Belgian Laekenois dogs were developed in Belgium as livestock herding dogs, along with three other breeds that are separated mostly by the color, texture, and length of their coats, the Belgian Shepherd, the Belgian Tervuren, and the Belgian Malinois. The Laekenois is the rarest of the four breeds and was originally used not only to tend and guard livestock but also to guard the linen drying in the fields. These dogs are highly intelligent and energetic, and they require a great deal of both physical and mental exercise each day to stay happy, healthy, and out of trouble.
The sport of Treibball was originally developed in Germany to allow herding dogs without a herd to practice their craft and find an outlet for their intense herding instincts. In this activity, your canine companion is not herding livestock, but large inflated balls instead. The goal of the game is for your dog to herd these balls to a specified goal area based on instructions conveyed to your dog using a combination of voice and hand commands. This activity is one that can easily be practiced in your own backyard, but there are also many treibball competitions to be found worldwide.
The Belgian Laekenois is an active and intelligent dog breed that likes to collect things. This means that if you share your home with one of these dogs, you are likely to be stepping over all sorts of chew toys, canine stuffies, bones, and other toys. One way to help ease this irritating habit is to teach your dog how to properly put away their toys into a toy box or a bin. While that may sound like a difficult thing to train your dog to do, in reality, it only takes a few simple steps to teach an intelligent and driven dog to put away their own toys.
Agility training is a dog sport that has been around for quite a while. Several obstacles, such as weave poles, jumps, and tunnels, are utilized to build an obstacle course for your dog to move through. The course must be run accurately by the dog and is usually within a set time frame. Agility training exercises both the mind and the body of your canine companion, and has the added benefit of improving your overall communication and bond with your canine friend. The Belgian Laekenois is a very intelligent and active dog who has the capability to excel in activities like this, possibly even participating in the competitive dog sport of agility trials.
While Treibball is certainly a fun game, some dogs just won't be satisfied unless they have some actual livestock to chase. Fortunately, there are now ranches and farms set up just so that they can learn to herd with real livestock.
This game, a combination of fetch and a relay race, is a great way for an energetic and driven canine such as the Belgian Laekenois to burn off some energy.