Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael)


Brief History
Belgian Shepherds were originally bred to herd sheep, as their name suggests. Development of the breed began in 1891, when varying types of dogs brought together, and selective breeding of similar styles resulted in the development of the four separate varieties. The Belgian Shepherd dog is the only breed to have four separate varieties, differentiated only by coat type, coat length and colour.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.

The average life span is 11 to 15 years.

The Belgian Shepherd should be confident and outgoing in nature. They are not, however, immediately trusting of or affectionate towards strangers. Socialisation and training from an early age is recommended. They have a strong guarding instinct when necessary, however they should be calm and bold otherwise. As with all dogs, supervision when with children essential.

General Breed Description
The Belgian Shepherd are on the large side of medium, an alert, intelligent and active breed which combines elegance and power. The Belgian Shepherd (Groenendael) is a long coated dog of black colour, the Belgian Shepherd (Tervueren) long coated with colour being fawn with a black overlay or grey with a black overlay, both with a black mask, the Belgian Shepherd (Malinois) is short coated of fawn colour with black overlay and black mask, and the Belgian Shepherd (Laekenois) is rough coated of fawn colour with traces of black overlay, mainly on the muzzle and tail.

Coat and Care Requirements
As with any coated breed, some regular maintenance is necessary, and bathing as required. Daily brushing when shedding coat is recommended, and less frequently otherwise.

Height: Males 60 to 66cms, Female: 56 to 62cms.

Weight: Males: 25 to 30kgs, Females 20 to 25kgs.

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Belgian is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Hip Dysplasia (HD), Elbow Dysplasia (ED) and eyes testing.

The Belgian Shepherd is suitable for those who want an active and devoted companion, who will be part of the family. As with all dogs, young children and pets should always be supervised when together. They are generally good with other dogs and cats, once acquainted, if socialised well as a puppy.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to Dogs Australia Breed Standard