up a legal department for a public company. This keeps me pretty busy.
In popularity, The 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. The 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? The 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 definite 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 finishing 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. The 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 first 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. That year we (Dr. Bitz and I) brought five dogs, won 1st and 2nd in puppy bitch, WD, BOS and AoM. That was nice.
Anything else I’d like to share about the breed? The breed is high energy and generally a happy dog. They love to run and jump and play.

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