Beauceron peaking out of a field of white flowers

13 Outdoor Activities To Help Your Beauceron Overcome Stress

Ignorance is bliss, so they say. However, your Beauceron is highly intelligent and aware of its surroundings. This is what makes them the loyal and protective companions you love. Perhaps you've started to notice they're not as excited as usual and even inappetent. It could also be the opposite; their temperament might be demanding of your attention and even destructive and aggressive. These are all signs of stress or depression. While there are many small things you can do to help them deal with this feeling, exercise is one of the biggest and most important factors to take into consideration. So, let's take a deeper look into this breed and what you can do to help them overcome stress.

From French Shepherd to Loyal Companion

 

This large dog breed originated in the plains of Central France and was originally companions to sheep and goat herders. They're large, lean dogs with a black, short but dense coat and tan markings. They're also known as bas rouge (red socks) in French from the coloring on their feet. They're handsome and debonair.

Their job was originally to keep the herds together and protect them from predators such as wolves. This has made them extremely loyal and skillful dogs. They're instinctively protective but learn to take clues from their human companion before reacting. For this reason, they're great family dogs who love to herd and protect little children.

French herders carefully chose these dogs for their aptitude and agility as a herding breed to guard large flocks of sheep or goats as well as for their structure and endurance. They would herd hundreds of these animals traveling up to 50 miles per day. At the end of the day, the noble Beaucerons showed no signs of exhaustion. As time went by, this profession became less popular, but the dogs prevailed. So, what's a Beauceron to do in a tiny house or apartment without a job? Stressing out and doing some reupholstery and remodeling sounds like a great idea for them. 

As you can see, these dogs are alert and energetic which means they need an outlet to burn it all off. A Beauceron isn't for you if you don't have the time to take it out many times a day or if you don't have a large yard where it can entertain itself. (Ideally, you should buy them a large farm in France.) Otherwise, they'll get stressed and depressed. A simple walk around the block can be enough, but there are many more things to make them even happier. 

woman laying on floor with her Beauceron hugging it

13 Outdoor Activities to Help Your Beauceron Overcome Stress

 

Your Beauceron was bred to help protect you and your family. Therefore, they require a lot of attention and lots of exercise. Society is changing and dogs have become more accepted as family members instead of workers. For this reason, pet-friendly places are becoming ever increasingly popular. This rather intelligent dog doesn't necessarily enjoy being at home alone bored. So, take them with you to meet your friend for a coffee or to work if your office allows it. They'll greatly enjoy being by your side. 

The activities you choose will also depend on where you live and the weather. Any physical activity and venture outside your home mean a risk of possible injury. However, simple common sense and intuition go a long way. Take your Beauceron for daily checkups to make sure they have a healthy heart and joints to do outdoor activities. They must stay cool indoors, especially during the summer, so always bring along some water and a dish. Furthermore, you can tie a wet bandana around their neck to keep them feeling fresh. Warm weather and increased camaraderie can cause a lot of excitement, so don't overdo it. Take plenty of breaks if necessary. 

1. Swimming

Beaucerons aren't water dogs, but some enjoy jumping into the water and playing around. Swimming is a great activity because it's low impact, so it doesn't stress their joints. Furthermore, it works many muscles at once. A private pool is the best place for this activity, just get in and see if your dog follows you in. You can throw a ball and see if they'll swim after it. It'll push their limits and bring out their hunter instincts. 

You can also take them to the beach if you live near one. Your Beauceron will entertain themselves by chasing and running away from the waves. However, you do need to keep an extra eye out for them because there might be jellyfish, crabs, urchins, or sharks that could hurt them. Furthermore, they could drown if the riptides and waves are too strong. Stay vigilant and have fun in the sand! The same goes for rivers and lakes. Make your trek comfortable and consider taking them in the Calming Carrier Plus if they're still puppies. Every inch of the tote is reinforced making it perfect for rambunctious dogs like the Beauceron.

Beauceron swimming in a lake

2. Hiking

This is a great exercise for you and your dog. Hiking through the woods and mountains will be very stimulating. Keep your Beauceron close as they'll probably be curious and want to chase any small animals they encounter. You can even get a lightweight backpack to give them extra exercise and haul their food and water.

Check your local trails and firstly, make sure dogs are allowed. Beaucerons are unlikely to run away since they are hyper-aware of your location. However, some trails might have restrictions on whether you need to keep them on a leash or not. This is usually to protect local flora and fauna from your hunter friend. Also, in case you encounter any other unfriendly dogs or wild animals. As with any outdoor activity, pack some food and water to keep them energized and hydrated. Also, bring along a flashlight for nighttime strolling or if you're going to venture into caves.

Practice leave-no-trace ethics and clean up after your dog. Either pick up your Beauceron's poo with a plastic bag or take a small shovel to bury it. After any hike, check your dog for any injuries and bloodsuckers to ensure they won't get any infections or diseases such as Lyme. 

3. Biking

This is a fun activity for your Beauceron. However, it's very high impact, so you need to be careful, especially when you're biking on concrete. Furthermore, this activity requires a lot of training and safety as it can be dangerous since you and the dog are connected and can hurt each other if you fall or if your dog decides to pull your bike in the opposite direction. 

Start training your dog with small distances and slow speeds. Get a special leash that attaches directly to your bike as holding on to one can distract you. You're going to be using a lot of treats as they will need constant praise to learn to run beside you. They'll need to learn directional cues so you both can flow simultaneously. 

This is an intense exercise so have your veterinarian do a checkup and confirm your Beauceron is healthy enough to do so. Don't expect them to run long distances at first as they'll need to adjust. Start with soft ground to get their knees and joints ready for harder concrete. Speaking of concrete, be careful with the temperature because it can burn their paws if it's too hot. Finally, remember you're not racing your dog. Constantly observe them and slow down or stop if they're struggling or seem tired. Allow them to rest and give them some water. 

The older your dog gets, the more joint problems they'll develop. Beaucerons are hard workers and want to please you, so they might seem like they're running without any problems but could be hurting. To ease this, do a warm-up and cool-down walking activity before- and afterward respectively. 

Beauceron on leash at dog park

4. Camping

Although it takes a bit more planning, camping is a great way for you and your Beauceron to have an overnight escape from civilization. You can mix all the activities we've mentioned above and your pup will love jumping in and around the bushes. It's a great opportunity to bond with your dog since you won't have televisions, computers, and any other distractions and will be living in the moment. 

In general, most developed campsites welcome dogs but always check before getting there. The National Park service lists all the rules on every park's website. Some reserves won't allow dogs as they're there to protect endangered plants and animals. Remember your Beauceron will be your constant companion and leaving him alone in a tent is not an option. 

Depending on how many days you're planning to camp, you'll need to bring enough food and water for both you and your dog. Keep it in a tight-sealing bag to prevent other animals from venturing into your campsite. This is especially important if the area where you're camping is home to bears. 

5. Dog Park

One of the simplest things you can do is to take your Beauceron to the dog park. It's a great way for them to socialize and make friends. They enjoy your company but other dogs provide them with different forms of entertainment you can't offer. It's also one of the few times they can enjoy being off-leash while not at home. 

Because they'll be around a lot of other dogs, it's important to keep some things in mind such as making sure their vaccinations, parasite preventatives, and identification are up to date. This helps prevent the transmission of diseases such as parvo, distemper, rabies, and pesky parasites like fleas and ticks. Furthermore, if they somehow escape the dog park, you can rest assured they'll make it back home.

Make sure you're in control and vigilant at all times. Your Beauceron should have basic commands under their belt to recall them if they want to get into a fight with another dog. Some dogs like to play rough and may seem aggressive, but pulling them away is the worst thing you can do. Just watch closely and you'll know if you need to intervene but do so safely.

6. Fetch

Whether you're at home or the dog park, fetch is another great activity you can do outdoors with your Beauceron. As they're natural hunters, most dogs will learn to play this game naturally. However, you do need some training to ensure you both have fun. 

Most dogs will be enticed by the idea of chasing a ball, especially when there are treats involved! This is particularly useful to teach them to bring it back to you and let go. Your Beauceron is going to be able to play this game forever, so do it for as long as you can, and then calmly let them know it's time to stop and move on.

Beauceron dog playing fetch with little girl

7. Jogging

Beauceron's love running, so why not take them with you during your morning jog. However, it's not a good idea if you're training to aim for the quickest time. This is because your dog will still want to stop, sniff things, explore, and poo. Furthermore, dogs, like humans, need to build up a tolerance. So, start them off slowly at first. Lastly, don't run before they can walk. You need to address walking issues such as pulling before you can run with them on a leash. Observe them while you're running and stop for a water break if they're panting too much.

8. Scavenger Hunt

The Beauceron is a highly intelligent breed and also needs mental exercise to overcome stress. A scavenger hunt outdoors is excellent for them to use their hunting instincts to find treats and treasure. You'll first need to teach them how to find them, just place the treat in front of them and slowly add more of them farther away and in difficult places to access such as behind trees or under chairs. They'll quickly sniff them out until they find them all!

9. Urban Exploring

While nature is nice and all, it'll be a nice treat to take your dog around the city too. Cities are full of sounds and lights that can be stressful for a dog at first, but you can slowly desensitize them and they'll end up enjoying them. Your dog will meet lots of new people and be quite excited to return. There are many pet-friendly restaurants and even bars where your Beauceron can play with other dogs like at the dog park. You might not be able to take them inside every place but that can be a good time to teach them to patiently wait for you. 

The downside to cities is there's a lot of trash everywhere. Your dog, however, will see that chicken carcass as a tasty treat so you need to stay vigilant of what they sniff as they might pick it up. This activity keeps them excited and active and is a way for them to learn what's going on with all the other dogs in the neighborhood.

Beauceron running after frisbee

10. Yardwork

Although it doesn't sound very exciting, your Beauceron will enjoy helping you out in the yard. They're curious dogs that observe and analyze everything you do. They'll be happy to smell the radishes you pull out and the flowers you plant. You can even have fun raking and jumping in the pile of leaves! Your dog just wants to be included in whatever you do.

11. Doga

You might've seen doga (dog yoga) classes at your local park and thought it was strange. However, it can be a lot of fun! Your dog also needs to stretch, so doing this activity together can be beneficial to both. Furthermore, you'll develop a greater harmony and a closer bond. You'll also start to notice that a lot of the stretches in yoga are the way these animals naturally do it.  

12. Picnic

You can share a nice picnic with your Beauceron at a park or field outside the city. Although they might be very interested since there's food involved, it's important to exercise them beforehand so they don't get too antsy. You can pack a meal you both can enjoy together with dog-safe foods or separate ones. However, you can find special dog wine or beer if you think they'll feel left out. 

Bring along a soft blanket your Beauceron can share with you and feel close. It's important to choose a place with some shade to prevent overheating. You can also bring some toys for a game of fetch after lunch which will ensure he takes a restful nap. 

Beauceron puppy chewing on bone

13. Skijoring

Look for a local skijoring class near you if you live in a snowy area. This activity is perfect for a snow-loving Beauceron who needs extra exercise. Skijoring comes from the Norwegian "ski-kjøring" or "snow-driving" which is dog skiing. This sport was originally started by the Sámi people of northern Scandinavia as a way to quickly get from one place to another, sort of like dog sledding, but with skis instead of a sled. 

You must be already trained in cross country skiing to start this activity. Furthermore, it'll take a lot of training like with cycling to make sure you and your Beauceron are in sync with each other. You can even go pro if you're both good at it!  

By doing any of these activities, your anxious and stressed Beauceron will soon become relaxed and probably just feel like sleeping. It's also important to train them to stay at home to prevent other stress-related issues such as separation anxiety. The Beauceron is quite loyal and just wants you to be happy. Mutually, you can achieve a healthy relationship.

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