Alert, watchful and energetic, the Tervuren is an active and dependable companion that functions best when given daily mental and physical exercise. He enjoys playing and running outside, and can be a well-mannered companion inside as long as he is given sufficient exercise. He is smart and obedient, but independent. He can be aloof with strangers. He may nip at the heels of children in an attempt to herd them.
Belgian Tervuren Dog Care
The Tervuren needs strenuous activity, either a long walk or jog or an invigorating play or work session every day. He especially enjoys herding. His double coat needs brushing and combing twice weekly, more often when shedding.
Belgian Tervuren 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 Tervuren dog breed?
The Belgian Tervuren is one of four Belgian Shepherd breeds, all sharing the same origins but distinguished by different coat types and colors. They are the wire-haired Laekenois, the shorthaired Malinois, the long black-haired Groenendael and the long anything-but-black-haired Tervuren. All these herding, guard breeds were interbred before and after their recognition as one breed (the Belgian, or Continental, Shepherd) in 1891. The Tervuren was named after the village of Tervuren, where one of the breed's earliest proponents lived. The Tervuren lagged behind the other Shepherd breeds in popularity, perhaps hindered by his less flashy color and disagreements over exactly what colors were desirable. The first Tervuren was registered in America in 1918, but the breed's numbers remained so low that these dogs died out by the Depression. The Tervuren had to be almost re-created after World War II from longhaired offspring of Malinois parents. In 1959 the Belgian Shepherd was divided into three breeds, and the Tervuren was on its own. The Tervuren has since captured the eye of many fanciers because he is the most elegant of the three breeds. This breed now enjoys moderate popularity. The Belgian Tervuren is a versatile dog and is used less in guard work, but more in herding, than are his Belgian Shepherd counterparts.