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Belgian Sheepdog

Belgian Sheepdog


Height: 21-26 inches

Weight: 55-65 lbs.

Life Span: 10-14 yrs.

Breed Group: Herding Dogs

Overview
Belgian sheepdogs are extremely affectionate and friendly and want the constant attention of those they know well. They are very territorial and may not welcome animals or strangers on their property unless obedience trained and well socialized at an early age. They are comfortable with children when they are raised with them.

When choosing a Belgian sheepdog from a litter, avoid any that exhibit shyness.

Appearance
The Belgian sheepdog is a square, medium-boned dog. Its lean head is set off by medium-size prick ears.

Its four breed varieties have distinct coat colors and textures:
  • The Groenendael has a long, straight, full black coat.
  • The Tervuren sports a long, dense coat, which ranges in color from rich fawn to russet mahogany with a black overlay.
  • The Laekenois has a wiry coat in hues of reddish fawn with black shadings on the muzzle and tail.
  • The Malinois sports a short, hard, weather-resistant outercoat, which can be any color from fawn to mahogany, sometimes with black tipping, and has a black muzzle and ears.

    Grooming & Exercise Needs
    All varieties of Belgian sheepdogs shed and should be brushed on a regular schedule. The heavier-coated Groenendael and Tervuren need to be brushed several times a week, while one weekly brushing is adequate for the others.

    During shedding season, all these varieties need daily brushing.

    Belgian sheepdogs require an active outdoor life, and excel in herding, agility, and obedience programs.

    Origins
    In 1891, a commission of canine experts was formed to determine whether there was one distinct "dog type" that could bear the title of Belgian sheepdog. By examining the dogs of the provinces, the commission determined that the Belgian sheepdog had a specific size, shape, and ear set, but that it had four varieties of coat color and hair texture.

    In any of its coats, the Belgian sheepdog proved to be an exceptional flock herder and guard as well as an intensely loyal protector.

    Special Alerts
    The Belgian sheepdog is not suitable for first-time or inexperienced dog owners.

     

    Reference: AKC - American Kennel Club

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