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The Belgian Shepherd is unique in every way. This breed has four types, each of which has its features - bright, gentle, and therefore appreciated by many dog breeders. In the dog57 dog breed registry, we'll show you what a Belgian Shepherd looks like, talk about his origins, personality, and physical characteristics as well as his training and the most common diseases he usually suffers from. You'll find all about the Belgian Shepherd below. Read. 


Information about the Belgian Shepherd 


Breed Name: Belgian Shepherd
Country of Origin: Belgium
Breed Origin Time: 1891 Year
Weight: male 25-30 kg, 20-25 kg
Height (height at withers): Male 60-66cm, 56-62cm
Belgian Shepherds are perfect keepers in every way. Dogs fearlessly protect the property entrusted to them and, if necessary, raise a ringing bark.
Representatives of the breed are famous for their mobility and therefore need regular active walking for at least one hour a day.
The dog gets along well with other animals, but in the case of cats and small decorative rodents, problems can still arise.
The Belgian Shepherd is well suited for a family where there are children, but do not expect enthusiastic participation in games from the pet.
Dogs need early socialization and proper upbringing, which is best done under the strict supervision of a professional.
Belgian Shepherds are highly intelligent and can be perfectly trained if the owner is firm enough in character.
Of all the breed classes, not only do Malinois need meticulous coat care.
Shepherd is not suitable for novice dog breeders.  


The Belgian Shepherd personifies the love of freedom and an indomitable lust for life, which can be observed with the naked eye. These traits were inherent in the breed from the very beginning of its existence, when shepherds were used as guards and shepherds, perfectly coping with the task. To this day, animals successfully realize their potential in many areas of social life. At the same time, dogs have gained fame as friendly companions who will accompany their owner during a walk, morning run, or just a trip to the store. This breed isn't the easiest to work with, but if you have a wealth of dog breeding experience behind you, go for it! 


Belgian Shepherd Breed History 


It seems that the history of this herding dog must be rooted in antiquity. And indeed: even in written sources of the seventeenth century, there are references to four-legged helpers of shepherds who followed many flocks. Thus, the first description of Belgian Shepherds (or at least very similar dogs) dates back to 1650. However, the breed is relatively young and has been around for a little over a hundred years. How is that possible?
Everything is explained by the fact that in ancient times there were no 
people who were intentionally engaged in the breeding of the shepherd.

Moreover, it was not considered a prestigious breed. Representatives of the European aristocracy did not bother to create dog clubs, while their believers preferred to keep representatives of other breeds as pets. The lion's share of the shepherd's breeding was accounted for by the peasants, who attached great importance to the working qualities of dogs, and not to their attractive external appearance.

By the second half of the nineteenth century, the shepherd already had a huge palette of colors, but it was still valued only for its purpose - the ability to herd a flock, if necessary, gather sheep together and protect them from the attack of wild animals. The attitude of Belgian farmers to these incredibly intelligent dogs was no exception. Everything changed with the onset of the Industrial Revolution.

That moment was a turning point: Belgium's economy was rebuilt, and the rapid pace of urbanization forced the rural population to move to the big cities. This hurt the popularity of pastoral dog breeds, which have lost their relevance. 

The Belgian Shepherd owes its appearance to the wave of nationalism that swept across Europe in the nineteenth century. At that time, many countries sought to create a breed of dog that would become their national treasure and radically different from others. The end of September 1891 was marked by the creation in Brussels of the satirical organization BSDC - the Belgian Shepherd Lovers Club. In November of the same year, the first dog show was held in the city of Kurgan, where more than a hundred were presented. Among the guests of the event was Professor Adolphe Riol, who was involved in the study of dogs and plans in the future to introduce a specific breed for each region of Belgium.

Only a third of the sponsors present at the show were recommended to scientists for further breeding. Riyal chose the medium size, not paying attention to the length and structure of the coat - only its quality is important. In 1892, the professor introduced the world to the first breed standard for the Belgian Shepherd Dog. The selection of dogs lasted about two decades. Initially, biologists identified three types of subspecies depending on color.

This prompted dog breeders, whose wings did not fit into any of the three categories, to create a separate satirical circle and continue the independent breeding of animals. The confrontation lasted for several years until there was a merging of clubs and, as a result, a change in the breed standard. To this day, it offers four classes of dogs:

1. Grunendal- black color with a medium-length coat. They owe their name to a small village near Brussels.

2. Lakenois - ash-gray color with long hair. A variety of the breed is named after the historic district of Laken in the north of the capital.

3. Malinois - charcoal or brown-yellow color with short hair. They inherited the name from the city of Malina (Michelina).

4. Tervuren - Charcoal red with long hair. The name of this class of breed comes from the city of Tervuren, 8 km from the capital.  


Disputes about the Belgian Shepherd do not subside so far. Some breeders believe that these are different breeds of dogs, the Union of Dog Handlers - this is the same. In general, it is customary to adhere to the second view.
The next stage on the way to the formation of the breed was the appeal of breeders to one of the largest dog organizations of that time - the Royal Society of St. Hubert (RSSH). The request for recognition of the breed was denied. It wasn't until the final update of the standards in 1901 that the Belgian sponsor was officially recognized and registered by members of the RSSH. For each of the four varieties, criteria were formulated that mainly determined the color and length of the coat.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, representatives of the breed were among the first to enter the Belgian police service. At the same time, the Shepherd was used to patrol the state border and arrest smugglers. In 1907, grunendal appeared in the United States. A year later, representatives of the breed were already actively patrolling the streets of France.

During the First World War, Belgian shepherds played an equally important role. Animals responsibly carried out guard duty, were military postmen, and helped take the wounded from the battlefield. At that time, people took a different look at the breed and saw important features in it: courage, loyalty, and strength. Gradually, the Belgian shepherds gained the love of the whole world. However, it should be noted that the popularity of the breed is uneven. The most preferred remain grunendal and malinois. 


Бельгийская овчарка тервюрен


The appearance of the Belgian Shepherd



Belgian Shepherd belongs to a large breed of dogs. These animals look elegant and harmonious, despite the rather large dimensions. Thus, the height of males at the withers reaches 61-66 cm, while it usually grows to 56-61 cm.

The weight of the Belgian Shepherd ranges from 20-to 30 kg.


head and skull


The dog's head is harmoniously built, but at the same time, it looks completely dry. Moderately elongated, high set. The skull is proportional to the head in all respects. The forehead of the animal is flattened and does not have a pronounced midline. When the Belgian Shepherd's head is turned in profile, it becomes noticeable that the lines of the muzzle and forehead are parallel to each other. The cheekbones are poorly defined, but at the same time, they are distinguished by developed muscles. The same is true of the animal's eyebrow arches.


snout


The shepherd's snout is not much longer than the skull and gradually narrows towards the end. Stop moderation. The nostrils are wide open, the nasal lobe has a rich black pigmentation. Thin lips are tightly pressed to the jaws, the mucous membrane is distinguished by the absence of pink areas.


azan

 

Planted high, it has an almost perfect triangular shape. Their tips are directed, while the bowls are smoothly rounded at the base. When a Belgian Shepherd is disturbed by something, the ears stand upright and straight.


the eyes


They differ in medium-size and almond-shaped shapes. The pigmentation of the iris is brown, the richer it is, the better. The eyelids are "summarized" in black. Belgian Shepherds have a lively and inquisitive appearance, from which no important details will escape.


jaws and teeth


White teeth are tightly placed in well-developed jaws. The standard provides for scissor-shaped and straight bites (while the latter are less preferred, but are increasingly chosen by shepherds). Complete dental formula. The absence of the first premolars is not considered a defect.


neck


The straight and somewhat elongated neck of the Belgian Shepherd Dog is set high and is characterized by the absence of hanging. It extends to the shoulder blades and has a smoothly curved neck. 


corps

The massive body of the animal does not look heavy and is distinguished by compliance with certain proportions. Therefore, in males, the length of the body corresponds to the height. In, the first parameter may be slightly larger. The chest is of moderate width but at the same time massive, as in all dogs, which are distinguished by excellent endurance. The ribs are smoothly curved. The pronounced withers turns into a straight line from above. The abdomen is relatively taut, the throttle is located at a slight angle. The muscles are embossed.

Tail

Medium in length has a wide base. In a calm state, the animal keeps the tail down, only the tip is slightly bent up at the level of the hock joints. In motion, the tail rises, without bending or taking the form of a hook.

front limbs

The strong limbs of the Sheepdog have a strong backbone and well-developed muscles. The long shoulder blades and shoulders form a fairly wide angle for the movement of the elbows. The forearms are surrounded by strong muscles. The short carpal metacarpals turn into rounded claws with curved and tightly pressed fingers. Strong claws have rich dark pigmentation.

India's extremities

Located perpendicular to the ground. Broad hips and lower legs are moderately muscular. At the same time, the latter is bent to the hock joints to a sufficient extent. The presence of profit fingers is undesirable. Paws have an almost oval shape due to compressed fingers, which end in fleshy pads.

Movement method

The Belgian Shepherd is very active and has a habit of picking up a lot of space on the go. At the same time, due to its temperament, the dog does not adhere to a direct direction. The preferred pace is a calm step and a trot, less often - a sprint. The movements are vibrant and lively.

fleece cover

Although there are four classes of breed, in all cases the coat of dogs varies in density. This is where the similarities between the Belgian Shepherd varieties end:

1. The Grunendal is the owner of a long, smooth coat with a thick undercoat, which protects the dog from bad weather. No shiny hair.

2. The Lakenua has a tough, rough-to-the-touch coat, which is often shaggy. On the limbs and muzzle of the animal, the coat is much shorter.

3. Malinois is a type of short-haired breed. Long hair is allowed around the neck of the animal (where it forms a small collar from the ears to the throat), on the hips (oches), and tail.

4. Tervuren is similar in coat type to the Grunendal, but on the head and lower part of the extremities the coat is much shorter. Eyebrows, mustache, and beard are noticeable on the muzzle.


color


The color of the animal depends on its belonging to a particular class:

1. Gruenendal wool is a rich black color. In this case, white dots may be present on the chest and fingers.

2. Lakenoua has reddish with inclusions of white color. On the muzzle and tail, dark shades of hair are allowed.

3. Malinois - owners of wool of coal-red color. The muzzle and ears of the animal are framed by a black "mask".

4. The color of the Tervuren is similar to the Malinois, but the dog's coat is as long as that of the Gruenendal . A white mark may be made on the chest and fingers.


Possible vices


Any deviation from the breed standard is considered a defect. Among the most common:

Partial pigmentation of the eyelids, nasal lobes, and lips.

cowardly or aggressive behavior;

Weakness of the hook joints.

Light pigmentation of the iris of the eyes.

asymmetric "mask" on the muzzle;

lack of a thick layer;

Slight bite.

Hook tail

Straight shoulders.

The unqualified vices of Belgian Shepherds include:

veiled tailor its absence from birth;

excessively aggressive or cowardly;

white dots on the body (except for the fingers and chest);

Artificially set or hanging ears.

Clear snack or underbite.

lack of three premolars; 


Is a Belgian shepherd a good family dog? 


The Belgian Shepherd is a very multifaceted breed for the reason that each of the four classes has its unique character. At first, it doesn't catch your eye. However, when communicating directly with a Belgian Shepherd of all kinds, you will easily notice that they behave slightly differently, although in general, they combine the individual characteristics of each other.


Бельгийская овчарка с телочками



Grendel is ideal for a guard role. From the close attention of the Shepherd Dog will not escape any criminal, whose appearance will notify others with loud barking. Feelings of fear or shyness towards strangers are not inherent in the Groningendale. However, in the presence of the family, the shepherd is cautious and does not immediately gain confidence in the person whom he sees for the first time in his life. Otherwise, the Grunendal is a mobile who is best known for his tendency to nurture and nurture every member of his family. The ideal environment for this Belgian Shepherd Dog would be people who prefer to lead an active lifestyle thus providing him with the opportunity to extend his claws abundantly. Otherwise, Grunendal will spray the accumulated energy on its own - and not always in the right direction. Give your pet a ball or frisbee, occupy him by developing herding and searching skills - and the Belgian's happiness will have no limits! 


Laekenois combines contrasting qualities: playfulness and seriousness, vigilance and detachment, the desire to move mountains, and the desire to lie at the feet of the owner. Like the Gruenendal, this variety of Belgian Shepherd perfectly copes with its guard duties and, if necessary, will enter into a fierce battle with the enemy, wanting to protect the owner. Lakenoua gets along well with other pets if raised alongside them. However, it is better to refrain from decorative mice, chinchillas, hamsters, or parrots. As for the hobby, the Belgian blackened prefers active walks in the fresh air, where it is necessary to give the animal some physical activity.

 

Malina, like his colleagues, needs a regular "shake" to release the accumulated energy. Otherwise, this perfectly balanced and obedient will follow the owner on his heels and greedily grab every word. Belgian Malinois is not a pet that prefers solitude and quiet sleep in a remote corner of the apartment. The owner of the shepherd should pay as much attention to him as possible while remaining a strict but loving owner. However, the former may not be necessary: ​​Of all the breed types, the Malinois has gained fame as a dog with a more compliant personality. 


On the other hand, Tervuren is known for his impulsive and lively temperament. It is noteworthy that these animals were initially distinguished by a shy and shy character, which was almost eliminated as a result of the selection of appropriate breeding. Belgian Tervuren actively reacts to any stimulus, so in the blink of an eye, they are engaged in a pleasant game with the owner or pursuit of the offender. By the way, this shepherd experiences a maximum degree of affection for only one of the family members, so becoming this very person is your main task. Tervurens do not tolerate loneliness and always try to compensate for it with torn room slippers or a broken vase. 


Of the common character traits inherent in all types of the breed, there are:

the ability of the dog to make decisions independently;

Allergy - the Belgian Shepherd reacts sharply to any critical note of the owner;

excellent adaptation to new conditions;

Tendency to dominate other animals. 


Education and Training

The Belgian Shepherd belongs to the breeds of dogs that need proper socialization. In this case, you should start with a puppy. Arm yourself with insight: it is she who will help to feel and understand the psychology of the pet. If you are not confident in your abilities, seek advice from dog breeders who have many years of experience in breeding and keeping a Belgian Shepherd. Note: They are more docile and calm than males who like to show an independent personality.

 

It is recommended to start raising a puppy from the first day of his appearance in the house. At first, you should not tire the child with long walks and active games. If the Belgian is happily stretched out on his favorite bed and is looking forward to the long-awaited rest, then there is no need to bother the child in vain. He has not yet learned how to respond to the nickname, walk beside you on a belt and not loosen himself before the appointed time.

Your pet's name should be brief and associated only with positive emotions. Don't address the puppy by name or make a remark or scold over damaged items. In this case, the child will reluctantly respond to the nickname, because in advance he expects unpleasant actions from you.

As for the training of the Belgian Shepherd, some nuances depending on the type of breed.

For Grunendal, there is no better profession than performing the tasks assigned to him. The dog perceives training as a game of benefit, so it does not create additional problems. However, the independent nature of the animal can be an obstacle to achieving the goal (especially for a soft person). Start training as early as possible and refrain from long breaks, otherwise, you will not achieve obedience from your pet. In rare cases, professional intervention may be required to steer the Belgian Shepherd's activities in the right direction.


Laekenois yield too many types of training and gladly take on the activity offered by the owner, whether he is working with obstacles or chasing prey. This dog is famous for being diligent: instead, you will get tired of inventing new tasks for the pet. Positive training methods are your main weapon. Excessive perseverance and a stern tone will have the opposite effect: the animal will not listen to your commands. The Belgian Laekenois is the most flexible material: from it, you can breed a policeman, a brave rescuer, or a wonderful guard.


In addition to competent training, Malinois needs regular training on the location of young animals. So the dog will not only get used to communicating with his relatives but will also learn how to properly carry out commands under the supervision of a professional trainer. Malinois quickly absorb new information due to their highly developed observational and intelligence. However, these same traits can play a cruel joke on the animal owner if he cannot devote enough time to the shepherd. As in Groningendale and Lakinoa, the Belgian Malinois needs early training.


Tervuren strives for dominance and independence more than other types of Belgian Shepherds. These dogs need an intense obedience training session. It is necessary to avoid excessive domineering and rudeness: the animal will perceive such behavior of the owner with hostility - and indisputable obedience can be forgotten. Consistency, patience, and fairness are your faithful companions in pet training.


Care and maintenance


Caring for a Belgian Shepherd is very time-consuming - mainly due to the dog's coat. Representatives of the breed molt twice a year - in summer and winter, so during this period it is necessary to carefully comb the dog. The rest of the time, it is enough to repeat the procedure once or twice a week, depending on the age of the animal. At the same time, it is not recommended to buy a comb with frequent teeth: such devices will not provide accurate removal of dead hair. When combing the dog, lead the comb slowly and in the direction of the coat: this will help to avoid torn cloaks.

 

Please note: Belgian Shepherd care varies depending on which class the dog belongs to.

Grunendal is prone to molting in abundance, so be prepared to find wool everywhere: on clothes, in bed, and even on the kitchen table. During this period, you should comb the dog every day.

Laekenois - the happy owner of curly hair - should be trimmed twice a year to make the animal look neat and well-groomed. For combing, it is better to purchase a massaging brush with hard and rare teeth.

Of all the types of Belgian Shepherds, the Malinois is the most unpretentious in the care, because its coat is short and smooth. Brush your pet once a week. This is enough to remove dead hair and give the dog a neat appearance.

The double coat of Tervuren is prone to the frequent formation of barbs, so it is recommended to comb the shepherd at least twice a week. In addition, you will have to periodically cut the hair on the paws between the fingers.

 

Try to bathe the Belgian Shepherd as rarely as possible: even special shampoos can lead to the fact that the animal's coat will lose its toughness and a pleasant matte. If it seems to you that the pet smells of "dog", use special means to eliminate the unpleasant odor.

Regularly check your dog's eyes and ears for secretions. To remove them, you should use a cotton swab soaked in warm water or tea leaves. In the event of infectious disease, you should immediately contact a veterinarian.

Since the Belgian Shepherd spends a lot of time outdoors, his claws gnaw on their own. In rare cases, you may need a claw cutter for large breeds. After the claws are shortened, walk along their sharp edges with a nail file to remove the serrations.

Caring for the animal's oral cavity is no less important. To brush your teeth, you must purchase a special brush or nozzle on your finger. It is strictly not recommended to use "human" toothpaste: hygiene products for dogs are sold in almost every pet store.

 

As for the diet of the Belgian Shepherd, it should be varied. The complete development of the dog is provided by proteins of animal and vegetable origin. No less important are carbohydrates - the main source of energy for your pet. A similar role is played by fats. If you prefer to feed your dog natural food, then you need to "dilute" it with a vitamin-mineral complex, without which the animal's body will not function properly. Pay attention to the fact that dry food is poorly absorbed by the sheepdog's digestive system and can cause bloating or cramps.


In feeding, it is important to adhere to a certain regime. Try to fill the pet's bowl at a strictly defined time - and you will not have to feel like a cruel person, ignoring the simple gaze of the dog, aimed at the next treat.

Do not treat the Belgian Shepherd:

river fish in any form;

Dairy products

Raw meat and eggs.

Fruits with stones.

tubular bones.

yeast dough

sweets.

beans.

In the animal's bowl should always be clean water, which must be changed regularly. It is undesirable to give water directly from the tap; Leave it to brew for 6-8 hours. 


Belgian Shepherd Dog Health and Diseases


The Belgian Shepherd is the owner of strong immunity, which is supported by timely vaccination of the animal and regular examinations by a veterinarian. However, some diseases still occur more often than others. of between it:

Thyroid hormone deficiency.

Cramps and bloating.

Joint dysplasia.

epilepsy;

cataract;

Belgian Shepherds are prone to obesity, so do not overfeed your pet, no matter how tearful he asks to fill the bowl.


How to choose a puppy


Choosing a four-legged toddler is a responsible move no matter what breed you ultimately prefer. First of all, ask the breeder to introduce you to the parents of the puppies. This will allow you to understand what qualities and character traits you can count on, and take a child out of this litter. Pay attention to the puppy's age. Ideally, they are weaned from their mother in two months. By that time, the Belgian Shepherd has already formed a comprehensive picture of the world, mental health is beyond doubt.

Now you can begin to get acquainted with shaggy babies. Look for the most active and fast: he certainly will not cause you trouble, often gets sick, or does not want to participate in games and breeding. Excessive shyness and slow behavior should alert the potential owner of the Belgian Shepherd.

And finally: you should not buy a puppy at a bird market, as they will certainly try to attract a low price. In the future, you will spend a lot of money traveling to the best veterinary clinics in the city.

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