The Belgian Sheepdog is one of four sheepdogs originating in Belgium. It is also known as
the Belgian Groenendael (Grow-en-en-doll) or Chien de Berger Belge. In some countries they are all considered one
breed. The American Kennel Club recognizes three of the four breeds including the Belgian Groenendael. These four
breeds are so closely related that, when they have a litter of puppies, some of the puppies will closely resemble
one of the other three breeds more than its parents.
This medium to medium/large breed weighs between 55-75 pounds and is between 21" to 27" in
height. They are a working dog and want a job to do. A bored Belgian Groenendael will find some way to fill its
time and will make their own dog toys. That being said, it is best to ensure that they have plenty to fill their
The AKC recognized coat color for the Belgian Groenendael is black. They are permitted to
have a very small patch of white on their muzzle, fore chest and between feet pads. Their dense undercoat and
long, straight, heavy outer coat needs daily grooming to prevent tangles and mats. They shed regularly but have
a heavy shedding period twice a year.
Energetic and protective, the Belgian Groenendael is loyal to their family and makes an
excellent watchdog. While two of the other Belgian Groenendaels are still used more as working dogs, the Belgian
Groenendael is seen as family pet and watchdog. They need plenty of time and room to roam and run, so they work
best with active families that have a large yard or regular access to a park or farm. They need early
socialization for other dogs, children and pets. Some Belgian Groenendaels have been known to be aggressive so
you should talk to the breeder about aggression in their ancestry. They are fairly easy to train, but early training is
Originating in Belgium, the Belgian Groenendael was developed by a breeder in Groenendael,
Belgium. They have been traditionally used as working dogs and have had such jobs as police dog, cattle and
sheep herder and search and rescue and message delivery dogs during WW I and II.
Family friendly, loyal and affectionate, the Belgian Groenendael enjoys companionship for
play and rest. They are definitely not for families who want a calm lap dog. But, if you want an intelligent,
energetic dog that enjoys exercise and play, then the Belgian Groenendael will not disappoint you in any way,
shape or form.
Belgian Laekenois - The Rare Belgian Sheepdog
This medium sized breed weighs between 50-65 pounds and reaches between 22" to 26" in height.
Their name is pronounced LAK-in-wah. The Belgian Laekenois is the rarest of four Belgian Sheepdogs. Bred to herd
sheep, this breed remains a working breed today.
The AKC recognizes three of the Belgian Sheepdogs but does not recognize the Belgian Laekenois.
Their color ranges from red to fawn and mahogany to gray. They may or may not have a dark masking on their face.
Their harsh, rough, wiry coat is over 2" in length and gives them an unkempt or tousled appearance. Their coat
is waterproofed and they should not be bathed on a regular basis. They only require minimal grooming and should
never be clipped to closely.
This energetic, protective and intelligent breed is more of a working dog than family companion.
The Belgian Laekenois loves to work and is happiest when they have a job to do. They are excellent farm dogs,
herding dogs and watchdogs. They can also make good family pets for active families. The Belgian Laekenois has
an abundance of energy and loves to be on the go. They are not meant to be indoors all day and are happiest when
they have plenty of room to run and play. Early socialization is a must for other pets, dogs and children. Early
training is also recommended. They have a herding instinct and will herd family and pets alike.
The Belgian Laekenois originated in Belgium. It is one of four Belgian Sheepdogs. They are often
recognized as distinct breeds, but in some countries they are actually all considered to be one breed.
Originally bred to watch over linen bleaching fields, they were later used to watch over sheep. They are now
used for herding and as guard dogs.
Work, work and more work is the Belgian Laekenois' motto. They love to have a job to do and are
not a lazy breed by any means. To have a happy Belgian Laekenois, they need a family that will recognize their
energy level and work instinct and make sure that both those needs are met. If you are a family that likes to
relax inside all the time, then the Belgian Laekenois is probably not for you.
Belgian Malinois - Protector Of Home, Family And Livestock
The Belgian Malinois is a medium/large size dog that weighs between 40-80 lbs and is
between 22" to 26" in height. Their name is pronounced MAL-in-wah. They are very work oriented and are
protective of home, family and livestock.
The AKC recognizes the Belgian Malinois in the colours of fawn to mahogany to red with a
black mask, ears and tips. Minimal white on the chest and feet is permitted. The short, smooth, straight and
hard outer coat and dense undercoat require minimal grooming and are very easy to care for. Regular washing is
not recommended as their coat has water proofing.
This intelligent, energetic, protective breed is still more of a working dog than
companion. They have a strong drive to work. The Belgian Malinois makes an excellent farm dog, watchdog, police
dog and herding dog because of their instinct to protect their family, home or whatever else they are trained to
protect. They can make a great family pet as well. Early socialization is a must for children, other dogs and
pets. In fact, they do best if they are socialized from the time they are born. They can be dominant towards
other dogs. Early, consistent, firm but not harsh training is important. They are harder for a novice to train
than someone who is more experienced. The Belgian Malinois has a lot of energy and loves to be on the go. They
require a yard and plenty of room to run and play. They are not meant to be indoors all day. They enjoy being
with their family and are not meant to be left alone for long periods of time as they will get bored and find
some way to fill their time.
Originating in Belgium, the Belgian Malinois is one of four Belgian Sheepdogs. Their name
comes from the Belgian city of Malines. It is recognize as its own breed by the AKC however, in some countries,
all four Belgian Sheepdogs are considered to be one breed. The Belgian Malinois is popular in Belgium and is
used for herding, police work and as a search and rescue dog.
A breed with such a strong work drive, protective instinct and high energy makes an
excellent watchdog and farm dog. They do best with families that are active and will meet their work and
exercise needs. An active, busy Belgian Malinois is a happy Belgian Malinois.
Belgian Tervuren - An Energetic Worker
The Belgian Tervuren is often mistaken for a German shepherd because they closely resemble
each other in size, coat and colour. It is pronounced Ter-VER-en. The Belgian Tervuren is recognized as its own
breed by the AKC, but many countries consider all four Belgian Sheepdogs to be one breed even though there are
noticeable differences in everything from coat to size to colour.
Also known as a "Terv" by their owners, the Belgian Tervuren is named for the Belgian
village of Tervuren. They were traditionally used as cattle and sheep herding dogs. They have also been used as
police dogs and in narcotics detection, bomb detection, search and rescue and as therapy dogs. While two of the
Belgian Sheepdogs are still used more as working dogs, the Belgian Tervuren and Belgian Groenendael are both
seen more as companion dogs today.
They are a medium to medium large breed. They weigh between 45-75 pounds and are anywhere
from 22" to 27" in height. They are an energetic, powerful breed that enjoys exercise and play. Because of their
high energy and size, they are not ideal apartment dogs but are perfect for families with large yards or those
who have access to parks or fields where they can run.
Their coat colour is recognized by the AKC in the colours of a mahogany or fawn base with
black tips, mask and ears. A small amount of white on nose, chest and chin is permissible. The long, straight,
thick and harsh outer coat and soft dense undercoat needs daily grooming to prevent matting and knots. They shed
throughout the year, but it is typically light shedding.
As a guard dog or family dog, the Belgian Tervuren is protective, loyal and highly
intelligent. They are energetic dogs that need plenty of exercise and activity whether they are working on the
farm or kept mainly as a companion dog. They need to be socialized and trained from an early age. The earlier
they are introduced to children, dogs and other pets, the better they will do. They might be dominant towards
other dogs. It is important to research a Belgian Tervuren's history before making a purchase to ensure that
there is no aggression found in their lineage. Give your Belgian Tervuren plenty to do and they will be happy. A
bored Belgian Tervuren can be a bit destructive as they will find a way to fill their time.
If you are an energetic family looking for a dog that will enjoy activity and outside play,
then the Belgian Tervuren is a perfect breed for you. They will match you step for step in running or walking.
They will be protective of you and your home and make awesome watchdogs. If you are looking for a farm dog and
family companion all rolled into one, any of the Belgian Sheepdogs including the Belgian Tervuren will be ideal