|Group:||Working Dogs (Group 5)|
|Club:||Belgian Shepherd Dog Club Of Victoria Inc|
|Contact:||Mrs Lesley Longmuir|
Background The Belgian Shepherd Dog is unique in the world of dogs, being the only breed to have four separate varieties. Structurally they are all the same and differ only in coat and colour. Thus we have the long coated black - the Groenendael, the long coated other than black - the Tervueren, the short coated - the Malinois and the rough coated - the Laekenois. First recognised as a breed in 1891, the Belgian Shepherd Dog was originally bred to herd sheep, and is a medium sized dog that is accustomed to the open-air life and built to resist the bad weather of the season and atmospheric variations so frequent in the Belgian climate.
Average Lifespan When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. The Belgian Shepherd Dog can live to 13-15 years of age.
Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament By the harmony of its shape and the proud carriage of head, the Belgian Shepherd Dog must give the impression of that robust elegance which has become the heritage of the selected representatives of a working breed. They combine the valuable qualities of the best guard dog for property with the instinctive aptitude for guarding flocks. When necessary they are, without hesitation, an obstinate and ardent protector of their master. They are vigilant and attentive, their look alert and inquiring, denoting their intelligence. Continually on the move in ever increasing circles best describes the Belgian Shepherd Dog. Most Belgians appear to have a natural affinity for water and will always accompany you for a swim.
Compatibility with other pets The Belgian Shepherd Dog can live in perfect harmony with other pets but this is dependent on the individual dog’s nature and also how it is brought up to accept other animals.
Care Requirements Although the Belgian Shepherd Dog has a relatively low maintenance coat they still need regular attention to enable them to look their best and feel comfortable. A good brush every couple of days when shedding or once a week when not shedding will keep mats from appearing and will make your dog feel comfortable as well as look its best at all times. The bitches generally shed twice a year and males once. The Belgian Shepherd Dog is an active dog that requires physical exercise and mental stimulation combined with kind but firm handling. They are easily trained and excel in obedience, agility and tracking as well as herding.
Please Take Note The Belgian Shepherd Dog forms strong bonds with their owner and are thus more sensitive to their owner’s reaction. Following from this it is obvious that a Belgian needs to "live with" its family rather than in isolation somewhere in the grounds or left in the house alone for many hours a day. Unfortunately we all must work, and if you feel that the dog is spending too much time on its own it might benefit from a companion. When investigating the purchase of a Belgian Shepherd Dog care needs to be taken to ensure that all breeding stock has been x-rayed for Hip Dysplasia and scores are suitable for breeding. Viewing the parents of your potential puppy is an excellent idea as it can give an idea of what your puppy may possibly develop into. It is also extremely important to socialise your puppy with people, dogs, other animals and as many different situations as possible to ensure a well-adjusted and happy pet. Special precautions are needed with anaesthetics. Advise your vet of this on your first visit so they are aware of this in the event of an emergency.
Ideal Owner/s People who want an active and devoted companion that will return their love and be part of the family. Whether a companion for a single person or the family pet surrounded by children, the Belgian Shepherd Dog enjoys life to the fullest and will provide many hours of enjoyment/companionship. As with all dogs, young children and pets should always be supervised when together.
In Conclusion If after speaking to breeders and owners and meeting their dogs you decide that the Belgian Shepherd Dog is the breed for you, please make contact with the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club of Victoria Inc. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows 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.