“Rustic” is word you will hear Beauceron fanciers use. Rustic is defined as rural, simple, or plain, in other words – no frills. When a Beauceron walks into a room, it commands attention; a large dog, not too sleek, ears erect, eyes bright, almost wolf like.
Part of the rustic scene with the Beauceron owners is the way they show their dogs. There is no stacking in the ring, and the dogs are shown on a loose lead. Beauceron handlers are often asked to trot their dogs for extended periods of time in the show ring. Why extended trotting sessions? In its rustic setting as a herder, the Beauceron was, and is required to move to 30 miles a day, acting as a “living fence” around a flock, or herd.
The “Beauceron trot” is an extension of the normal trot in which the dog’s back becomes lower, its legs extend, and the feet barely skim the ground. If in the show ring two Beaucerons are tied structurally, the first place dog will be the animal who is judged to hold and have the best “Beauceron trot.”
Beaucerons go through a unique process in reaching breed goals. This process begins when the dog is at least one year old, and is presented to more than one judge at a Journee du Beauceron (“day of the Beauceron”); this is the equivalent to a Regional show in France. At the Journee, the dog is first measured with a “toise”, an instrument that takes extremely accurate measurements at specific points on a dog’s body. The Beauceron’s measurements are recorded, and the dog moves on to the next station. Here the animal goes “one on one” with a very experienced judge, who examines the dog meticulously and checks its movement. At this juncture, the judge is insuring the Beauceron meets the standard.
The Beauceron and its handler then move on to the next station: Temperament Testing. An experienced working dog judge who is well versed in reading dogs’ body language will fire shots, threaten the dog with a baton, and observe the dog’s interaction with the judge and its handler.
The Beaucerons to this point have been measured, judged to insure they meet the standard, and have been temperament tested. During the judging and testing the dogs have been rated insufficient, good, very good, or excellent.
Only dogs rated excellent in conformation, and temperament move on to the final step, that of competing in various classes i.e. young male, working dog, open male, open female etc. All Beaucerons in this phase are rated against the standard, and as mentioned before are trotted for an extended period of time.
The dog most exemplifying the standard and with the best trot wins! All Beaucerons entering this final ring phase are awarded a Cotation 3.