Fabled for having participated in both World Wars, Belgian Shepherd is developed by Nicholas Rose, a breeder from the Groenendael village. Belgian Shepherd, also known as Groenendael, is one among the four varieties of Belgian Sheepdogs. Other three dogs in this category include Tervuren, Malinois and Laekenois. Though AKC considers them as separate breeds, the British Kennel Club deems them as a single breed. Basically, these dogs are recognized based on their coat type and color and not the origin.
The dogs’ body is well-proportioned and well–built with straight, parallel front legs and round feet. It has almond shaped eyes, black nose, flat skull, deep chest, tight lips, long feathered tail and triangular ears that stand upright. Average height of Belgian Shepherd is 22 – 26 inches and weight is 60 - 63 pounds. The moderately long black dense coat has extra feathering on the underside, tail and legs.
Black, Black/White, Black/Cream, Brown, Fawn, Fawn/Black, Gray, Gray/Black, Sable, Silver, Silver/Black, Wolfgray/Black
The innate protective and territorial instincts make Belgian Shepherd an excellent guard dog. The breed exhibits a herding behavior like circling and chasing and remains active for hours without any break. Proper early age socialization is required to tackle its aggressive behavior towards other animals. This could also prevent the tendency of the dog to show sensitivity or shyness. Known for its working abilities, endurance, and obedience, the dog can be a loyal and lovable pet.
Basically a healthy and tough breed, Belgian Shepherd has a life expectancy of 13 – 14 years. However, the breed has a tendency to conditions like epilepsy, skin allergies, and some eye problems. In rare instances, hip and elbow dysplasia are observed in this breed.