Description: This breed is very energetic, alert, intelligent, attentive and extremely loyal. Belgian Sheepdogs are happiest with a family/owner/handler who can assign plenty of jobs to do (like playing games and obedience training). The Belgian Sheepdog gets along with gentle children and does best in country or suburban living with lots of exercise. These dogs are protective of their family/owners/handlers and demands attention from them.
Other Names: Groenendael, Chien de Berger Belge
Height: 22 - 26 inches
Weight: 62 lbs.
Colors: Black; black with limited white.
Coat: Long, straight and abundant, with an extremely dense undercoat.
Temperament: Obedient, loyal.
With Children: Yes, good with their family, should not play rough housing or chase games. May not tolerate other children.
With Pets: Needs to be socialized to other pets. Take extra care when introducing a new pet.
Watch-dog: Very High
Guard-dog: Very High, will protect his family and property, but will not attack unwarranted.
Care and Training: Daily combing and brushing of his coat is important. Clip out mats that form particularly in the ruff and on the legs. Clip hair from between his toes and on the outer ears. Bathe only when necessary. Shedding is bi-annually. He is a working dog and needs a lot of exercise, preferably off the leash as much as possible. Early training will prevent puppies from developing a sharp temper.
Learning Rate: Very High, Obedience - Very High, Problem Solving - High. Overbearing training techniques may encourage fear-biting.
Living Environment: He adapts well to both a urban or country environment as long as he has space to roam. A home with a fenced yard is essential.
Health Issues: Epilepsy, excessive shyness, eye problems, hip dysplasia.
Life Span: 12 - 14 Years
Litter Size: 6 - 10
Country of Origin: Belgium
History: Developed in Belgium for guarding and herding of sheep. He was formally recognized as the Belgian Shepherd Dog in 1891. Present in the gene pool of these dogs there were dogs with long coats, short coats, rough or wired coats and a variance of colors. Making the Belgian Shepherd Dog with four varieties. The Groenendalel (known simple as the Belgium Sheepdog), with a solid long black coat, the Laekenois, a rough or wire-coat in fawn, red or brown, the Malinois, a short coated in fawn, red or brown and the Tervueren, a long coated fawn or dark red dog. The American Kennel Club has recognized three of these four varieties. The British Kennel Club regards him as a single breed and the Federation Cynologique states one breed with four varieties. Because of this, the dogs are always registered on their coat type and color, not of their parents.
First Registered by the AKC: 1912 (was registered as the Belgian Sheepdog until 1959)