What is a Belgian Sheepdog?

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The Belgian Sheepdog is one of those dog breeds that bring you elegance as well as strength. This breed is widely known for its proud carriage of the neck and head. On top of that, they are very intelligent, and they have a very dense, beautiful coat.

They are bushy-tailed and bright-eyed, which is a trait that you need to keep in mind here. That being said, the Belgian Sheepdog is one of those breeds that enjoy training and running, which makes them perfect for all kinds of activities.

These dogs are also known as Groenendael or Chien De Berger Belg.

4 types of Belgian Shepherd

In most countries in the world, the Groenendael is recognized as a variety of Belgian Shepherd breeds, but that is not the case in the USA. In the USA, they are recognized as a separate breed known as a Belgian Sheepdog.

The Laekenois, Malinois, and Tervuren kept their original names and are recognized as separate breeds as well.

The only variety whose name was changed was the Groenendael. So in the USA Groenendael is the same as a Belgian sheepdog.

Some History

Belgium was always a big producer of milk and milk products like chocolate. So it’s no wonder that Belgium farmers needed a lot of skilled sheepdogs who would watch over their animals in the 1800s.

In Belgium, there were a lot of different herding dogs whose type was varied and whose coats were extremely dissimilar. That changed in the 1890s when a group of enthusiasts formed a Belgium Shepherd club, and the first written breed standard was written in 1892.

What Is A Belgian Sheepdog

Character

The Belgian Sheepdog is very determined, it likes to run, exercise, and have fun. Many see them as a breed that inspires a lot of loyalty.

They live with a lot of passion and love, which really makes it stand out in a variety of ways. With that being said, they are obedient, they will listen to you quite a bit.

The original purpose of the Groenendael is herding but over time, these dogs served many more purposes.
This is a very versatile breed.

Because of their intelligence, they are often used for protection and law enforcement roles, tracking drugs and bomb detection for police forces, and for search and rescue missions in the military.
And lately, they have become extremely valued as service dogs.

This breed also excelled at various dog sports, for example, in agility, obedience, and herding events.

Are Belgian Sheepdogs good pets?

And yes, they will forge a great relationship with you too, which is something to take into consideration.

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Coat Care

The Belgian Shepherd breed was determined by the typical triangle ears, squared and medium-sized body, and some other distinctive features, but they still differ in the texture, color, and length of the hair.

That is why there were and still are four varieties of Belgian shepherds, the Groenendael, Malinois, Laekenois, and Tervuren. The Groenendael is the black long-haired type.

Since this dog has a double-layer coat, you may think that it requires quite a lot of care. With that in mind, the coat is easy to take care of, unless it’s the shedding season.

The Groenendael has a thick coat and that sheds all year long and it sheds quite heavily. Because of that they require a lot of brushing to minimize the shedding and to keep the coat in good condition.

There is a point during the year when your dog will start shedding, and then you need daily brushing.

Once or twice a year they will shed extremely heavily and you will have to brush their coat every day, but they do not need any other special grooming or maintenance.
Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.

Utterly brilliant when grooming your dog and they love it too!

Weekly brushing will be more than ok for your dog.

On top of that, infrequent baths are ok. Of course, baths are needed if the coat is very dirty.

Weight

This is a well proportionate athletic and squared belt medium to large-sized dog breed with an average height between 56 to 66 centimeters, which is 22 to 26 inches, and weight is typically between 20 to 30 kilograms, which is 44 to 66 pounds. Females are a little bit smaller than males.

Females can have 20 to 25 kg, males can go up to 30 kg. This is within the standard of other similar dog breeds.

Health

The Belgian Sheepdog is very healthy in general. If you want such a dog, you do want to check a few things, like eye issues such as cataracts and retinal atrophy.

Another thing to consider here would be things like certain cancers, hip or elbow dysplasia, or epilepsy.

These dogs are sensitive to anesthesia, which is something to keep in mind. They can also have some eye infections at times.

What Is A Belgian Sheepdog

Life Expectancy

Your Belgian Sheepdog is expected to live anywhere from 10 to 14 years. Again with a great diet, exercise, and love this could be slightly longer.

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Price

The puppy price for the Belgian Sheepdog is around $1500 to $2000.

Of course, special breeds and high pedigree might increase the overall price, depending on the situation.

How-To-Find-A-Good-Dog-Breeder

Exercise Requirements

These dogs love exercising and training in general. Playing with the ball, herding, tracking, agility and running or any other forms of exercises are very important here.

They enjoy all of it, and they have a lot of fun exercising. But you have to exercise with them, they are sensitive and want human companionship.

Everyone who is describing this breed quotes their temperament and uses the words intelligent and energetic and indeed, the Belgian sheepdog is not a breed that enjoys lazing around the house.
This is a worker and it’s something that will occupy them physically, but also mentally, they will always be ready for long outdoor adventures as well as for interactive and task-oriented playtimes and training sessions.

This dog is capable of learning new commands very quickly.

Dogs like this really need the stimulation of work and exercise. Obviously, if you don’t have sheep then good quality exercise for this dog breed is essential and if this is neglected, unwanted and destructive behaviors will soon occur. Bored dogs that are smart will soon let you know that they need action and the Groenendael is no exception.
With that in mind, these dogs are better suited for owners with a more active lifestyle.

Get the exercise and stimulation balance correct with a Belgian Sheepdog and you are going to have a great time.

Trainability

Training and socialization are crucial for the Belgian Sheepdog. They create a great bond with you, and the best part is that you will also be able to train with them without a problem.

These dogs are easy to train, and they love training with you at all times.

9 Great Training Tips

This is a great companion breed, but they’re just not for everyone. Most importantly, they need active owner who will provide enough exercise. If so then they can live happily even in small apartments, flats or urbanized areas.
These dogs will be happiest if they can live around their people, around their pack.

They truly thrive for companionship.
This is the loyal affection of the dog that bonds deeply with its owner.
Again, I never leave my dog on its own and as a result, he never suffers from separation anxiety.

The Groenendael is a breed that needs to be with you and as a result that bond will grow, because if they can depend on you being there for them, then they will ALWAYS be there for you.

This breed is naturally protective and they are typically alert and wary of strangers. Of course, this can be vastly influenced by early socialization and this dog shouldn’t be aggressive without a reason.

But they can be easily trained to become excellent watchdogs and guards who will protect their people and territory.

 

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