The Belgian Shepherd Dog is a breed belonging to the working shepherd dogs. There are several varieties: Gryunendal, Lakenoa, Malinois and Tervuren. According to the FCI classification all these dogs belong to one breed. In some countries they are considered as different breeds.
As already noted, there are 4 varieties of Belgian Shepherd. They all differ primarily in the length of the hair and its color.
In the US only the Gryunendal is recognized as Belgian Shepherd. The Malinois and Tervuren are separate breeds - "Belgian Malinois" and "Belgian Tervuren” and the Lakenoa – a really rare one – is not recognized at all.
A lot of beautiful representatives of the breed were imported into the US from Belgium between 1911 and the beginning of World War II. The breed did not prospered after the war, but regained some of its popularity in the 1960s and continued to grow slowly but surely to this day.
The Belgian Shepherd Gryuendal weighs about 18-34 kg and reaches a height of 56-66 cm. The top coat is long, straight, but underneath there is a dense undercoat. Its color is black, although some dogs have small white spots. Ears are erect and the dog has an alert expression.
The Belgian Shepherd Malnois has the same characteristics but the main color is beige with black spots.
Character and behavior
The Belgian Shepherd has high levels of energy and needs a lot more activity than a walk around the block. Select this breed only if you are very energetic person who loves active daily workouts such as running, cycling or hiking. He is suitable for almost all kinds of dog sports or activities including agility, Flyball, guarding livestock, obedience, search and rescue, and tracking.
The temperament of these dogs varies from aloof to friendly, but should never be afraid or aggressive. He is excellent watchdog with the size and the ability to protect, when necessary.
Training and education
Start the socialization and training of the Belgian Shepherd from an early age to take advantage of his intelligence and ability to learn. These dogs are vulnerable to severe punishment. Be firm, fair and use food as a reward.
The ideal Belgian Shepherd puppies for sale have parents with good character and are socialized from their birth to accept people more easily. These elements combined with training make him a distinctive dog that can take the appropriate decisions when it comes to defending.
The average life expectancy of the Belgian Shepherd is 12 to 14 years. This is slightly higher than the life span of most purebred dogs of this size (10 to 13 years). Like many other large dogs, he is prone to these health problems: hip dysplasia; Progressive retinal atrophy; elbow dysplasia; Epilepsy.
Grooming and care
Belgian Shepherds are easy to maintain as their hair is short and does not require trimming. Moult throughout the year, so that brushing once a week is required. Bathe only when necessary – when they are very dirty or when they start to emit dog smell. Active Belgian Shepherds rub naturally their toenails, but if a dog doesn't walking on hard floors, they become long. Clean your pet's teeth regularly, clean the ears to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
Children and other pets
When the Belgian Shepherd was grown alongside children, he gets along with them very well. Remember that this is a sheepdog and may have a tendency to chase or bite children. This should never be allowed! Best suited for a home with older children who understand how to treat him with care.
This dog has a strong instinct towards prey and will often happens to chase cats or other small furry animals. He can be aggressive towards other dogs or animals that he doesn't know. If your home has a yard, it must be securely fenced to prevent the dog leaving the house.
The undeniable skills of this breed to track are well known alternative for police, military, job search and rescue. Therefore, many of these dogs were mobilized in the First World War.
The Belgian Shepherds are active dogs and competitive in terms of structure, obedience, gathering flock, carrying a sleigh, schutzhund (sport with dogs), agility and therapy.