The Belgian Shepherd originated in Belgium and is similar to other sheep herding dogs from that region, including the Dutch Shepherd, the German Shepherd, and the Briard. The Belgian Shepherd dog is the only breed in the world that comes in four varieties: the long-haired black ‘Groenendael’, the long-haired fawn, red or grey ‘Tervueren’, the short-coated red, fawn or grey ‘Malinois’ and the rarer rough-coated reddish fawn ‘Laekenois’.
A medium-to-large-sized working Dog with a shaggy black coat and lean body.
Grooming and Physical Needs
- Grooming Needs: Expect to spend 15 to 20 minutes per week brushing out that coat to remove dead hair and prevent mats or tangles.
- Coat Type: There is the long coated black - the Groenendael, the long coated other than black - the Tervueren, the short coated - the Malinois and the rough coated - the Laekenois.
- Moulting: Like most double-coated dogs, Belgian Shepherd shed year-round with at least one heavy shed per year depending on the climate in which they live and how much coat they have. To get the shedding period over with more quickly, give a warm bath or two to help release the coat and brush more frequently.
- Exercise Needs: Expect to give them at least an hour of exercise per day. The Belgian Shepherd is very intelligent and needs variety to keep from becoming bored. They're not a good choice for people who work long hours and have no way of exercising their dog during the day.
- Average Life Span: 10-14 years
- Family: The Belgian Sheepherd combines the versatility of a working dog with the gentleness of a family companion. They make a wonderful family companion as long as they receive the exercise they need.
- Temperament: Belgian Shepherds are very affectionate and totally devoted to their families. The Groenendael in particular is a devoted companion and does not make an ideal kennel dog, as they become bored and destructive.
- Trainability: A gentle but consistent approach is the best way to train this dog. They should be socialised from a very early age.
- Sociability (Other Pets): They can get along well with other dogs and cats if they're brought up with them, although they may have issues with strange animals that come onto their property.
- Barking: Medium tendency to bark.
The Belgian wants to join in with everything including doing the washing up, digging the garden etc.
They will protect their home and family but it is not advisable to encourage their guarding instincts when young, as they can get confused and start guarding you in inappropriate situations. Their natural guarding instincts will kick in, if and when necessary.