Belgian Sheepdog – An Amazing Herding Dog Breed

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Belgian Sheepdog

Belgian Sheepdog is a large to medium sized herding dog. When the people got to know about its potential, they started using it for police work also. It also makes a delightful family dog. During the World War 2 they were used as message carriers, cart pullers and trackers. They are also therapy dogs and recommended by doctors to people who are suffering from anxiety attacks and depression. The breed should be essentially solid black in color with acceptable portion of white marking. Its distinctive shiny black coat makes it one of the most beautiful herding dogs. It might be intimidating to you but its hair is also used in knitting sweater, socks, hat and Afghans. This black beauty is suitable for active owners who can devote time to their dog. This dog comes in following four varieties:

  1. The Belgian Groenendael – This dog possesses a long black color coat.
  2. The Belgian Tervuren – This dog possesses a mahogany/fawn colored long haired coat.
  3. The Belgian Malinois – This dog possesses a short haired coat which is mahogany/fawn in color.
  4. The Belgian Laekenois – This dog possesses a rough haired coat which is in fawn in color.

Origin

This breed belongs to late 19th century when breeders were engaged in developing dog breed’s that would represent their country. In Belgium they developed a dog which was strongest of all herding dog. Belgian Sheepdog became a matter of pride and nationalism to them. Soon the club was formed, “Belgian shepherd club” for the protection and promotion of this breed. At the time of World War they were even used as military dogs and custom dogs.

Belgian Sheepdog Facts For Kids & Characteristics

  1. The breed belongs to Belgium and is a herding dog
  2. The dog tends to be bouncy and rambunctious in nature which makes it unsuitable for first time dog owners
  3. They are people oriented dog and should never be chained outside the house
  4. They are average shedders and require alternate day brushing.
  5. The coat is essentially black in color
  6. They have strong protection instincts that make it an amazing watch and guard dog
  7. Their lifespan is around 10 to 14 years of age
  8. They tend to be 61 – 66 cm tall
  9. They weigh around 25 – 30 kg
  10. They are not hypoallergenic in nature
  11. They are loyal, energetic, and lovable dogs
  12. They are also considered as the most supreme herding dogs
  13. Their price is around $1000 to $1500.

Appearance

This black beauty possesses a muscular and sturdily built up body. They are squarely proportioned means height is equal to length. They have an elongated face with long muzzle. Eyes are thoughtful and dark black. Ears are of medium length which set atop its head. Tail is long and should not be docked. Coat should be solid black in color with acceptable limited white markings.

Size and Weight

Male stand at a height of 24 to 26 inches while female is around 22 to 24 inches tall. The average weight of both the breeds should be between 45 to 65 pounds.

Coat and Color

They possess double coat which is dense and thick. The top coat is long and straight. Undercoat is of medium size and soft like velvet. The top coat is rough to touch which helps the dog to withstand extreme cold condition. The thickness of the coat can vary from area to area. The preferred color of its coat is solid black. Some dogs sports white markings of toes, chest and feet pads which is acceptable.

Belgian Sheepdog Temperament

  1. Personality – The dog can be trained to do any task. Its lovable and protective nature makes it the best family dog. The dog can never sit ideally. It tends to move, run or bounce in home. Being alert and attentive in nature, you can trust this dog as watch dog. With children they tend to be playful and cheerful.
  2. Behavior – Committing to this dog means committing to an active lifestyle. The dog has a habit of chasing bikes, cars and running behind animals and strangers. They have an inborn protective trait so they are wary of strangers and can hurt them. Early socialization skills are must for this breed. They also tend to be chewers and barkers if their exercise demand or opportunity to vent out their energy is not fulfilled.
  3. Trainability – Training lessons need to be fun oriented. They get bored easily so you need to focus its mind on learning lessons. Never ever be cruel and rude to your dog. This can hamper its mentality which can lead to destructive behavior in them. It can read owner’s facial expression so don’t get surprised when it gets one step ahead of the person teaching skills.
  4. Activities Requirement – 1 to 2 hours of vigorous exercise is necessary for them. Even after that the dog will not remain still at home. Being a herding dog they have the drive to keep on running and walking. For this reason, it is essential to have yard or lawn where the dog can have its own time. 

Feeding

Being a large energetic dog, its requirement of protein and fat are more. Make sure to give premium quality food to your dog. Fresh water should always be kept alongside the dog’s den.

Lifespan 

This breed lives around 10 to 14 years of age.

Health Issues

The dog is hypoallergenic breed. It is a healthy breed and is not prone to any serious health issues. Common health problems related to all dogs are- epilepsy, deafness, cataracts, allergies, hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, thyroid, diabetes etc.

Grooming and Caring

They require daily brushing of coat to prevent formation of mats and to keep dead hair in control. Twice the year they will blow out their entire coat. Warm water bath can help to reduce the lose hair and will keep the dog’s odor at bay. As they are active dogs, so they naturally wear off their nails but if you hear ‘click’ sound on floor, trim its nails immediately. Brushing its teeth and cleaning its ears should also be included in grooming.

Habitat

The dog thrives in a house accompanied with yard which fenced high. It thrives well in a cold environment.

Pet Names

  1. Jaadu
  2. Lucky
  3. Annabelle
  4. Dexter
  5. Doremon

Things To Consider Before Buying Belgian Sheepdog

Pros

  1. An immensely popular and mesmerizing herding dog. They are also considered as strongest herding dog
  2. Its lovable and funny nature makes it a great family dog
  3. They are highly protective in nature and a great watch dog
  4. They are versatile and can learn any skills taught by the trainer
  5. They are playful and protective around children.

Cons

  1. They tend to possess dog’s odor and twice a month bathing is recommended
  2. They need active owners and large area where they can run and bounce
  3. They are not hypoallergenic in nature
  4. They tend to be aggressive and destructive in nature when their exercise needs are not fulfilled
  5. They are wary of strangers and can also attack them.

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