Pick of the Litter

Caitlin Bailey

Rescue Me Rowan du Vaillant Feu (Rowan)

Age: 23 and Rowan is four months

Location: Orlando, Florida

How long did you research before adding a Beauceron to your life? Roughly two years between finding out the breed existed to bringing home my first Beauceron.

What did you do to prepare?
I became an active “lurker” in all the Beauceron Facebook pages, asking questions I couldn’t find in the search features. I met several Beaucerons at the MTB in Orlando as well as in sports I was already involved in with my other dog. I also pestered my eventual breeder to no end with constant questions about the Beauceron world (Sorry Lauren!) and she was happy to answer all of them and continues to do so. I dog train as a side job and used to do it professionally so through working with hundreds of dogs and different breeds, I knew that the Beauceron was a breed that matched my skill level as well as my future aspirations which helped me prepare a lot for bringing one home.

How did you find your breeder?
I found my breeder online through a combination of Google, Facebook and Instagram. After the Royal Canin MTB in Orlando, I proceeded to research the breed online which led me to Armored Rose. Then I met Amy with Ozark on Instagram and through her and Facebook I found Lauren of Vaillant Feu Beaucerons. She was not the first breeder I came across, or even sent an application to, but she was the most willing to answer my questions and she was the one I made the best relationship with over the two years of research I did.

What goals do you have?
My big goals for Rowan are training successfully in SAR and herding. We are open to all different kinds of sports though so we will be dabbling in many of them such as conformation, agility, and maybe even some FAST CAT.

What is something that you were not ready for with your Beauceron?
This is a hard question for me to answer because everything has been so easy with Rowan. He hasn’t thrown many curveballs and has overall been the easiest puppy I have ever worked with. Come back to me after his teenage era!!

What is easier the you had expected about owning a Beauceron?
Rowan’s temperament and mitigating that. So many people gate keep this breed saying that they are a lot to handle. And while I do believe my training background has given me a leg up with Rowan, I was prepared for a difficult puppy and that’s not what I received. I could not be happier with Rowan’s temperament first and foremost. His genetics and early handling by his breeder have been proven time and time again and I cannot wait to see how that plays out in maturity.

If you had to give advice to someone coming into the breed what would it be?
1. Don’t believe everything you see on Facebook. Facebook can be an extremely dark place and too many good breeder are being drug through the dirt for situations most people don’t understand.
2. Do your research of the breed and breeders based off of fact and first-hand accounts. Ask for proof. If the proof looks sketchy, get a non-biased second and third opinion. If you are not “dog savvy” consult with trainers/breeders in and outside the breed. You can never have too much information when it comes to such a huge investment.
3. Be honest with yourself and your breeder. This breed has been such a blessing to my life but I can see where they are most definitely not the breed for everyone. Be honest about your skill level and aspirations.

What do you think we need more of in the community?
An understanding that there is a difference between trivial Facebook drama and real ABC member issues. We have to remember that ABC is not a Beauceron fan club. It is a non-profit organization that has rules and regulations that should be followed and upheld by its members, breeders, and BOD. Unfortunately, that means citing people who we love and respect, for not upholding the rules or outright breaking them. It’s not personal if you don’t make it personal. If you don’t like the rules, work together to change them.

Is there anything that you would have done differently so far?
With my Beauceron journey, I wish I had done more research on importing and breeders in Europe. I was very close-minded to the idea of importing and through talking to many people who have done it, it’s not as scary as some may think. I hope to learn more about the European lines and hopefully import one one day.

What are some things you are looking forward to in the future?
Being an active member of the club, the Facebook groups, and hopefully an asset to the newbies in the breed. Coming into this breed can be scary and I truly hope to be a relatively non-biased sounding board for those who are just now discovering this beautiful breed. I also hope to represent this breed well through making Rowan the best version of himself that I can.