Although the official name of the breed is Berger de Beauce, they are also known as Bas Rouge ( Red Stockings), but are more commonly referred to as the Beauceron.
The Beauceron is still best known in its native France, but can also be found in Belgium, Holland and Germany.  The Berger de Beauce (shepherd of the Beauce) oringinated in a plains region surrounding Paris known "La Beauce".  La Beauce is generally acknowledged as the cradle of the Breed.
The Beauceron is a French shepherd dog dating back to the 1500's.  The breed was included in the First Canine Exposition, held in Paris in 1863.
The Beauceron was used as a livestock herding and guard dog extensively of farms in France, most often with sheep but also with cattle.
The Beauceron's ability to follow commands without hesitation has been well utilized during both world wars in Euorpe.  The military used then on the front lines to run messages and these dogs performed their duties without being deterred by exploding bombs or military fire.  Beaucerons were also used to pick up trails, detect mines, support commando actions, find the wounded and carry food and ammunition to the front lines.

The Beauceron is a large solid animal with a powerful, muscular build, yet without heaviness.  The coat is short, thick and course and comes in either Black & Tan or the rarer harlequin (grey, black & tan).  The standard allows for either cropped or uncropped ears.  The tail is long and not docked.  The unigue characteristic of the breed is the double dewclaws on the inside of the hind legs which are required by breed standards.  Males range from 25 1/2" to 27 1/2" weighting up to 110 ibs. while females are 24 1/2" to 26 3/4" ranging in weight from 80 to 90 lbs.

The Beauceron's intellegence is manifested in its good and rapid comprehension of its master's desires and senitivity to its master's moods.  This psychic sort of bond with its owner is considered by some to be nonsense, but many Beauceron owners speak of it as a fact.
Beaucerons are noted for their excellent memory and instinct to guard all persons, property and animals of their home.
Their principal qualities are obedience, vigilance, calmness, courage, hardiness and patience.  Their temperament is wise and bold, fearless and always ready for work.
The Beauceron is always ready to intervene in a situation, its stern apperance commands respect, and yet the dog will keep calm and only intervene when nessasary.  These qualities are only surpassed by the breed's extreme sense of loyalty and its eagerness to please.
Despite their foreboding appearance, Beaucerons are tolerant by nature and do well in family situations.  The breed will not usually tolerate harsh physical treatment from adults.  They are gentle with children and this is especially true of dogs that have been raised with children.  However, it must be noted that this is a large breed and even a puppy could prove to be overwhelming to a small child.
Beaucerons are sociable with other dogs that they know but are territorial and will often not tolerate an intruder.  They get along well with cats if introduced at an early age.  Being herding dogs, they instinctivly try to herd livestock.
It must be stressed that the Beauceron is not a dog for everyone.  They are not suitable for a first time dog owner unless that person is prepared to seek the advice and guidance of a professional trainer or someone with extensive dog experience
If not properly handled a Beauceron can become quite assertive.  A well behaved adult Beauceron is not overly hyper, however up until 2 to 3 years of age they are extremely active and require a good deal of exercise.  The Beauceron does not fair well as a kennel dog or in a apartment.

The Beauceron is still used extensively for herding and livestock protection.  The high drive, high performance attitude of this breed serves many farm well withtheir seemingly endless energy.
The Beauceron is also used in highly competitive sports such as Schutzhund and French Ring Sport which involves obedience, protection, searching and tracking, agility.
The Beauceron is now also being used by police forces throughtout the world in K-9 work and for apprehension of criminals (tracking & bitework), personal protection, narcotics detection, riot control, search and rescue, body recovery, prison security and secured escort.  France's military forces still train Beaucerons as do some other countries.

Beauceron is considered a rare breed in North America and is not recognized by the Canadian Kennel club.  Dogs imported from France are registered with the Societe Centrale Canine (SCC).  In North American, the Beauceron can be registered in one of several registries, being the North American Beauceron club (NABC), the Beauceron Club of America (BCA), United Kennel Club (UKC), or the Canine Federation of Canada (CFC).