Believed to have been officially shaped between 1891-1897, the Belgian Shepherd breed incorporates four different varieties and is the only breed to do so. These variations include the all-black, long-haired Groenendael, the short-haired Malinois, the part-black, long-haired Tervueren and the less popular, rough-haired Laekenois. Traditionally bred as a hardy and versatile working dog, well suited to herding, as a guard dog and in military service, the Belgian Shepherd Dog is adapted to the whims of weather in its country of origin, accustomed as it is to living outdoors.
Despite being differentiated between, the breed remains structurally the same, with the only differences being that of colour and coat length. The Belgian Shepherd Dog is characterised by a powerful and agile body, proportionate in head, leg and body, small, high-set ears, a defined skull, deep chest and low-set tail. Capable of changing direction at full speed, the breed boasts athleticism, stamina and instinct. With an in-bred aptitude for guarding flocks, the Belgian Shepherd is a obstinate protector of its master and family, and is highly trainable to discern intruders from those permitted on the property. The majority of Belgian Shepherds love water, whether in a pool, lake or the sea.
Due to its working nature, the breed requires regular physical and mental enrichment, whilst benefiting from constant human contact and companionship. Possessing a natural authority, the Belgian Shepherd needs gradual introduction to other domestic pets before it relinquishes its inherent instinct to herd. The average Belgian Shepherd will weigh 24-30 kg with discrepancies across gender, and have a life expectancy of 12-15 years when cared for accordingly.
Although typically healthy and long-lived, the Belgian Shepherd is susceptible to various minor health complaints, including skin allergies and intolerances, optical disorders, and occasionally hip and elbow dysplasia. The breed is not known to suffer from any genetic or hereditary diseases.
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Hi we rescued a mally who had been to 5 different homes by the time he was 18 weeks, definitely not for the faint hearted.We have previously had 5 german Shepherds and 2 Akitas and although sometimes mistaken for a german shepherd he is a completely different kettle of fish!! Absolutely intense in all he does nothing done in half measures our guy is full on loves to herd, high prey drive extremely alert and protective . When we got him he was a total nightmare no training of any kind mad as a hatter didn't like people or dogs, apparently the litter had been split up when he was just 5 week's old. It took us over a year and at times thought we had bitten off more than we could chew but in the end it was worth it. We now have an extremely loyal loving though still slightly mad (guess we'll never change that) handsome 3 year old who is named Seve (after the great ballesterous) he makes us laugh and sometimes cry with frustration but we never gave up on him and wouldn't change him for the world!!!
We have had and still do several!
All are the most loyal , intelligent,sulky (if they get told off) dogs you could wish to own.Each one is different.
We have had 4 Gronds and a Treve ,the black G's have a stunning running action with long coats flowing out behind them,but ours have sadly been short lived,but we don't regret anything (maybe having a cancerous leg removed was a big error in judgement so don't even think about doing it).
One went blind with glaucoma but lived a good few years after.
The groens are sadly in my view overbreed but we still have one and would rescue another any day.
Fabulous breed,if not always easy as they can be as stubborn as a field of mules if they are in that mood !
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