Belgian Laekenois Dog Breed (Complete Guide)

Belgian Laekenois Dog Overview

The Belgian Laekenois (pronounced “Lak-in-wah”) is one of four native dogs of Belgium. It is strong, athletic, and full of energy.

The Laekenois is similar to the Malinois, Shepherd, and Tervuren in body and disposition, but it differs in coat color, texture, and length, as well as origin region.

The Laekenois is the rarest of the four closely related Belgian herders: the Belgian Sheepdog, Malinois, Tervuren, and Laekenois.

The rough, disheveled coat that occurs in colors of red, fawn, or grayish tones distinguishes this powerful and sturdy dog from his relatives.

The darkening around the muzzle emphasizes the dark almond-shaped eyes’ appearance of intense watchfulness. The Belgian Laekenois is very loyal to his master and his possessions.

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The breed is affectionate and kind with people he knows well, despite being wary of strangers. The Laekenois coat demands frequent brushing and bathing, as well as daily exercise as a working dog.

Belgian Laekenois Highlights

  • The Belgian Laekenois coat is available in a range of colors, most commonly fawn, mahogany, or red. They sometimes wear a black mask as well.
  • Despite the fact that they do not shed much, you should brush their hair once a week to twice a week with a brush designed for coarse fur.
  • Belgian Laekenois dogs do not perform well when left alone for extended periods of time, and they can develop destructive behaviors if bored. They can still function well in an apartment as long as they are not left alone for lengthy periods of time.
  • Make certain that your dog receives at least one solid half-hour to hour-long walk per day. Include some physical play and brief walks throughout the day as well.
  • The Belgian Laekenois may make a good family dog, although they prefer older children over smaller ones. Your Belgian Laekenois may attempt to herd children and nibble at their heels!
  • The Belgian Laekenois may be best suited as the sole animal in the house because they are a herding breed and are protective. They may attempt to herd or chase smaller dogs and cats.

Belgian Laekenois Breed Features & Ratings:

Rated base on a 5 Star Scale
ENERGY LEVEL:                                4 Star
EXERCISE REQUIREMENTS:           4 Star
PLAYFULNESS:                                  5 Star
AFFECTION LEVEL:                           5 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO DOGS:                5 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO OTHER PETS:    5 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO STRANGERS:     5 Star
WATCHFULNESS:                               5 Star
EASE OF TRAINING:                           5 Star
GROOMING REQUIREMENTS:           5 Star
HEAT SENSITIVITY:                            5 Star
VOCALITY                                         5 Star

Belgian Laekenois Characteristics:

  • Dog Breed Group:  Herding Dogs
  • Height:  22 to 26 inches
  • Weight:  44 to 66 pounds
  • Life Span: 10 to 12 years
  • Type: Purebred
  • AREA OF ORIGIN:  Belgium
  • DATE OF ORIGIN: 1800s
  • OTHER NAMES:  Belgian Laekenois, Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laeken), Chien de Berger Belge
  • Temperament: Active, Alert, Energetic, Lively, Protective, Watchful
  • Activities: XX
  • Color: Fawn, Red, Black & Tan, Mahogany, Fawn Sable, Red Sable
  • Litter Size: 6 to 10 puppies 
  • Puppy Prices: $1700 – $2500 USD on average

Belgian Laekenois Health:

The Belgian Laekenois is a strong and healthy breed. Breeders who are responsible will screen their breeding stock for a variety of health issues.

A Belgian Laekenois’s ears, like those of any other breed, should be checked for symptoms of infection on a regular basis, and his teeth should be washed on a regular basis.

The National Breed Club recommends the following health tests:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam
  • Thyroid Evaluation
  • Dentition Exam

Belgian Laekenois Grooming:

The coat of the Belgian Laekenois is generally wiry and disheveled, with a hint of softer and shorter furbelow.

Their coat is available in a number of colors, most commonly fawn, mahogany, or red. The Belgian Laekenois also wears a black mask on occasion.

Notwithstanding the fact that they do not shed much, you should brush their hair once a week to twice a week with a brush designed for coarse fur.

This will aid in the removal of dead skin and the prevention of knotting in your Belgian Laekenois coat.

Use a dog-friendly sunscreen as well, as their wiry coat can expose regions of skin to sun damage.

Since with any dog, do not leave your Belgian Laekenois alone in extreme temperatures, as their coats will not protect them from the elements.

Belgian Laekenois Exercise:

The ideal owner will recognize that the Belgian Laekenois will not be content sitting around and cannot be expected to live alone in the yard.

Laekenois, who are eager to please, want to be with their humans and require a busy lifestyle and plenty of work to be happy.

When the new puppy arrives, it’s critical to start socializing him as soon as possible, with frequent and good meet-and-greet sessions, as these working dogs are often reserved around strangers.

Belgian Laekenois Training:

Obedience training can assist you in developing your bond with your powerful shepherd while also establishing you as the pack leader.

This is significant because Laekenois has a strong sense of responsibility when it comes to protecting people and property.

You lose the capacity to control this dog’s instincts and actions if you lose the top spot in his head. Experienced owners typically advocate for early socializing and training.

When your puppy has had enough vaccines to be out in public, start presenting him or her to as many individuals, animals, and situations as possible. Doing so from a young age can assist your Laekenois in becoming more adaptable.

While some breeds are considered to mature slowly and retain their puppyhood for several years, the Laekenois has been described as maturing quickly if given a chance.

Even as puppies, they perform admirably in obedience training, laying the groundwork for more sophisticated instruction in the future.

Belgian Laekenois Food and Nutrition:

A nutritious Belgian Laekenois diet should be designed for a medium-to-large breed with high energy levels.

Instead of keeping food out all day, keep your Belgian Laekenois in shape by measuring their food and feeding them twice a day.

This will keep you from eating when you’re bored. The dietary demands of the Belgian Laekenois, like those of all dogs, will evolve from puppyhood through adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years.

You should consult with your veterinarian regarding your Belgian Laekenois’ food because there is far too much variance among individual dogs – including weight, energy, and health – to provide a specific prescription.

Belgian Laekenois Temperament and Personality:

The Belgian Laekenois is a watchful, devoted dog who enjoys pleasing its owners. This implies they require a person who is willing to provide consistent and calm instruction; they will not respond well to harsh penalties or scolding.

Because the Belgian Laekenois is a bright breed, obedience training should come quite naturally as long as you are consistent.

The Belgian Laekenois, like any other dog, requires early socialization. Bring your dog with you (where permitted, of course!) to enjoy new sights, people, and sounds.

Socialization helps to keep your Belgian Laekenois from becoming overly territorial or aggressive. The Belgian Laekenois does like play sessions in the yard or an intellectually engaging toy, but they are not hyper dogs.

As a herding breed, they may become overly playful and nip at heels. Make sure to break this tendency to avoid any unnecessary injury, especially with tiny children.

Belgian Laekenois dogs do not perform well when left alone for extended periods of time, and they can develop destructive behaviors if they feel bored when alone.

They can still thrive in an apartment or smaller space as long as they aren’t left alone for lengthy periods of time and get lots of playtime and walks.

Belgian Laekenois Care/Upkeep:

There are a few facts regarding the uncommon and beautiful Belgian Laekenois that you should be aware of. The most crucial thing to understand about their training and maintenance is that this breed was created with a purpose in mind.

While your Laekenois may be several generations and thousands of miles removed from a sheepfold in Belgium, this dog’s mentality is constantly vigilant and “on.”

They can become neurotic, disruptive, and willful if they are not given enough work and attention.

Their attitude is described in the breed standard as “watchful, attentive, and always in action when not under the order.” This is confirmed by owner experience for the vast majority of this breed.

People claim that these attentive and sensitive dogs are hyper-aware of anything new in their environment, such as objects, people, noises, and so on.

This continual movement can be complicated during puppyhood and adolescence when your dog is still learning to relax and manage impulses.

Belgian Laekenois Relationship with Children and Other Pets

The Belgian Laekenois may make a good family dog, although they prefer older children over smaller ones. Your Belgian Laekenois may attempt to herd children and nibble at their heels!

A Belgian Laekenois may be a terrific family companion for any age group if smaller children are taught how to appropriately play with your dog and you are able to oversee them while they do so.

The Belgian Laekenois may be best suited as the sole animal in the house because they are a herding breed and are protective.

They may attempt to herd or hunt down smaller dogs and cats, which can be distressing for all of your pets.

However, some Belgian Laekenois dogs get along well with other animals. It all comes down to genetics, training, and good fortune.

Belgian Laekenois Names 

RankBoy NamesGirl Names
01BuddyBella
02MaxDaisy
03TobyCoco
04JackLuna
05CodyMaggie
06RockyEllie
07HenryChloe
08GusStella
09TeddyZoey
10SamPenny

All About Belgian Laekenois

The Belgian Laekenois (pronounced “Lak-in-wah”) is one of Belgium’s four native dogs. It is strong, athletic, and full of life.

Although the Laekenois has a similar body and disposition to the Malinois, Shepherd, and Tervuren, it is different in coat color, texture, and length, as well as place of origin.

The Laekenois is the infrequent of the four closely related Belgian herders the Belgian Sheepdog, Malinois, Tervuren, and Laekenois. The rough, ruffled coat of this powerful and sturdy dog distinguishes him from his relatives in hues of red, fawn, or grayish tones. 

The blackening around the muzzle emphasizes the attitude of vigilance that shines from the dark almond-shaped eyes. The Belgian Laekenois guards his master and his possessions.

Despite being wary of strangers, the breed is affectionate and kind with people he knows well. The Laekenois coat requires frequent brushing and sometimes bathing, and it requires daily exercise as a working dog.

Belgian Laekenois History:

According to some, the Belgian Laekenois is not a distinct breed, but rather a variant of one of the four Belgian Shepherds produced in the 1880s. The Laekenois takes its name from the region of Belgium where they originated.

Some consider them an aristocratic breed because they served as sheep herders and protectors at the Royal Castle of Laeken. In the twentieth century, the Belgian Laekenois served as messenger dogs in both World Wars.

Since then, the number of Belgian Laekenois has been decreasing, and few clubs recognize the breed individually. There are only about 1,000 left today, making possessing a Belgian Laekenois as a pet even more uncommon!

The American Kennel Club recognized the other three Belgian Shepherd breeds before the Laekenois: the Belgian Malinois, the Belgian Tervuren, and the Belgian Sheepdog. The Belgian Laekenois will not be recognized as a member of the AKC Herding Group until July 2020.

Where to Adopt Belgian Laekenois:

Purchasing an Laekenois does not always imply importing a dog from Belgium, though it may. Breeders in the United States are still in short supply.

You should conduct thorough research on breeders and come prepared with a list of questions about the ancestry and temperament of the parents of a litter.

The temperament of the line from which a puppy is bred can have a significant impact on his characteristics.

You might also look into Belgian shepherd rescues, where you might locate a Laekenois in need of a new home.

Because the breed is so rare, this technique may seem like a needle in a haystack, but it’s worth seeking out  if you have the time and love for a rescue.

  • American Belgian Laekenois Association Ambassadors
  • American Kennel Club Breeder Listing
  • Adopt-a-Pet Belgian Laekenois

More Dog Breeds and Further Research:

The bottom line with any Belgian shepherd, including a Laekenois, is to conduct your research and make sure that this breed is a good fit for you.

The Laekenois is generally described as a gentler form of the Belgian shepherd, yet they are not a breed for those dog owners who do not have experience.

They will, however, provide you with numerous opportunities for growth and learning, and they make excellent partners in a variety of canine activities.

Take some time to learn about the following other shepherd breeds:

Belgian Laekenois Fun Facts:

  • The Belgian Laekenois is a robust, healthy breed. 
  •  Belgian Laekenois is not going to be happy sitting around nor can he be expected to live alone in the yard.
  • Socialization and puppy-training classes are especially important. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How much of this dog breed’s puppy cost?

The cost to adopt a Belgian Laekenois is around $300 in order to cover the expenses of caring for the dog before adoption. In contrast, buying Belgian Laekenoises from breeders can be prohibitively expensive. Depending on their breeding, they usually cost anywhere from $1,500-$2,500.

Do Belgian Laekenois shed?

The Laekenois’ rough coat is easy to care for. Brush it weekly to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. Despite its wiry texture, the coat sheds somewhat year-round. During heavier seasonal sheds, the coat will need more frequent brushing to control the amount of loose hair floating around your house.

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