Hi, actually, this is the thread that drives me here, so I guess I'm just gonna tell you about the Beauceron.
I'm french and I live in France. Beaucerons are veeeery commun over here.
A little bit of history first: Beaucerons were bred for herding AND protecting the herd. On that purpose they weren't made to be very friendly with strangers, and they were made strong in order to fight against predators such as wolves. About that, the tan spots just above their eyes are supposed to mimick open eyes even when the dog is asleep lol.
Their "protectiveness" made them great allies for farmer who chained them up and used them to give alert at any intruder. So, for a long time, Beaucerons were not the nice dogs they are today, and there are a lots a people who sees them as vicious dog.
As they were slowly replaced by border collies, breeder changed their way of selection. And today, we have a very stable breed, witch is still protective of his pack but also very suitable as family dog, sports, search and rescue....
As you know, there is black and tan beaucerons ans harlequins. At some point harlequins were not appreciated and not much bred. This is this lack of selection in the color that made harlequins beaucerons a little more timid ad sometimes with health issues. But it changed a few years ago, people loving this color more and more.
Harlequins are now, generally as good as black and tan beaucerons.
But, as you said, this color fades with time. Grey becomes darker and darker.
Here is my harlequin beauceron when he was 3 months old:
and here he is now 3 1/2 years:
I will update later on, about raising them and what to expect in that breed.