Belgian Sheepdog

August 3, 2020 // 7 minute read

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Belgian Sheepdogs are medium-sized dogs known for their beautifully elegant look. These dogs stand at a height of 27 inches, and their whole bodies are covered with abundant black hair. Other than that, the Belgian Sheepdog also features a bright pair of eyes and a bushy tail.

Belgian Sheepdogs are adorable dogs with great versatility. They are gentle when surrounded by family, but as they are herding dogs, they need exercise. They are still best paired with active families who can provide them exactly this.

First-time dog owners may find him hard to handle. However, if you’re the right fit, you’ll surely get a loving, loyal, and energetic companion. Be sure to give him enough time and attention, and they’ll surely repay you.

Belgian Sheepdog Breed

Belgian Sheepdog Breed Statistics

Dog Breed GroupHerding Group
Breed SizeMedium
Height24-26 inches (male); 22-24 inches (female)
Weight55-75 pounds (male); 45-60 pounds (female)
Lifespan12-14 years

Belgian Sheepdog Breed Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Belgian Sheepdog History

Belgian Sheepdogs, as their name implies, are one of the four varieties of Belgian dogs. They are known as the Groenendael, pertaining to the Belgian village where they were developed.

For years, Belgian dogs have only been classified as one. It was only in 1891 when the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club was founded that the dogs were classified into different breeds for the first time. These breeds were the Belgian Sheepdog, the Malinois, the Tervuren, and the Laekenois.

Nicolas Rose was known to be the primary breeder of the Belgian Sheepdog. It is believed that her kennel dates way back in 1893. She owns an estate named Chateau Groenendael, where the original name of the breed came from.

It was in the 1900s when the Groenendael first appeared in the United States. During World War I, they were used as messenger dogs, and working dogs often asked to pull ambulance and machine-gun carts.

The dog’s popularity rose after the war, and by 1919, the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America was founded. Unfortunately, the depression era caused their numbers to decrease again. That was until after the second world war ended, and many breeders took an interest in the breed.

The number of Belgian Sheepdogs slowly increased, and by 1959, it was recognized by the American Kennel Club. The breed ranks 125th as the most popular dog breed in the US and remains one of the most versatile.

Belgian Sheepdogs have served as show dogs, athletes, police officers, soldiers, search and rescue dogs, watchdogs, and, last but not least, a playful family companion.

belgian sheepdog dog breed


Belgian Sheepdog Temperament

Belgian Sheepdogs are generally known to be bright, watchful, and serious dogs. Compared to other Belgian Shepherd dogs, Belgian sheepdogs have typically the softest temperament. However, that doesn’t eliminate the fact that they can still be challenging to live with.

These dogs are known to be multi-talented. They are known to excel in several jobs and can be very demanding. They can be hard to control and continuously in motion, which is why it’s only natural that an experienced owner handles him.

Belgian Sheepdogs are devoted dogs to their families. They especially want to be included in family activities and will demand your time and attention. If left alone for long periods, they can be destructive.

You’ll find them always trying to keep toddlers in one spot, but other than that, they are not aggressive. They may be great playmates for older children who know how to behave. They are also friendly with other dogs.

They are protectors and can be very territorial. It’s essential to socialize them at an early age, so his aloofness to strangers won’t turn into aggressive behavior. Training can be challenging, but it helps to be consistent and firm.

Belgian Sheepdog Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Belgian Sheepdogs can generally eat anything. However, it’s crucial to serve them with high-quality and well-balanced meals daily. These meals should contain the essential nutrients that your dog would require for healthy growth. Proteins should be a significant component of the meal. You can get these from high-quality animal meat such as lamb, beef, or poultry. Next are fats that you can get from fish oils. Then carbohydrates which would help support their energy. You can add fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet, which will aid in his digestion. It’s also important to note any allergies and make sure to stay away from those ingredients. If you’d like to feed your dog some dog food, it’s essential to choose the premium-quality ones. These shouldn’t contain fillers and additives that can be harmful to your dog.
  • Grooming: Belgian Sheepdogs have double-layer medium-length coats that shed seasonally. It’s effortless to maintain and would only need a few times a week of brushing. This will be a great bonding moment between you and your dog, plus it helps remove dirt, excess hair, mats, and tangles. Baths can be given occasionally unless your dog becomes too dirty or messy. However, ears should be cleaned regularly to prevent ear infection. You might need to do the brushing every day when the shedding season comes. Nails should be trimmed regularly and kept short. Long nails may cause pain and discomfort, especially during walking and running.
  • Exercise: Belgian Sheepdogs are energetic dogs that require an ample amount of exercise daily. They love spending time with their owners, so you can’t let them run around in the backyard. You need to create daily activities that both of you can do together. This can be in the form of chasing balls, long runs, or even training for dog sport competitions. You can showcase your dog skills in agility, tracking, herding, and obedience.
  • Health: Belgian Sheepdogs are generally healthy dogs. But like a lot of dog breeds, they too are prone to several health conditions. As dog owners, it’s essential to be aware of what these are. Joint problems like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are common to dogs of this size. They may also suffer eye disease like progressive retinal atrophy. Other common issues are epilepsy, cancer, anesthesia sensitivity, and hypothyroidism. It’s recommended to have your dog take some screening tests to detect certain diseases early. You can also meet one of your dog’s parents to be aware of hereditary diseases that your dog might get.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Belgian Sheepdog is 12-14 years.

belgian sheepdog care

Famous Belgian Sheepdogs

  • Indy: A Belgian Sheepdog awarded of the Jet Award of Merit for Heroism when she saved her owner

Fun Facts about Belgian Sheepdogs

  • Belgian Sheepdogs originated in Belgium around the 1800s.
  • They are one of the four varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dogs.
  • They were initially named Groenendael, the area where they were developed.
  • They were originally developed to be herding dogs.
  • These dogs are multi-talented; they are show dogs, athletes, police officers, soldiers, search and rescue dogs, and watchdogs.
  • They were recognized as a separate breed by the American Kennel Club in 1959.

Check Out Other Herding Dog Breeds:
Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, Bearded Collies, Beaucerons, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Tervuren, Bergamasco Sheepdog, Berger Picards, Border Collie, Bouviers des Flandres, Briards, Canaan Dog, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Collie, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Finnish Lapphund, German Shepard, Miniature American Shepherd, Norwegian Buhunds, Old English Sheepdog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, Puli, Pumi, Pyrenean Shepherd, Shetland Sheepdog, Spanish Water Dog, Swedish Vallhunds

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