Beauceron vs German Shepherd: Key Differences Explained

Written by Katelynn Sobus
Published: July 5, 2022
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When it comes down to the Beauceron vs the German Shepherd, both breeds are intelligent, gorgeous, and protective. However, there are some key differences that can help you to decide between the two.

The Beauceron is a fairly large dog with a muscular and athletic frame and tall shoulder height. It is a smart, spirited, fearless, and gentle breed. German Shepherds tend to be more affectionate and clingy while also being more protective. They’re incredibly playful and easier to train.

Continue reading to learn more about how these dogs vary. Let’s explore their differences in-depth!

Comparing Beauceron vs German Shepherd

The major difference between Beauceron and German Shepherd is temperament.
BeauceronGerman Shepherd
Size24-27.5 inches, 70-110 pounds22-26 inches, 50-90 pounds
AppearanceSmooth, short coat in black and rust, black and tan, harlequin, or grey, black, and tanMedium-length double coat in black, black and cream, black and red, black and silver, black and tan, blue, grey, liver, sable, white, or bi-color
Lifespan10-12 years10-13 years
TemperamentIndependent, likely to be reserved around strangers, protectiveAffectionate with family, great with children, might be stand-offish around strangers, very protective, adaptable
GroomingWeeklyEvery few days
Drooling LevelVery lowLow

Key Differences Between a Beauceron and German Shepherd

The key difference between a Beauceron and a German Shepherd is temperament. Shepherds tend to be more affectionate and easy to train, while Beaucerons are more independent.

Other important differences include size, appearance, lifespan, trainability, energy level, grooming needs, and drooling level.

Let’s dive into all of them below!

Beauceron vs German Shepherd: Size

Beauceron laying by stone wall

Beaucerons weigh up to 110 pounds!

©Shannon Y/

German Shepherds are the smaller of the two, standing at 22-26 inches tall and weighing 50-90 pounds. Beaucerons are 24-27.5 inches tall and weigh 70-110 pounds. In both breeds, the females tend to be smaller than the males.

When deciding on the size of dog to adopt, there are a few factors to consider. These include expenses, handleability, and guarding abilities. These dogs don’t vary too much in size, but you still might find that lighter dogs cost less at the veterinarian. This is because they need lower doses of medication than heavier dogs.

Heavier dogs also eat more, and you likely will see a difference in your food bill between these breeds. When it comes to handleability, 20 pounds can make a big difference for most people! Think about managing the dog on a leash and also what you’ll do if they get injured or ill and need to be transported to the veterinarian. Especially in old age, many dogs need help getting around.

Lastly, both of these are guarding breeds. When looking for a guard dog, those who are larger are more intimidating to potential intruders. Of course, they also have more strength to fight off a threat when necessary.

Beauceron vs German Shepherd: Appearance

German Shepherds have medium-length double coats. Their coat color varies a lot more as well. According to the AKC breed standard, German Shepherd coats can be:

  • Black
  • Black and cream
  • Black and red
  • Black and silver
  • Black and tan
  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Liver
  • Sable
  • White
  • Bi-color

Beaucerons have smooth, short double coats. The Beauceron breed standard accepts only four colors:

  • Black and rust
  • Black and tan
  • Harlequin
  • Grey, black, and tan

Beauceron vs German Shepherd: Lifespan

Usually, smaller dog breeds live longer than larger breeds. However, that’s not true in this case.

German Shepherds live relatively long lives for their size, averaging just 10-13 years. Beaucerons live 10-12 years on average. Some dogs will live above the average, while some will live shorter lives. It depends on their genetics, health, and care.

Providing your dog with a well-balanced diet, regular veterinary check-ups, and daily exercise will help to increase their lifespan. In addition, spayed and neutered dogs tend to live longer than unaltered dogs.

Beauceron vs German Shepherd: Temperament

Beaucerons and German Shepherds have many differences in temperament. German Shepherds tend to be clingier and cuddlier towards family, while Beaucerons are more independent.

If you have a German Shepherd, it’s important to teach them how to be alone early on. Introduce the concept slowly and keep the experiences positive. While this training benefits all dogs, it’s especially critical for Shepherds due to their clingy natures.

A dog who becomes confident in being alone at a young age is much less at risk of separation anxiety, which German Shepherds can be prone to.

German Shepherds also tend to be great with children, while Beaucerons may be a little more stand-offish, particularly around kids they don’t know. Never leave any dog unsupervised with a young child. Either the dog or child can be hurt, especially if they aren’t taught how to interact properly.

Dogs should be taught bite inhibition and not to jump up on people. Children should be taught dog body language, how to interact nicely, and to never get in a dog’s face or around their food.

These breeds can both be reserved around strangers and benefit from early socialization. Introduce your dog to a variety of people, sounds, places, and experiences. This will help them develop confidence and grow into a well-adjusted adult dog.

Both dogs are protective, though Shepherds are generally more so. It’s extra-important to train guard dogs well so that they don’t become aggressive toward strangers in a misdirected attempt to defend you or your property. Socialization, as mentioned above, is crucial.

Lastly, Shepherds tend to be highly adaptable, while Beaucerons have a moderate level of adaptability. German Shepherds will typically adjust to new people, environments, and experiences much faster.

Beauceron vs German Shepherd: Trainability

German Shepherd playing with blue ball

German Shepherds are big people pleasers! They’re much easier to train than Beaucerons.


Speaking of adaptability, German Shepherds are also super adaptable when it comes to training. They’re incredibly smart, people-pleasing dogs who can perform a variety of tasks.

These Shepherds aren’t just sheep dogs anymore. Throughout their history, they’ve worked as police dogs, military dogs, service dogs, search and rescue, and more! They also make terrific guard dogs. One thing to watch for while training your Shepherd is their tendency toward guarding. You don’t want this to turn into aggression toward or fear of strangers.

Beaucerons also encounter this problem because they, too, have strong guarding instincts. They’re also more independent than Shepherds, making training more difficult. The biggest hurdle is that they love to jump and grab and likely will try to grab people’s arms with their mouths at a young age.

Training should focus heavily on preventing this behavior and teaching bite inhibition. Redirect your mouthy pup with appropriate outlets, like jumping to catch a ball or flying disk in the air! For both breeds, avoid harsh training methods. Use positive reinforcement to get what you want from your dog and ignore or redirect unwanted behavior.

With time and patience, you’ll have a wonderfully trained adult dog.

Beauceron vs German Shepherd: Playfulness

Both breeds are high-energy and need a lot of physical activity and mental stimulation to keep happy and healthy. However, German Shepherds tend to be the more playful of the two. This means they’re more likely to initiate play and may have more trouble settling in at home.

To a point, of course, this must be accommodated. However, you’ll also want your Shepherd to learn when enough is enough. Remember that dogs need a lot of sleep in their day to stay healthy, and you don’t need to occupy them all day long.

Beaucerons will still love to play, especially as puppies! They’ll especially need games to engage their minds. As noted above, they’re likely to enjoy games of catch due to their instinct to jump and grab.

Beauceron vs German Shepherd: Grooming Needs

how much does a dog cost

German Shepherds need to be brushed once every few days, while Beauceron coats are lower maintenance.


Both of these dogs are heavy shedders who go through two shedding seasons each year. Typically, these will occur in the spring and autumn months.

Because of their long coats, German Shepherds need more frequent grooming. Brush them once every few days to reduce shed and distribute their natural oils. This will make the coat appear smoother, sleeker, and healthier.

Beaucerons need to be groomed once a week throughout most of the year.

During shedding season, brush both breeds daily to keep up with their increased shed. This will keep their coat, your house, and your clothes all looking their best!

Beauceron vs German Shepherd: Drooling Level

Luckily, neither of these breeds are heavy droolers. However, you’ll see a German Shepherd drooling more often than a Beauceron. Beaucerons don’t tend to drool much at all! You might see them salivate when a tasty treat is presented or in their sleep in small amounts.

German Shepherds are still on the low end of the drooling spectrum but might be more likely to leave small drool puddles when they sleep, beg for food, or drink their water.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Shannon Y/

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About the Author

Katelynn Sobus is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on pets including dogs, cats, and exotics. She has been writing about pet care for over five years. Katelynn currently lives in Michigan with her seven senior rescue cats.

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