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Belgian Shepherd Breed Fact Sheet

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Belgian Shepherd Breed Information

Group 5: Working

Energy Level: Moderate - high

Original Function: herding and protection

Temperament: vigilant & attentive, his look alert and enquiring, denoting his intelligence.

Characteristics: By the harmony of his shape and the proud carriage of his head, the Belgian Shepherd Dog must give the impression of that robust elegance which has become the heritage of the selected representatives of a working breed. He combines the valuable qualities of the best guard dog for property with his inborn aptitude for guarding flocks.

Recommended for: Working homes & families.

Lifespan: 10 to 15 years


Height: Dogs 62 cm (24 1/2 ins)

Height: Bitches 58 cm (23 ins)

Coat & Colour:
Groenendael - long coated black
Tervueren -
long coated, fawn with black overlay
Malinois - short coated, charcoaled fawn with dark mask
Laekenois - rough-coated, Only fawn with traces of black overlay, mainly on the muzzle and the tail.

General Appearance: A well-balanced, square dog, elegant in appearance with an exceedingly proud carriage of the head and neck. Skull is flattened rather than rounded, muzzle is moderately pointed. Eyes, brown, preferably dark brown, slightly armond shaped. Ears erect & triangular shaped. Tail long & lowset.



The Belgian Shepherd was used in Belgium, as a necessary part of farm life, herding and guarding. In the late 1800s studies were done in Brussels, which resulted in the division of the breed into four varieties. The four varieties have quite large differences in appearance.
The jet-black, long-coated Groenendael (called the Belgian Sheepdog in the US), the long-coated fawn dogs with black overlay known as Tervuren, the rough-coated fawn dogs with traces of black known as Lakenois, and the smooth-coated charcoaled fawn with dark mask known as Malinois. In the beginning, the Malinois was simply referred to as the shorthaired type.
Initially, breedings produced dogs of the different coat types in the same litters, so the types share common ancestors. As breeders selected coat types, they founded the base stock for the modern Belgian sheepherding dogs.
Three types took names from the area in which they developed. Thus the Parc du Laeken section of Brussels gave rise to the Laekenois; and the Malines region was home to the Malinois; and the town of Tervueren perfected the Tervuren. The Groenendael got its name from Chateau Groenendael, a restaurant owned by breeder Nicolas Rose.
Today they serve as police dogs, search and rescue aides, sentries, guardians, and leader dogs for the blind. They also excel in schutzhund, agility, obedience, and flyball competition. They have also retained the herding instinct and compete in herding tests and trials.
They are easily trained but like most highly intelligent breeds, they need consistent training and firm handling to establish leadership. Firm handling is not the same as harsh correction or punishment; Belgians treated to tough training methods may become fear-biters.
They do also make excellent pets, which are loyal loving companions.

Grooming- Groenendael & Tervueren - longhaired dog that needs a fair amount of grooming. They have a long, straight and profuse outercoat with an extremely dense undercoat.
Malinois & Laekenois - shorter coat needs less grooming.

Exercise- They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation and to this end they excel at agility and obedience. They are very active dogs and should not be considered as pets if they are to be left alone all day.

Health- This breed has few genetic diseases, but watchout for hip dysplasia and eye problems. For Diet and other general dog health information Health/Nutrition


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