Belgian Sheepdog Dog Breed Overview
One of the most searched dog breeds on the internet; Belgian Sheepdog belongs to the large size dog. Also known as Chien De Berger BelgeGroenendael, this breed was discovered first in the Belgium . The average lifespan of this dog breed is 10-12 years and is associated with the Herding Dogs Group.
|Dog Breed Name:||Belgian Sheepdog|
|Other Names:||Chien De Berger Belge Groenendael|
|Size:||large size dog|
|Average Height:||Male: 24-26 inches (61-66 cm), Female: 22-24 inches (56-61 cm)|
|Average Weight:||Male: 65-75 pounds (29-34 kg), Female: 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg)|
|Energy:||high energy level|
|Life Span:||10 to 12 years|
|Dog Breed Overview:||The Belgian Sheepdog is one of four varieties of shepherd dogs that were developed in Belgium in the late 1800s. The four varieties are the Malinois (fawn-mahogany, short coat with black mask), Tervuren (fawn-mahogany, long coat with black mask) the Laekenois (fawn, rough coat), and the Belgian Sheepdog, or Groenendael (black, long coat). The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes all but the Laekenois as separate breeds in the U.S., while the United Kennel Club recognizes all four types as one.The Club du Chien de Berger Belge (Belgian Shepherd Dog Club) was formed in September 1891 to determine which of the many different types of dogs was representative only of the shepherd dogs developed in Belgium. In November of that same year, breeders and fanciers met on the outskirts of Brussels to examine shepherd dogs from that area. After much deliberation, veterinary professor Adolphe Reul and a panel of judges concluded that the native shepherd dog of that province were square, medium-size dogs with well-set triangular ears and very dark brown eyes and differed only in the texture, color, and length of hair. Subsequent examinations of dogs in other Belgian provinces resulted in similar findings.The black-coated Belgian Sheepdog was developed primarily by breeder Nicolas Rose, whose kennel dates to 1893. The breed takes its European name from Rose's estate, Chateau Groenendael, outside Brussels. He purchased the breed's foundation dogs, Picard d'Uccle and Petite, and their offspring are the ancestors of today's Belgian Sheepdogs. The dogs were immediately popular for their versatility and were used as police dogs in Paris and New York in the early 1900s. In Belgium, customs officers patrolled the border with them.During World War I, they carried messages and pulled ambulance and machine gun carts. Their popularity in the United States increased after the war, and the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America was formed in 1919. The Depression era took a toll on their numbers, but they served as war dogs in World War II, and interest in them has gradually increased since that time.Today they excel in canine performance sports and rank 122nd among the 155 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club.The Club du Chien de Berger Belge (Belgian Shepherd Dog Club) was formed in September 1891 to determine which of the many different types of dogs was representative only of the shepherd dogs developed in Belgium. In November of that same year, breeders and fanciers met on the outskirts of Brussels to examine shepherd dogs from that area. After much deliberation, veterinary professor Adolphe Reul and a panel of judges concluded that the native shepherd dog of that province were square, medium-size dogs with well-set triangular ears and very dark brown eyes and differed only in the texture, color, and length of hair. Subsequent examinations of dogs in other Belgian provinces resulted in similar findings. |
In 1892, Professor Reul wrote the first Belgian Shepherd Dog standard, which recognized three varieties: dogs with long coats, dogs with short coats, and dogs with rough coats. The Club du Chien de Berger Belge asked the Societe Royale Saint-Hubert (Belgium's equivalent to the AKC) for breed status, but was denied. By 1901, however, the Belgian Shepherd Dog was finally recognized as a breed.
Today's Malinois can be traced to a breeding pair owned by a shepherd from Laeken named Adrien Janssens. In 1885, he purchased a pale, fawn rough-haired dog called Vos I, or Vos de Laeken from a cattle dealer in northern Belgium. Janssens used Vos I (which means fox in Flemish) to herd his flock and also bred him to a short-haired, brindle-brown dog named Lise (also known as Lise de Laeken or Liske de Laeken). After that mating, Vos I was bred to his daughters, establishing a line of very homogeneous dogs with grey rough-hairs and short-hairs, and fawn rough-hairs and short-hairs. Today, Vos I and Lise de Laeken are recognized as ancestors not only of the modern Belgian Shepherd Dogs, but of the Bouvier des Flandres and Dutch Shepherd Dogs, as well.
Breeders decided to give each of the different varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dogs their own names. The city of Malines had formed a club for the promotion of fawn shorthairs Belgian Shepherd dog in 1898. Louis Huyghebaert, an early breeder under the ""ter Heide"" kennel name, as well as a judge, author, and the ""godfather of the Malinois"" (and the Bouvier), along with the Malines club had done much to help popularize these short-hairs, so the name ""Malinois"" came to be associated with the fawn shorthairs.In 1897, a year before the formation of the Malines club, Huyghebaert, suggested that since there weren't very many sheep left in Belgium, that the shepherd dogs should have field trials that showcased their intelligence, obedience, and loyalty. From this recommendation, dressage trials for the shepherd dogs were developed that tested a dog's ability to jump and perform other exercises. The first dressage trial, held on July 12, 1903 in Malines, was won by M. van Opdebeek and his Malinois, Cora van't Optewel.Belgian Shepherds were also used as guard dogs and draught dogs. They were the first dogs to be used by the Belgian police. Before World War II, international police dog trials became very popular in Europe, and Belgian dogs earned a number of prizes at the trials.When World War I broke out, many Belgian Shepherd Dogs were used by the military for a number of jobs including messenger dogs, Red Cross dogs, ambulance cart dogs and, according to some, light machine-gun cart dogs.During the 1920s and 1930s, several outstanding Malinois kennels were started in Belgium. During the first decades of the 20th century, Malinois and Groenendael were the most popular varieties of the Belgian Shepherd dogs to be exported to other countries. At that time, many were exported to the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Canada, United States, Argentina, and Brazil.In 1911, two Groenendaels and two Malinois were registered by the AKC as ""German Sheepdogs."" In 1913, the AKC changed the name to ""Belgian Sheepdogs."" The first dogs were imported by Josse Hanssens of Norwalk, Connecticut. He sold the two Malinois to L.I. De Winter of Guttenberg, New Jersey. De Winter produced several litters from the Malinois under his Winterview kennel name.After World War I, many American servicemen brought back Malinois and other Belgian Shepherd Dogs from Europe, and AKC registrations increased rapidly. The first Belgian Sheepdog Club of America was formed in 1924 and became a member club of the AKC soon after that. In 1924 and 1925, Walter Mucklow, a lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida, popularized the Malinois through AKC Gazette articles that he wrote. He also bred Malinois for a short time under the name of Castlehead Kennel.By the end of the 1920s, the Groenendael and Malinois Belgian Sheepdogs had risen in popularity to rank among the top five breeds. During the Great Depression, dog breeding was a luxury that most couldn't afford, and the first Belgian Sheepdog Club of America ceased to exist. During the 1930s, a few Malinois were registered with the AKC as imports trickled into the country. Even after the Great Depression, there were so few Malinois and interest in the breed had dropped so much that the AKC put them in the Miscellaneous Class at AKC shows in the 1930s and '40s.In 1949, a second Belgian Sheepdog Club of America was formed in Indiana. In that same year, John Cowley imported two Malinois and began his Netherlair kennel. He showed several of his dogs and several people became interested in them. By the 1960s, more people were breeding and showing Malinois. In March 1992, the American Belgian Malinois Club received AKC parent club status.In the last decade, Belgian Malinois dogs have received a lot of attention for their work in the military, drug detection agencies, search and rescue operations, and police forces around the country. As a result, many Malinois have been imported to the U.S. in the last several years.In 2019, a Belgian Malinois known as Conan was injured in a military operation targeting Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The mission was a success, and Conan was honored as a hero at The White House after making a full recovery.
"breed, as they acted as herders and protectors of the sheep at the Royal Castle of Laeken. In the 20th century, the Belgian Laekenois also played a role in both World Wars, acting as messenger dogs.Since then, the Belgian Laekenois' numbers have been dwindling, and not many clubs recognized the breed individually. There are roughly 1,000 alive today, which makes having a Belgian Laekenois as a pet extra rare! The other three Belgian Shepherd breeds -- the Belgian Malinois, Belgian Tervuren, and the Belgian Sheepdog -- were recognized by the American Kennel Club before the Laekenois. It wasn't until July 2020 that the AKC recognized the Belgian Laekenois as part of their Herding Group."
Belgian Sheepdog Dog Breed Price
Belgian Sheepdog from regular breeders cost you from $1200 to $1400 per puppy.
Belgian Sheepdog Dog Breed Size
The Belgian Malinois varies in size: males are normally about 24-26 inches (61-66 cm), in height and around 65-75 pounds (29-34 kg), in weight, while females are normally around 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg)in height and 30–50 pounds (13–22 kg) in weight.
Belgian Sheepdog Dog Breed Temperament
Temperament. Belgian Shepherds are known to be highly intelligent, alert and sensitive; they are typically highly trainable, vigilant and hard-working with a strong guarding instinct making them protective of property and family, and very well suited for service with security services.
Belgian Sheepdog Dog Breed Lifespan
The average lifespan for a Belgian Sheepdog is 10 to 14 years. That’s because these are medium-sized dogs with a good mix of genes in their blood.
Interesting Facts about Belgian Sheepdog Dog
- Shyness can be a problem in this breed. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one beating up his littermates or the one hiding in the corner.
- Belgian Sheepdogs require at least an hour of exercise per day. If you don’t provide them with exercise and mental stimulation in the form of training or play, they’ll find their own entertainment, and chances are it will be expensive to repair.
- Belgian Sheepdogs shed year-round and require 15 to 20 minutes of brushing weekly.
- Belgian Sheepdogs can get along well with other dogs and cats if they’re raised with them, but they have a chase instinct and will go after animals that run from them.
- Belgian Sheepdogs will chase joggers, bicyclists, and cars, so they need a securely fenced yard.
- Belgian Sheepdogs are very intelligent and alert. They also have strong herding and protection instincts. Early, consistent training is critical!
- Although they are good-size dogs, they are very people-oriented and want to be included in family activities.
- Belgian Sheepdogs are play-oriented and sensitive. Keep training sessions fun, consistent, and positive.
- Because of their intelligence, high energy levels, and other characteristics, Belgian Sheepdogs are not recommended for inexperienced dog owners.
FAQ’s on Belgian Sheepdog Dog
Are Belgian Sheepdog Dangerous Dogs? Are Belgian Sheepdog naturally aggressive?
Belgian Sheepdogs are alert, devoted, and protective. They’re also highly sensitive and affectionate, and they can make for excellent family companions. That said, they do need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy. A bored dog can quickly become a destructive dog.
Are Belgian Sheepdog smart?
Yes, Belgian Sheepdog are a highly intelligent dog breed.
Are Belgian Sheepdog trainable?
They are highly trainable, have the ability to learn complicated tasks, and perform excellently as search and rescue dogs.
Can Belgian Sheepdog be kept with other dogs?
Belgian Sheepdogs can get along well with other dogs and cats if they’re raised with them, but they have a chase instinct and will go after animals that run from them. Belgian Sheepdogs will chase joggers, bicyclists, and cars, so they need a securely fenced yard. Belgian Sheepdogs are very intelligent and alert.
Can a Belgian Sheepdog attack its owner?
No, Belgian Sheepdog are a highly loyal breed. If this ever occurs it is due to poorly raising and socializing the dog and would be a very rare instance.
Another reason can be if the owner is interacting with a sexually charged up dog or a dog who does not consider the handler as a superior. Many Belgian Sheepdog breeders invite Belgian Sheepdog males into their kennel for mating. These males are in a new place and handled by new dog handlers. Instances of attacks on humans are possible in such a scenario. If you have brought a male Belgian Sheepdog for breeding, be aware that you are not the master in the dog’s eyes.
Do Belgian Sheepdog have locking jaws?
No, they do not have locking jaws.
Are Belgian Sheepdog safe to keep with kids?
Generally, Belgian Sheepdog are safe to keep with kids they have been raised with. It is important that the kids does not disturb a sleeping dog, does not snatch the dog’s food; do not poke fingers in the dog’s eyes, etc. It is best to judge their relationship slowly. Every dog is unique, as is every kid.
Are Belgian Sheepdog unpredictable dogs?
It’s the owner not the breed. This is 100% true. The Belgian Sheepdog is a very dependable and predictable dog breed. A Belgian Sheepdog will be as good or as bad as his owner. If you know your dog, you can predict how he will react in almost all situations. This will prevent any untoward incident.
At what age is a Belgian Sheepdog fully grown?
Older than 18 Months. Belgian Malinois are full-grown once they are between a year and two years of age.
When does a Belgian Sheepdog mature?
Belgian Sheepdog reach sexual maturity at around 18 months and can start breeding after this age. Belgian Sheepdog usually go into their first heat around 9 months. After that, they will go into heat about every 6 months. If you are breeding your Belgian Sheepdog, it’s not recommended to breed them under the age of 18 months old. Many responsible Belgian Sheepdog breeders start breeding after 2 years after the dog’s growth is completed.
How long does a Belgian Sheepdog live?
A Belgian Sheepdog can live anywhere from 10 to 14 years.