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Belgian Sheepdog

 

In World War II, Belgian Sheepdogs (also known as Groenendaels) took to the field to carry messages, attend to the wounded, and even drag machine guns. It's no wonder that Belgium made this courageous canine its national dog breed!

Today, Belgian Sheepdogs excel in tracking, herding, and obedience training. They also make exceptional therapy, service, guide, and search and rescue dogs.

This medium-sized, high energy breed can grow to between 45-75 pounds and lives an average of 12-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Herding group.

 

AKC RecognizedY
Breed's original pastimeHerding
OriginBelgium
Breed groupHerding
Average lifespan12-14 years
SizeLarge
Bark factorModerate
AKC Ranking111
FamilyLivestock, herding
Date of origin1800s
Original function Stock herding
Today's functionHerding trials, schutzhund
Average size of maleHeight: 24-26 Weight: 55-75
Average size of femaleHeight: 22-24 Weight: 40-60

 

Other nameNone
Energy level High energy
Exercise needs High
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Somewhat affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangersShy
Ease of training Hard to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A BELGIAN SHEEPDOG'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

Belgian Sheepdogs are energetic, serious, intelligent, and devoted. Somewhat affectionate and very playful, this breed can be friendly with dogs and other pets and small animals. They are often suspicious of strangers and play best with supervised children.

WHAT IS BELGIAN SHEEPDOG BEHAVIOR LIKE?

Belgian Sheepdogs are sturdy and versatile; they have a very strong work ethic. They make for vigilant, motivated, and very protective watchdogs that can be somewhat prone to barking. Most importantly, a Belgian Sheepdog needs a job that keeps its active mind and body busy.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A BELGIAN SHEEPDOG?

This is a trainable and very intelligent breed that wants nothing more than to please you. Belgian Sheepdogs are great candidates for rally, agility, flyball, obedience, herding, tracking, and search/rescue training. They're sensitive souls, so be gentle with them and use positive reinforcements like play, food, and praise.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO BELGIAN SHEEPDOGS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

The Belgian Sheepdog has a longhaired, dense double coat. They are seasonal shedders who require weekly brushing and grooming. Ask your groomer to demonstrate “line brushing” so you can be sure to brush all the way through to your pup's skin.

Belgian Sheepdogs living in warmer climates shed less than their cold-weathered brethren; but regardless of location, your furry friend will shed once or twice a year. Be sure to brush more frequently during sheds to keep the amount of loose hair at bay.

Their hair sloughs off dirt, so your Belgian Sheepdog shouldn't need frequent baths. However, warm baths followed by blow outs may help manage dead hair while they're shedding.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BELGIAN SHEEPDOGS HAVE?

Some are prone to seizures. Belgian Sheepdogs have also been known to develop elbow and hip dysplasia, eye ailments, epilepsy, and cancer. Some may also suffer hypothyroidism or retained testicles in males. But by and large, Belgian Sheepdogs are a healthy breed.

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