Belgian Sheepdogs


Belgian Sheepdogs

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Breed Notes

Dogs developed in Belgium for sheepherding were initially referred to as Chien de Berger Belge. In the late 1800s, one strain, an entirely black-coated dog, was being bred the owner of Chateau Groenendael and became known as the Groenendael or Belgian Sheepdog. Another strain of the Chien de Berger Belge is the Belgian Tervuren. Both are merely color phases of the same basic stock so have similar characteristics. They, plus the Belgian Malinois, were recognized in the United States by the AKC as three separate breeds in 1959. (See Belgian Tervuren)
The Belgian Sheepdog is used as, among other things, sheep herding, guard dogs, police dogs, guide dogs for the blind, obedience dogs. They make excellent house dogs. They are intelligent, courageous, alert and devoted to their masters. They move in a single track with a lively, graceful stride covering maximum ground without apparent effort.
The Belgian Sheepdog's body shape resembles a square from topline to ground and front legs to back legs. He has a long outer coat that is straight, abundant and black. Exceptions to color would be small patches of white on hind toes or a stripe on the forechest. His undercoat is dense, based on the environment in which he lives. He is easily adaptable to extremes of climate. His head is long with the skull and muzzle being of equal length. His jaws are strong and powerful with black lip lines and a scissors bite. His ears are equilateral triangles and stand erect on the head. His eyes are almond shaped and brown in color. His tail is carried low when he is a rest but raised in a curl when he is at work. Male Belgians should be between 22-1/2 to 27-1/2 inches in height while the female should be between 20-1/2 inches and 25-1/2 inches in height.


kasner@telusplanet.net of Canada writes on 10/19/99:

Versatile, love, fun and action.
Intelligent, courageous, active, alert, sensitive and having herding and guarding instincts would begin to describe this breed, which is always in motion. They are easily trained, responding to commands with speed and accuracy. They are most affectionate with their people ( including children). This high performance breed loves to work and needs plenty of exercise. These dogs are very versatile and high on thier list of love to do activities are: herding, tracking, agility, fetch, tricks. They also have great skill and enthusiasm in: obedience, skijorning, search and rescue, (shutzhund). Some Belgians also enjoy therapy dog work. But mostly your Belgian is there to please you and be your best buddy. For me they are an ideal breed.


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