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Belgian Shepherd

 

Belgian Shepherd

 

Description

The Belgian Shepherd is the national dog of Belgium and Belgian farmers for centuries developed a variety of sheep dog, which eventually was catalogued by Professor Reul of the University in Brussels in 1891. Finding eight types, he recommended they be bred separately where later the Belgian Kennel Club officially registered three of these varieties, and of the eight types identified, only four remain today.

 

Temperament

They are an intelligent and attentive breed and even though they are wary of strangers they are not known to be aggressive or timid. They are quite protective of their families, however if left alone can become introverted and even fear-biters. They are slow to mature mentally, and are not considered mature until they are three years old.

  

Appearance

Height:  56-66cm  (22-26in)

Weight:  27-34kg  (60-75lb)

This is a medium-sized, finely built dog. The four different types of Belgian Shepherd have only a few differences between them, which is their coat colour and its length. Each of them has been named after the area which was instrumental in its development. The Tervueren (long tawny coat), the Malinois (short tawny coat) and the Laekenois (wire tawny coat).

 

Grooming

They require daily brushing and combing, with special attention to the undercoat during the shedding season. Excess hair should be removed from the inner ear and between the toes, and owners should watch for tangles in the 'pantaloons' and behind the ears. If you don't have the time to bath or groom your dog, your local  dog grooming salon provides these services.

 

Life Expectancy

12-14 Years

 

Health Concerns

The Belgian Shepherd is a relatively healthy dog; however hip dysplasia can be common health problem.

 

Suitability

These beautiful dogs are ideally suited to active families with older children or a person with the extra time available to devote to this dog.  Making great, protective guard dogs, any training other than house-training, should be delayed until the puppy is at least nine months old. Being originally developed as a working dog, the Belgian Shepherd will require at least a 30 minute walk each day and even though they are good guard dogs, they should not be left alone in the backyard or apartment for long periods, as they can become destructive.

  

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Working Dogs; This group  includes more breeds than any other. These dogs were bred to do a variety of work from guarding, herding, pulling sleds and rescue for example. A few in this group include Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer and Bearded Collie to mention a few.

 

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