Belgian Sheepdog Breed (Complete Guide)

Belgian Sheepdog Overview

The Belgian Sheepdog is an exquisite, square-proportioned dog with a proud carriage that is vigilant and agile. The bone of this breed is somewhat hefty.

When dogs are expected to herd for lengthy periods of time, their gait should be smooth, untiring, and effortless rather than driven. They like to move in a circle rather than in a straight line.

They have a dense undercoat and an exterior coat of many guard hairs that are long, well-fitting, and straight.

For protection, the texture should be medium-harsh rather than velvety. In cold temperatures, the undercoat is quite dense for insulation.

Hair tufts cover the aperture of the ear. The Belgian Sheepdog has an intelligent and inquisitive expression, and the black colouring is remarkable.

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Belgian Sheepdog Highlights

  • In this breed, shyness might be an issue. Choose the puppy in the midst of the pack, not the one who is tearing up his littermates or hiding in the corner.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs require at least one hour of daily exercise. If you don’t provide them exercise and cerebral stimulation in the form of training or play, they’ll find their own fun, which will almost certainly be costly to repair.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs shed all year and require 15 to 20 minutes of brushing once a week.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs get along well with other dogs and cats if they are raised with them, but they have a chasing tendency and will pursue animals that run away from them.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs are known to chase joggers, bicycles, and motorists, thus they require a properly fenced yard.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs are extremely bright and attentive canines. They have strong herding and defense instincts as well. Early and continuous training is essential!
  • Despite their size, they are highly people-oriented and want to be part of family activities.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs are playful and sensitive canines. Maintain training sessions that are enjoyable, regular, and upbeat.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs are not advised for inexperienced dog owners because of their intelligence, high energy levels, and other qualities.

Belgian Sheepdog Breed Features & Ratings:

Rated base on a 5 Star Scale
ENERGY LEVEL:                                4 Star
PLAYFULNESS:                                  4 Star
AFFECTION LEVEL:                          4 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO DOGS:               3 Star
WATCHFULNESS:                               5 Star
EASE OF TRAINING:                           5 Star
HEAT SENSITIVITY:                            3 Star
VOCALITY                                         5 Star

Belgian Sheepdog Characteristics:

  • Dog Breed Group:  Herding Dogs
  • Height:  At the shoulder, it should be between 22 and 26 inches tall.
  • Weight:  60 to 75 pounds
  • Life Span: 10 to 12 years 
  • Type: Purebred
  • AREA OF ORIGIN: Belgium
  • DATE OF ORIGIN: 1800s
  • OTHER NAMES:  Groenendael, Chien De Berger Belge
  • Temperament: Active,  Alert, Confident, Friendly, Hard-working, Protective, Stubborn, Watchful,. Intelligent
  • Activities: Conformation, Agility, Obedience, Rally, Tracking, Herding, Search and Rescue, Police Work, Therapy
  • Color: Black
  • Litter Size: 6 to 10 puppies
  • Puppy Prices: $1500 – $3000 USD on average

Belgian Sheepdog Health:

The Belgian Sheepdog is a strong and healthy breed. Responsible breeders will examine their breeding stock for epilepsy, elbow and hip dysplasia, eye disorders including progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts, and certain malignancies.

If surgery is required, keep in mind that Belgians are extremely sensitive to anesthetics.

As with all breeds, a Belgian’s ears should be checked for symptoms of illness regularly, and his teeth are necessary to be brushed on a regular basis.

The National Breed Club recommends the following health tests:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Belgian Sheepdog Grooming:

The Belgian Sheepdog has two coats. The topcoat is tightly packed with long, straight hair that is slightly rough but never unpleasant or smooth to the touch.

The Belgian Sheepdog’s silky, luxurious undercoat protects it from the elements and varies in thickness depending on the climate in which it lives.

The hair of your pet is short on the head, outside the ears, and on the front of the legs.

Hair tufts cover the ear’s opening. The rest of the body has long hair, with a collarette of long hair around the neck (especially noticeable in males), a fringe of long hair running down the back of the front legs alongside back of the thighs, and long, thick, profuse hair on the tail.

In most of the breeds, the male is more ornamental than the female.

The ideal Belgian Sheepdog is all black or all black with a hint of color white between the pads of the feet of the canine, on the tips of the rear toes, or in a little patch or strip on the forechest.

Frost on the chin or muzzle is also possible. White on the tips of the front toes is reviewed a defect by the breed standard, however it has no influence on the Belgian Sheepdog’s abilities as a companion or working dog.

Brush the coat once a week for 15 to 20 minutes to remove dead hair and prevent matting and knots.

If you maintain doing this, you shouldn’t have a lot of stray hair flying over your house, especially if you execute the weekly brushing with a quick daily brushing of a minute or two.

A medium-sized pin brush for long hair, a wire slicker brush for puppies and shorter hair portions of the body, a grooming rake for removing shedding hair, and a mat comb for removing the occasional mat that forms between the ears or where the legs attach the body are all excellent grooming tools.

Belgian Sheepdogs, like most double-coated dogs, shed all year, with at least one heavy shed per year depending on the habitat and coat length.

Give your pet a warm bath or two to help loosen the coat and brush them more frequently to speed up the shedding process.

Some people keep the fur and spin it into yarn, which is then made into sweaters or other clothing. Two further grooming necessities are dental hygiene and nail maintenance.

Brush your Belgian Sheepdog’s teeth at least twice a week to get rid of tartar and the bacteria that dwell in it. Brushing your pet’s teeth twice a day is even better if you want to avoid gum disease and bad breath.

If your dog’s nails do not naturally wear down, you should clip them on a regular basis. If the owner can hear them clicking on the floor, it means that it is long.

Short, neatly trimmed nails keep your Belgian Sheepdog’s feet in good health and prevent scratches on your legs as he jumps up to greet you.

Start exposing your Belgian Sheepdog to being brushed and examined when he is a puppy. Handle his paws regularly – dogs’ feet are extremely sensitive – and examine his lips and ears.

Make grooming a joyful experience for him, complete with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for smooth veterinarian tests and other handling when he’s an adult.

While grooming, look for sores, rashes, or infection symptoms such as redness, discomfort, or inflammation on the skin, ears, nose, mouth, eyes, and feet.

Ears should smell nice and be devoid of wax or crud, and eyes should be clear with no redness or discharge. Your thorough weekly assessment will help you spot potential health problems early on.

Belgian Sheepdog Exercise:

Belgian Sheepdogs, like many other Herding breeds, require a lot of activity every day.

Because the Belgian is a sensitive soul in need of human interaction, simply putting him out in the garden for many hours is insufficient.

Owners should expect their Belgians to partake in daily exercise sessions. This could include playing with a ball or going for a long run, as well as preparing for and competing in obedience, agility, tracking, or herding contests, or canine sports like flyball.

Belgian Sheepdog Training:

Socialization and puppy-training sessions are extremely crucial.

They encourage good behavior, discourage negative habits, and deepen the link between puppy and owner.

Fortunately, Belgian Sheepdogs are incredibly intelligent and desire nothing more than to please their owners, so they learn quickly.

Belgian Sheepdog Food and Nutrition:

The volume of nutrients your adult dog consumes is determined by his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are same like people who do not require the same amount of food.

It almost needs to be noted that a dog who is very active will require more than a dog who is a couch potato.

The quality of dog food you purchase also matters – the healthier the dog food, the chances of sustaining your dog and the less of it you will need to shake into your dog’s bowl.

Belgian Sheepdog Temperament and Personality:

The perfect Belgian Sheepdog is intelligent, brave, attentive, and family-oriented. When not under command, he is said to be always on the move.

His keen observation abilities make him a great watchdog, but his herding pedigree causes him to be wary of strangers.

This distrust might develop into aggressive behavior if he is not properly trained and socialized. A well-socialized and trained Belgian Sheepdog is a self-assured protector of his people and property who does not attack without reason.

With people he knows, especially family members, he is loving and kind. He also expects a lot of their time and attention.

This breed dislikes being left alone; he prefers to be involved in family activities.

He demands a lot of mental stimulation in the type of exercise and play, especially with puzzle toys like Buster Cubes and interactive activities like fetch.

This excellent Belgian Sheepdog temperament does not arise by chance. A variety of things influence it, including genes, training, and socialization.

Puppies with good temperaments are interested and playful, eager to approach and be held by people.

Choose the puppy in the midst of the pack, not the one who is tearing up his littermates or hiding in the corner.

Excessive shyness can be an issue in this breed, so never adopt a fearful puppy, even if he makes you feel protective.

Preferably meet at least one of the parents — generally the mother is present — to confirm that they have pleasant personalities with whom you are comfortable.

Meeting the parents’ siblings or other relatives is also beneficial in determining what a puppy will be like when he grows up.

Belgian Sheepdogs, like all dogs, require early socialization — being exposed to a variety of people, sights, noises, and experiences — when they are young. Socialization ensures that your Belgian Sheepdog puppy develops into a well-rounded dog.

Enrolling him in puppy kindergarten is a terrific place to start. Inviting guests over on a regular basis and taking him to busy parks, stores that accept dogs, alongside on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will help him improve his social abilities.

Belgian Sheepdog Care/Upkeep:

The Belgian Sheepdog’s double-layer coat, which comprises a dense undercoat and a coarser outside coat, is easier to maintain than you might imagine.

However, during their shedding season, which occurs once a year, these dogs will begin to shed extensively and require regular brushing to remove all dead hair.

During the rest of the year, weekly brushing is sufficient, with only a few baths required.

Because it is a herding breed, the Belgian Sheepdog will need plenty of exercise on a regular basis.

These are not dogs that will love lounging around the home all day; as a herding breed, they are attentive, active working dogs who thrive when given a task.

Allowing them to wander the backyard alone, on the other hand, will not suffice for these dogs, who seek time with their masters.

As a result, they are not an ideal choice for someone who works long hours outside the home, as they will become bored and possibly destructive in the house and develop separation anxiety.

Sheepdog owners must also consider safety since these dogs are hard-wired to hunt sheep and will not hesitate to chase animals, joggers or cyclists, or even cars so leashed walks and a fenced-in yard are essential.

Belgian Sheepdog owners should plan to engage in daily activity sessions with their dogs, whether it’s a lengthy walk or run, playing fetch, or training for canine sports like flyball or competitions in agility, tracking, or herding.

Belgian Sheepdogs are an excellent breed for obedience competitions because they are intelligent and easily trainable, and they, like many dogs, want to please their owners.

However, because this is a very sensitive breed with a strong will, any training should be positive and joyful.

Belgian Sheepdog Relationship with Children and Other Pets

Belgian Sheepdogs that have been well-socialized are good with children, especially if they have been raised with them, but they may nip at their heels and try to herd them when playing because of their herding history.

It would help if you taught your Belgian Sheepdog that this is improper behavior.

An adult Belgian Sheepdog who is not used to being around children may do best in a family with old enough children to interact with him properly.

Constantly teach youngsters how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise interactions between pets and small kids to avoid biting or ear or tail pulling on either party’s side.

Teach your children never to approach a sleeping or eating dog or to try to grab the dog’s food. No canine should ever be left alone with a youngster.

Belgian Sheepdogs get along best with other dogs and cats if they are raised with them from infancy.

Sometimes they become closest friends with cats and other animals and defend them as if they were part of their flock, and other times they all agree to mutual indifference.

Belgian Sheepdogs can be hostile toward animals who aren’t members of their families. You must start early and praise acceptable behavior if you want your Belgian Sheepdog to get along with other animals.

It is your obligation to keep your Belgian Sheepdog under control in the presence of other animals if he has not been introduced to them.

Belgian Sheepdog Names 

RankBoy NamesGirl Names

All About Belgian Sheepdog

The Belgian Sheepdog also called as the Groenendael is the only solid-colored breed among the four Belgian shepherd dogs.

It has a long black coat and an imposing aspect, and he is elegant and graceful.

He’s athletic as well as handsome, and he retains his working ability, making him an ideal candidate for agility, herding, and obedience events.

One of the characteristics to consider when purchasing this breed is the energy. This breed enjoys lounging around the home; he is a working dog who requires regular exercise.

Herding dogs including Belgian Sheepdog, are hardwired to follow a flock of sheep all day.

That impulse does not go away simply because they are now living in a family household. Expect him to get at least one hour of exercise per day.

The Belgian Sheepdog is a very clever breed that requires diversity to avoid boredom. He’s not a good fit for folks who work long hours and don’t have time to exercise their dog during the day.

They thrive in houses with a fenced-in yard. Belgian Sheepdogs are chasers due to their herding ancestry, and they will run after joggers, bicyclists, and motorists if they are not contained by a fence.

The Belgian Sheepdog is a loving and devoted dog who will always protect “his” children, although it is vital for parents to supervise play when adjacent children are present.

The Belgian may misinterpret the loudness and high spirits of play and attempt to nip at your child’s friends. You can teach him that this isn’t good conduct with adequate monitoring and corrections.

Belgian Sheepdogs get along best with children if they are raised with them from puppyhood or are socialized to them at a young age.

They get along well with other dogs and cats if raised with them, but they may have problems with unfamiliar animals who come onto their land.

They enjoy chasing — there’s that herding drive again! — so cats who stand their ground are likely to do better than those who flee.

This adaptable dog has a lot of great qualities, but he’s probably not for a first-time dog owner. He’s devoted, loving, and enthusiastic, yet he may also be bashful, sensitive, and stubborn.

However, if you spend time, effort, and energy into him, he will be well worth your time, effort, and energy.

Belgian Sheepdog History:

The topography and climate of hardworking Belgium are suitable for livestock and dairy farming.

Today, Belgium is regarded as the world’s biggest exporter of milk chocolate, but farmers in the country were once concentrated on cow herding as well as the breeding of herding dogs.

In fact, there were previously eight different breeds of shepherd dogs that were only found in Belgium.

The Belgian Sheepdog (also known as the Groenendael or Chien de Berger Belge), Tervuren, Malinois, and Laekenois, which are anatomically identical but with coats that vary in texture, color, and length, were officially classified for the first time in the 1890s.

The Belgian Sheepdog is the long-haired, solid-colored (black) variation of the four Belgian shepherd dogs that exist today.

The name Groenendael was given to these dogs by a guy named Nicolas Rose, who was a well-known breeder and maintained a restaurant near Brussels called the Chateau Groenendael. In fact, Rose is considered to have purchased the foundation pair of the Belgian Sheepdog breed.

The Belgian Sheepdog was included in the Chien de Berger de Races Continentales (Continental Shepherds) and German Shepherds, Briards, Hollander Herders, Bouviers, and Beauceron.

In the late 1800s, efforts were also undertaken to breed a “Belgian” dog for nationalistic purposes, which led to the development of the Club du Chien de Berger Belge, or Belgian Shepherd Club, which eventually led to the development of the Belgian Sheepdog.

Belgian Sheepdogs were becoming well-known both inside and outside of Belgium by the turn of the twentieth century for their flexibility and hardworking disposition.

Indeed, in this century, both Paris and New York began to rely on Belgian Sheepdogs as police dogs, and customs agents frequently used them on border patrols to help identify smugglers.

During World Combat I, these dogs served as ambulance dogs, couriers, and heavy gunnery freighters, and during World War II, Belgian Sheepdogs served as war dogs.

Since the formation of the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America in 1949, this breed has been known to accomplish everything from serving as police and service dogs to competing as show dogs to performing search and rescues.

They’ve earned a reputation for being affectionate, loyal family pets.

Where to Adopt Belgian Sheepdog:

Belgian Sheepdogs are often purchased without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one. There are many Belgian Sheepdog in need of adoption and or fostering.

There are a number of rescues that we have not listed. If you don’t see a rescue listed for your area, contact the national breed club or a local breed club and they can point you toward a Belgian Sheepdog rescue.

More Dog Breeds and Further Research:

When deciding whether the Belgian Sheepdog is the right dog for you, conduct your research and consult with other Belgian Sheepdog owners, breeders, and rescue groups to learn more.

Check out these more dog breeds that are similar. With a little study, you’ll be able to choose the perfect dog breed for you!

Belgian Sheepdog Fun Facts:

  • He gives the impression of elegant robustness. 
  • The Belgian sheepdog is a multi-talented breed.
  • The Belgian sheepdog is smart and obedient. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Are Belgian Sheepdogs suitable as pets?

Belgian sheepdogs make wonderful pets in the appropriate home. They thrive on affectionate company. Belgians automatically exhibit herding behavior, including chasing and circling, moving effortlessly for hours, and biting at people’s heels.

What kind of exercise does a Belgian sheepdog require?

How much exercise do Belgian Shepherds, Malinois, and Tervurens require? All of these Belgian Shepherd breeds are extremely active, high-energy dogs who require at least 60 to 90 minutes of energy-burning activity each day, but more is desirable. They were bred to labor long and hard days.

Can I leave my Belgian Sheepdog alone?

The Belgian Sheepdog is protective of his family and dislikes being alone since he cannot keep an eye on them. A few hours alone may be fine, but the Belgian Sheepdog may become destructive if not exercised regularly. This breed may require crate training.

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