Belgian Tervuren


Belgian Tervuren

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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 was developed near the Belgian town of Tervuren and was noted for being fawn colored with black tipped hairs on its back, neck and head. Another strain, an entirely black-coated dog, was being bred the owner of Chateau Groenendael and became known as the Groenendael or Belgian Sheepdog. (See Belgian Sheepdog) 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.
The Belgian Tervuren is intelligent, courageous, and alert with unwavering devotion to their master. They are used today for herding, therapy dogs, search and rescue, obedience, among other things. They move in a single track with a lively, graceful stride covering maximum ground without effort.
The Tervuren coat is long, straight, and abundant. Coat color in the Tervuren can be any except all black. In the United States, the preference is for colors ranging from fawn to mahogany with a black masking and overlay of black-tipped hair. The inner coat is dense, dependent upon the climate. He is 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 tail is carried low when he is at rest but raised in a curl when he is at work. Male Tervuren should be between 23 and 26-1/2 inches in height while females should be between 21 and 24-1/2 inches. His eyes are almond shaped and dark brown in color.


kauble@recisiongraphics.com of Illinois writes:

Fabulous, beautiful dogs!
I just acquired my first Terv and I'm never getting another breed! I've had German Shepherds and Collies and although they are wonderful dogs, too, the Terv combines what is great about these breeds into one incredibly smart, personality-plus dog. They have brains and beauty and a funny sense of humor. But don't get one unless you want a dog that will be a real part of your family. No dog should ever be left on a chain in the backyard but that's especially true of these highly intelligent, sensitive dogs. They will make a wonderful addition to your family if you're willing to make them a part of your family.


Irene@buchanan46.freeserve.co.uk of Scotland, UK writes:

To experience a Tervuren's love and devotion is special.
I have owned dogs for most of my life; breeds as diverse as Yorkshire Terrier, Border Collie, GSD, BSD Groenendael and Tervuren. Belgian Shepherds are a different canine experience and although I love the breed I can appreciate they are not the dog for everyone. A thinking dog with ESP! Loyal, loving, agile, a herding and guarding dog (can hear the grass grow!). The BSD needs to be busy doing everything with his/her family. Please don`t leave him home alone all day (how would you like it?). He has a sense of humour, loves playing and being part of the family. Definitely NOT a couch potato. Not a breed for the fainthearted, inexperienced owner. I love the breed.


wizard@greatlakes.net of Michigan writes on 10/19/99:

Beautiful, all-around working dogs.
When I was a teen I pictured everything that I liked best about dogs down to the last detail - coat, color pattern, temperament, head, ears, tail, etc... and when I saw a picture of a Tervuren for the first time I couldn't believe ... there was my perfect dog - down the the last detail! It took me 7 years to get my first one, but this is a breed I will never leave.
The Terv is a beautiful animal that is great for almost anything - Tervs successfully compete in conformation (there are several Best in Show winning tervs), obedience (many Tervs take HIT's), agility, tracking, search and rescue (there was a Terv at the Oklahoma city bombing), herding - and possibly even hunting! They are excellent guard dogs, and most of them are great with children. If you are interested in this breed, the most important thing to remember, though, it that it is a WORKING BREED. Tervs need something to do - they don't like just sitting around twiddling their paws - they want to work! So if you are active, like jogging, herding, obedience agility and think tervs are beautiful, you will probably love having one!! If you love the Golden Retreiver's and Lab temperaments, though - I would suggest you look into buying one of them. A Terv's coat takes a medium amount of care - not bad, but it can mat, it does need some combing and a bath helps every once ina while - once every one to two months, unless showing. High energy, high drive - they are very intense - high intelligence, medium dog - 40 to 60 pounds, and medium coat, with undercoat - so they do quite a bit of shedding.


truna@webtv.net of the U.S. writes on 10/11/99:

Not for everyone!
The Belgian Tervuren is extremely intelligent, with an extremely high energy level. Unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time every single day exercising their bodies and minds its best to consider another breed. They need A LOT of socializing from an early age. An unsocialized Terv can be an accident waiting to happen. They can have temperament problems. They can be fearful and flaky or overly aggressive. A terv with a bad temperament owned by an inexperienced person will be a disaster.


Name withheld by request near Anchorage, AK writes on 10/10/99:

Not for an inexperienced dog person.
The Belgian Tervuren is a beautiful, intelligent and active breed that requires regular grooming, consistent training and regular exercise. My experience is that this breed tends to be "sharp" and is not, in my opinion, a breed for an inexperienced person.


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