Belgian Sheepdog


The Belgian Sheepdog is an elegant dog that moves with fluid agility, but is hardy enough to adapt to extreme climates and temperatures.   The Belgian Sheepdog is also recognized by the AKC  as the Groenendael or Chien de Berger Beige, as the breed is known in Europe and other parts of the world.  Developed in Belgium as a herding dog, the Belgian Sheepdog is a versatile working dog that is easily trained to a variety of tasks.

During WWI, Groenendaels were used as military dogs, and they have historically served as police dogs and assisted in search and rescue missions. Today, the Belgian Sheepdog is most often a companion dog.  Their high intelligence and possessive instinct to protect their family and territory make them excellent personal protection or guard dogs.

Physical Characteristics of the Belgian Sheepdog
Average adult males stand 24″ to 26″ tall and weigh 60 to 75 pounds, with females slightly smaller.  The male has a more refined appearance than the female.  Squarely built, lean, and muscular, the withers are high and slope slightly toward the tail.  The clean-cut head is sized in proportion to the body, and the muzzle is moderately pointed. Eyes are brown and almond-shaped.  The neck tapers from the head to the body. The ears are erect and triangular, with tufts of hair inside.

The coat is long, straight and thick, with a dense undercoat.  The hair is shorter on the head and lower parts of the legs.  The coat is solid black, or may be black with small patches of white on the chest, muzzle, and toes.  The tail is long and feathered; carried low when at rest, but may have a slight curve on the end when the dog is active.

Temperament and Behavior of the Belgian Sheepdog
Belgian Sheepdogs are highly intelligent, easily trained (with the proper methods), and devoted to their owners.  A well-raised dog of this breed will be affectionate with his family, but confident and assertive toward strangers, without being apprehensive or aggressive.

This breed may become shy or overly aggressive if not well-socialized at an early age. He needs the attention and companionship of his family, and to become accustomed to meeting strangers.  Belgian Sheepdogs need a job to keep them physically active and mentally challenged, and can become destructive when bored.

Is the Belgian Sheepdog Right for your Family?
The Belgian Sheepdog requires an adult owner who has some experience with dogs and will keep a firm (but gentle) upper hand so this intelligent, high-energy dog doesn’t dominate the family.  Early socialization and consistent obedience training are vital to produce a well-behaved family companion.

His inbred aptitude for herding may extend to your children and other family pets.  Belgian Sheepdogs are not recommended for families with very young children, but may be a good choice for families with active older children.  They will get along with other family pets they have been raised with, but may respond aggressively toward unknown dogs.

This breed needs a large yard to run and play in, but should not be left alone for long periods.  He will adapt to a smaller home if he is given opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation, such as a few long daily walks or participating in working dog competitions (at which they often excel).

This is a general breed description of the Belgian Sheepdog.  Individual dogs within a breed may vary in appearance, behavior, and temperament.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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