Ever watchful and on the move, the Belgian Sheepdog glides in large circles. He is playful, alert, watchful and protective, a tough, independent and intense dog. He can be aloof with strangers and some can be domineering. This breed is intelligent and biddable, but independent. He is protective of his home and family.
Belgian Sheepdog Dog Care
The Belgian Sheepdog needs a good deal of exercise, either a good long jog or a long, strenuous play session. He needs room to move during the day and does best with access to a yard. His double coat needs brushing and combing twice weekly, more when shedding.
Belgian Sheepdog Dog Health
Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: epilepsy, skin allergies
Occasionally seen: CHD
Suggested tests: none
Life span: 10-12 years
Interested in the history of the Belgian Sheepdog dog breed?
The Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren and Belgian Malinois began as three local variations of one breed, which was known as the Belgian Shepherd or Continental Shepherd. The dog that was heir to the name Belgian Sheepdog was originally known as the Groenendael variation of the breed. Like all the Belgian Shepherds, he was a working farm dog expected to both herd and guard. This breed differed from the others because it had a rather long, black coat. In 1910 these dogs were officially dubbed Groenendael after the kennel that had selectively bred the black dogs since 1893 (just after the Belgian Shepherds were recognized as a breed). By this time, the breed had gained some repute as a police dog and was already employed in this capacity in America. In World War I, they continued to shine as sentry dogs, messengers and even draft dogs. It was here that they captured the attention of the public, and they soon enjoyed a fair amount of popularity after the war. In 1959, the three Belgian shepherd breeds were divided into separate breeds, with the Groenendael subsequently known as the Belgian Sheepdog. With its shimmering black coat, He is the most striking of the Belgian breeds, and that fact, along with his versatile abilities, has won him many faithful supporters.