Belgian Sheepdog

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40-60 lbs
22-24"
Belgium
Groenendael, Chien de Berger Belge

As one of three specific Belgian breeds, the Belgian Sheepdog is known for its intelligence and loyalty. Back when the breed first came to be in the 1800’s, the Belgian Sheepdog was used for all kinds of interesting tasks. Not only were they amazing herders, but their quick wit allowed them to aid in police chases and even deliver messages! Today this breed excels in canine performance and showmanship, as well as a wonderful family dog. If you are looking for an easy first dog that is great with kids and other pets, then this breed may be perfect for you. But keep in mind, that with their long thick fur, a good vacuum will be a must in any household with a Belgian Sheepdog. They come in a range of colors such as black, brindle, cream, and fawn. Because they are such an active breed, the Belgian Sheepdog needs at least one hour of physical activity on top of mental stimulation in order to keep him from finding his own means of entertainment, which will most likely be expensive to fix.

Purpose
herding, message delivery, pulling of carts
Date of Origin
1800s
Ancestry
shepherd

Belgian Sheepdog Health

Sketch of Belgian Sheepdog
Average Size
Male Belgian Sheepdog size stats
Height: 24-26 inches Weight: 55-75 lbs
Female Belgian Sheepdog size stats
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 40-60 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cancer
Minor Concerns
  • Cataracts
  • Epilepsy
Occasional Tests
  • Blood Test
  • Hip X-Rays
  • Thyroid Tests
  • MRI
  • Eye Examination

Belgian Sheepdog Breed History

 In 1893, the breed was named after the original breeder, Nicholas Rose’s, estate. Located outside of Brussels, the Chateau Groenendael was just as beautiful as the dog itself. Because the name Groenendael is a bit difficult for some to remember, the Belgian Sheepdog came to exist. This name is fitting as the dogs were originally used as sheep herders in the Belgian countryside. As one of four sheep dog varieties, the Malinois, the Tervuren, the Laekenois, and the Groenendael, the Belgian Sheepdog was one of the shepherd dogs molded by the Belgian Shepherd Dog club. In September of 1891, this esteemed club came together in order to decide the national criteria for the perfect shepherd dog. They determined that the perfect traits of a shepherd dog were to be medium sized, square with wide-set triangular ears and very brown eyes. The dogs were only to be different in the texture and color of their fur. It is easy to see that the Belgian Sheepdog matches these criteria extremely well and is a stunning dog. The two breeds that blended into the Belgian Sheepdog are the​ Picard d’Uccle, which is from the Belgian Malinois family, and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, which is part of the Hound family. The combination of these dogs created an extremely intelligent and highly athletic dog perfect for herding and show.  The Belgian Sheepdog’s alert and playful personality is certainly one that takes a lot of energy to handle, but is worth it in the long run.

Belgian Sheepdog Breed Appearance

Similar to cold-weather dogs, the Belgian Sheepdog is a double-coated breed. This means that they have a rough top coat, perfect for wicking away water, and a downy undercoat that keeps the dog protected from weather. This undercoat will vary in thickness depending on the area where the Belgian Sheepdog lives. Matching the European ideal for a shepherd dog, the Belgian Sheepdog is a large dog that has wide-set triangular ears and dark brown eyes. The hair on their head and the front of their legs is shorter than the rest of their coat but the most distinguishing feature is the abundant amount of long hair around the neck called a collarette. This is predominately seen in males and is accompanied by a fringe of longer hair trailing down the back of the front legs and thighs. The tail is long and heavy, with a very full appearance. The idea color pattern for a Belgian Sheepdog is either completely black or black with some white accents between the paw pads, on the hind toes, or a strip on the fore chest. Despite any desired look by the professionals, color does not change the dog’s ability to be an amazing companion or work dog. 

Appearance of Belgian Sheepdog
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Belgian Sheepdog eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Belgian Sheepdog nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
black Belgian Sheepdog coat
Black
fawn Belgian Sheepdog coat
Fawn
sable Belgian Sheepdog coat
Sable
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Belgian Sheepdog straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Belgian Sheepdog Breed Maintenance

If you are someone that has allergies or hates the idea of dog hair all over your home, the Belgian Sheepdog may not be the perfect fit for you. Because of their long, double-coat this breed requires a lot of brushing to keep shedding to a minimum. A couple times a year their coat will have a very large shed, typically around the change of seasons. When this happens, it is best to give them a warm bath to help loosen the hair follicles and then brush thoroughly. Doing so will not only keep your Belgian Sheepdog’s fur healthy and bright, but will also calm down excessive shedding and tangling. Besides brushing, regular tooth brushing may also be something you want to look into. Because the Belgian Sheepdog is a breed that tends to experience tartar buildup, cleaning your dog’s teeth weekly (or even daily) can help to prevent bad breath and dental disease. When grooming your dog, pay attention to their skin and fur. If you notice any sores or patchy areas, it may be time to check in with your vet about nutrition or flea management. 

Brushes for Belgian Sheepdog
Pin Brush
Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Belgian Sheepdog requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Belgian Sheepdog Temperament

The Belgian Sheepdog is a gentle and friendly creature who does wonderfully with small children. Despite their kind hearts, Belgian Sheepdogs do have a bit of hound dog inside of their genetic makeup. So, if you are wanting to bring small animals into a home that already has a Belgian Sheepdog it would be a good idea to introduce them while the dog is still young. These dogs do best when they can grow up with something they might otherwise see as a toy. If you already have an older Belgian Sheepdog, don’t worry! This breed is extremely smart and with guidance they can learn how to be gentle with any creature you introduce into the family. Just be sure to monitor any interaction carefully at first to ensure that your dog knows who can and cannot be played with roughly. Besides their friendly side, the Belgian Sheepdog has an extremely high level of energy. This means that a lot of activity will be required in order to keep your dog on his best behavior. If you are someone who doesn’t like a lot of physical activity, you may want to think about getting a different breed. The Belgian Sheepdog will need at least an hour of physical and mental stimulation in order to wear him out and keep him out of trouble. This, paired with their amazing intelligence, makes this breed perfect for show competitions and work force animals. They are easy to train and can learn from something as small as a facial expression! If you bring a Belgian Sheepdog into your life you will be receiving a wonderful companion that is loyal, strong, smart, and will keep you on your toes.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
9 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Belgian Sheepdog Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Belgian Sheepdog Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Belgian Sheepdog at six months
Male Belgian Sheepdog size stats at six months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 25 lbs
Female Belgian Sheepdog size stats at six months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 17 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Belgian Sheepdog at 12 months
Male Belgian Sheepdog size stats at 12 months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 37 lbs
Female Belgian Sheepdog size stats at 12 months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 27 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Belgian Sheepdog at 18 months
Male Belgian Sheepdog size stats at 18 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 60 lbs
Female Belgian Sheepdog size stats at 18 months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 47 lbs

Top Belgian Sheepdog Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Belgian Sheepdog breeders of 2018.
Top Belgian Sheepdog breeder Sans Branco Belgian Sheepdog
Sans Branco Belgian Sheepdog
Dahlonega, Georgia
Top Belgian Sheepdog breeder Shetara Belgian Sheepdogs
Shetara Belgian Sheepdogs
Creighton, Missouri
Top Belgian Sheepdog breeder Black Ice Belgian Sheepdogs
Black Ice Belgian Sheepdogs
Sequim, Washington
Top Belgian Sheepdog breeder Blackforest Belgian Sheepodgs
Blackforest Belgian Sheepodgs
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Belgian Sheepdog breeder Sarron Belgian Sheepdog
Sarron Belgian Sheepdog
Beavercreek, Ohio

Belgian Sheepdog Owner Experiences

Allegra
2 Months
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Very smart and very good with childrens
4 months, 3 weeks ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Chase
Canoeing
Frizbee
Swim
Hike
keep away
Run
Walk
Playing Ball
These are incredibly intelligent and curious dogs. Groenendals are related to the malinois and the tervuren, both used in police work because of their intelligence and naturally alpha type personalities. These are dogs which need to be well trained, and require a person in their life to take the alpha role. Ours constantly tries to challenge authority, and will hesitate to obey orders from those she does not recognize as out ranking her in our "pack". That said, they are very fun dogs, with a ton of personality. They will constantly surprise you with their quickness and intelligence. Be prepared for them to learn to open doors, and other such mischievousness. In public, our dog is shy with strangers and other dogs. At home, we sometimes have trouble with her picking fights with our older dog, in an effort to establish dominance. On walks, she is very well behaved, because she was trained from a young age to heel, but she does become distracted by squirrels or cats, and will pull on the leash to try to chase them. We use a pressure collar with her. To keep her out of trouble, we are working on teaching her agility. She learns quickly, but is often skittish of the obstacles at first. Treats are a good motivator.
5 months, 4 weeks ago
1 Month
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Belgian Shepherd Dogs are described as highly intelligent, alert, sensitive to everything going on around them and form very strong relationship bonds.[13] They are said to be loyal, intelligent, fun, highly trainable and well suited to family life.[13] They should receive plenty of socializing as puppies and will benefit from regular activity and close interaction with people throughout their lifespan. Their herding heritage gives them a comparatively high energy level, and mental as well as physical exercise is necessary to keep a Belgian happy and healthy. In 2012, the North Wales Police force harnessed a Belgian Shepherd herding behavior, headbutting, in a novel approach to subduing criminals. The dogs are muzzled to prevent bites, and trained to forcefully headbutt targets at the midriff on command, knocking them off balance.[14]
6 months ago
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Sketch of smiling australian shepherd