Belgian Shepherd Dog Breeds are similar to the Dutch Shepherd and the German Shepherd Dog, although they were established in Belgium. Unlike other countries in Western Europe, Belgian farmers did not seek to standardize their dog breeds. By the end of the 19th century, the Belgian Shepherd was becoming obsolete and was in danger of extinction.
In 1891, the Club de Chien Berger Belge was formed with the purpose of saving the type. In 1910, a team led by Professor Adolphe Reul of the Cureghem Veterinary School conducted a field survey of the Belgian Shepherd, finding that there was much variation in appearance. The breed had been bred for working ability rather than form and size.
In 1905, it was decided that the different varieties should stop interbreeding. However, this was difficult because of disruptions caused by World War I. In 1920 it was decided that mating between the varieties should be allowed to preserve the breed.
The Belgian Shepherd Dog Breed, also known as the Chien de Berger Belge, is a breed of medium-sized herding dog that originated in Belgium. There are four recognized varieties: Groenendael (black), Tervuren (black and tan), Laekenois (golden), and Malinois (black and white).
Belgian shepherds are herding dogs, who have been used for many purposes. They have often served in the military, including two World Wars.
Belgian Shepherd Dog Physical Appearance
- The Belgian Shepherd Dog is a strong breed with a body built for endurance, they have a longer stand between 56 and 66 cm with females being on average 52-62cm wither, shorter than males, they usually weigh between 20 and 30 kilograms; the ideal height is 62 cm for males and 58 cm for females.
- The Belgian Shepherd breed has a long head and slender body with pointed ears and a narrow face. They have triangular erect ears that are rounded at the base. Its muzzle is balanced and long, with a black nose and black lips.
Belgian Shepherd Dog Behavior
- Belgian Shepherds are known for their intelligence and sensitivity.
- They typically have a strong guarding instinct and thus make for good protectors of property and family; they are also very trainable, vigilant, hard-working, and strong.
- They are good for security services due to their protection nature; they can be troublesome with other dogs at times, also good for children.
- The breed is a very responsive dog breed. It responds very well to sound and understanding training.
The breed requires training from an early age, has a tendency to try to dominate a weaker-willed master, and requires exercise. Due to its continued breeding for security roles, the Belgian Shepherd adapts well to living indoors. The Belgian Shepherd Dog makes a good watchdog, but can also be very friendly around those he knows well.
Belgian Shepherd Dog Training and Caring
- The Belgian Shepherd is a very active and powerful breed, so he requires at least an hour of regular exercise each day.
- In addition to plenty of physical activity, the Belgian Shepherd needs plenty of mental stimulation as well.
- If he is not getting the required exercised or bored, this breed may become destructive.
The Belgian breed is a sensitive breed that needs proper training and socialization. He does well with other dogs and pets, too, if he’s been properly introduced. This long-haired breed requires daily brushing to keep its coat in good condition. He sheds seasonally, so regular baths are needed for maintenance.
Belgian Shepherd Dog Health
This breed is generally a healthy breed, though he has some health problems. This dog can suffer from eye problems such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy. He also can have skin problems such as allergies and yeast infections.
Hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and gastric torsion are other health issues that affect Belgian Shepherds. These dogs tend to live an average of 12to 14 years.
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