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Belgian Sheepdog Dog Breed Profile

by Dr. Chris

AKC Group: Herding Group


The Belgian Sheepdog is a larger dog that is similar to the German Shepherd dog. There are 4 different types of this breed, so the appearance can vary quite a bit from dog to dog.

History



The Belgian Sheepdog has four varieties that are similar with the exception of the coat colors. When the Belgium Sheepdog is mentioned, the Groenendael or the Chien de Berger Belge is the common one that comes to mind. Having been bred in Belgium, this particular one was associated with the Chateau de Groenendael and created by a Belgian breeder named Nicholas Rose in the late 1800s. Due to the intelligence and loyalty, this one dog could achieve all those tasks. By 1912 the Groenendael was recognized by the American Kennel Club when the Belgian Sheepdogs were assigned to the herding group.

Physical Features



The Belgian is strong, alert and intelligent and can be a good companion dog. The Belgian is full of life and is agile. The dog stands about 24-26 inches tall and weighs approximately 65-75 pounds. They are well balanced, elegant and square with a proud carriage of the neck and head. The length and width are of similar proportion. The coat is soft and double, thick inner coat and a longer, coarser external coat. The coat is average length with noticeable fringe over the legs and chunky hair around the neck and chest. The neck hair forms a ruff around it. The undercoat is soft and smooth. The tail is long and feathery. The color of the coat may lighten over time to have a reddish tinge. The muzzle has a white to gray coloration. The Groenendael with its long black coat, The Laekenois with a rough, Fawn coat; the Malinois has a Mahogany/Fawn short coat with black markings and overlay, and the Tervuren with Mahogany/Fawn long coat with over shades of Gray.

Personality



The Belgian Sheepdog is not very playful. It would rather be on a mission or working. Gentle. Needs much attention and human interaction; can good companion dog. Sensitive and intelligent, it responds to owners commands. Obedient, but must be taught socialization skills to be a properly trained pet. Consider obedience classes.

Common Health Problems



Common health problems: Hip and elbow dysplasia; epilepsy of varying degrees of severity but can often be treated. It can develop food related skin allergies.

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