Belgian Sheepdog: family guard and companion
Belgian Sheepdog owner review
What can I tell you about Belgian Sheepdog? My husband has always had dogs growing up. I didn’t and wasn’t really looking to get one. But my husband insisted, so we decided we’d get one. My husband wanted a German Shepherd, but then I read about Belgian Sheepdogs and we realized this was our breed.
It turned out to be quite hard to find a puppy. There aren’t that many good breeders (or any breeders) of this breed out there! We had to comb through several;l states to find one.
It took us a few months until we located a breeder and another 6 months or so before we could come to have a look at the puppies!
They were, as you probably guessed, adorable. We chose a boy who seemed to have taken a particular liking to us. We were taken by his large, expressive eyes! Also, Belgian Sheepdogs are so gracious and beautiful, even as puppies.
The first few weeks were a little rough. Our puppy missed his family and cried a lot! But he stayed really close to us all of the time and finally got used to us being his new family.
My biggest advice to a new Belgian Sheepdog owner is to never let your dog get bored! We knew this was a working dog, very active and energetic, and thought that we were ready for it.
This is why we found a professional trainer for Jake and started taking him to classes very early on. They need discipline and a strong hand, to show them who the boss is. You can’t be lazy around this dog.
Jake took classes for about 6 months and it benefited him (and us) so much! He was growing into a well-behaved and very smart dog. After the first 6 months, we began teaching him some guarding commands. We were surprised how quickly he took to it and how aggressive he could actually be when he thought we needed guarding. He has a very strong temperament and really needs training and discipline to keep him in line.
Even though Jake can be quite protective, he loves children and would never hurt a child. He is also very active and loves playing with a ball or anything active, really.
When our child was born, there were a few months when we couldn’t pay as much attention to Jake. Those weren’t very good months for any of us, because Jake almost destroyed half the house. He chewed on everything and was constantly mischievous. We knew it was simply because he wasn’t getting enough attention and active time. It all went to normal again when we were able to devote as much time to Jake as he needed.
Jake is a fantastic dog. We love him very much and he truly is a part of our family. This is a loving, devoted, extremely intelligent breed with excellent working qualities and many talents. They are motivated, hard-working, and capable of just about anything.
However, I would never recommend a Belgian Sheepdog to someone who isn’t ready to put A LOT of work into their dog. I also wouldn’t recommend this dog to an inexperienced dog owner.
They are quite a demanding dog in terms of time and energy investment and they will not thrive if you don’t have time for them! Your house will not thrive either, being chewed up by your Belgian Sheepdog. If you are not completely sure you will have time and energy to give to this dog, please consider an easier breed. This is a special dog and they need a special owner. Only then will the dog be happy, and so will you.
Belgian Sheepdog: a unique breed
Belgian sheepdog: a wonderful family companion and a police dog in one! They can jump up to an apple tree branch and pluck an apple, or so they say! They are agile, powerful, strong, smart, and more. This is a very active, very outgoing, happy and positive dog that always has things to do. But they are also stubborn, determined and not the easiest dog to deal with.
Here are some more facts about Belgian Sheepdogs, as well as what they look like and a little bit of the breed history.
Belgian Sheepdog appearance
Belgian Sheepdog is a stunning combination of physical power, beautiful looks and intelligence. This breed is a national pride of Belgium. There are four types of Belgian Sheepdog: Groenendael (a Shepherd with a long, black coat), Tervuren (a long-coated dog with coat colors other than black), Malinois (Short coated shepherd), and Laekenois (Short coarse coated shepherd).
Belgian Sheepdog has a well-defined head with a long snout and dark nose. The eyes are almond-shaped, of average size. Due to its harmonious body shape and proud head, Belgian Sheepdog makes an impression of an elegant but powerful dog which is one of its distinctive qualities.
The average Belgian Sheepdog stands as tall as 60 cm. The body is powerful but not heavy. The chest is not very wide but deep and characteristic of dogs with high endurance.
Belgian Sheepdogs are active, energetic but cautious dogs. They are always ready for action. Despite being originally bred as sheepdogs, they have evolved to become excellent guard dogs. Today, Belgian SHeep dogs are actively employed in various service work such as police, search and rescue and other occupations. They are excellent at tracking, guarding, and protecting both people and property.
Belgian Sheepdog as a breed
Belgian Sheepdogs were originally bred and raised for shepherding work, to guard and protect herds of cattle, sheep and goats. Today it is more commonly used in various service types of work such as guarding, tracking, protection, police, search and rescue work etc. This is a very talented, capable breed that can thrive in many occupations.
Belgian Sheepdogs are true guard dogs with natural instincts. They are always very cautious (and sometimes even unfriendly) around strangers. But they love their family intensely and are fully devoted to their owner. They usually see one person as the main, primary owner, although they love the whole family very much too.
Belgian Sheepdogs tend to be very intelligent. They are quick learners and have excellent memory and a high IQ. They are very easy to train and are usually quite obedient.
However, these dogs do not tolerate rough discipline or any violence. It doesn’t mean you need to be too soft with the dog, but you also won’t get much from them by yelling at them or being too strict. These are loving, warm outgoing dogs, and they thrive best in an environment where they are loved and respected.
Like some other types of shepherds, these dogs have plenty of energy and can be quite impulsive. However, a well-raised and trained Belgian Shepherd is a great dog for guard work. They are excellent police, search and rescue and guard dogs as well as seeing-eye dogs.
Due to their unique personality and psyche, these dogs can be successful in a very wide variety of tasks, depending on what the dog is trained to do.
It’s one of the “jumpiest” breeds out there: they can cover a barrier of up to 3 meters high! Belgian Sheepdogs tend to have high endurance and are hard to tire out. They are outgoing, sociable, stress-resistant and feisty. They are excellent dogs both as family companions and as working dogs employed in all kinds of service work. They are always happy to please their owner which is another reason why they are so easy to train and a pleasure to work with.
A working type Belgian Sheepdog, of course, is not a dog for just anyone. If a dog has been bred as a working dog, they are usually high energy and require special raising and training to become the best version of themself.
This dog will not thrive in the hands of an inexperienced person who doesn’t have time or desire to train them properly and work with their dog. Such dogs can become a source of problems both for the owner and the society at large. If you don’t need a working dog to accompany you in your career and if you aren’t a professional dog handler/breeder, a working type Belgian Sheepdog would not be a good choice for you. You would be much better off with a simpler, less demanding breed.
Taking care of your Belgian Sheepdog
Belgian Sheepdogs are generally a very healthy breed. They are not demanding and do well in almost any type of climate. They can live both inside and outside even in some of the harsher climates. They rarely get ill. They don’t require much food for sustenance and are generally not very demanding or picky when it comes to food. They also don’t tend to have quite as many allergies as some other breeds.
However, this is a very active dog and they do require lots of exercises to stay physically and emotionally healthy. The best type of activity for Belgian Sheepdogs is training. This way both their mind and body get a proper level of exercise which benefits the dog greatly as well as makes it an easier dog to live with.
This dog has to have something to do to stay happy, otherwise, they get bored and destructive very quickly. A dog that’s not busy and isn’t getting enough attention from the owner very quickly becomes unrestful and can cause issues. If you adopt a Belgian Sheepdog, be prepared to it following you around the house with a constant look of “What else can I do for you, my dear owner?”. And you have to know an answer to this question!
Belgian Sheepdogs have a pretty good lifespan for a large dog. If they are well taken care of, they can live up to 15 years of age, and keep being ina good working state until they are 13 years old. These dogs don’t have any breed-specific illnesses they are particularly susceptible to and do not have a tendency to develop hip dysplasia as many other breeds.
Belgian Sheepdog coat doesn’t require that much grooming and care. You will only need to brush them out during shedding seasons. Their eyes, ears and anal glands have to be watched, as with any other breed. Other than that no special grooming is required.
Belgian Sheepdog: bringing your puppy home
As always, when choosing a Belgian Sheepdog puppy, it is important to choose a respectable, trusted breeder and to visit them and their dogs beforehand. Have a look at the puppies as well as their parents, and, of course, the pedigrees. Make sure that the breeder pays lots of attention to puppies socialization.
Belgian Sheepdogs are extremely sociable and lack of socialization can lead to severe consequences in the dog. For the same reason, make sure to provide ample socialization opportunities to your puppy from the earliest age.
Think twice before adopting a Belgian Sheepdog. This dog will only throve with someone who is ready to be fully committed and put in lots of work into their dog. This is a very intelligent and talented breed but it will only express its best qualities in the hands of someone ready to work with it.
Belgian Sheepdog: a short history of the breed
Belgian Sheepdogs originated in Belgium. By the end of the 18th century, there were many types of shepherds in the country, different from each other in coat colors and coat length. Several enthusiastic dog lovers decided to combine their efforts to create a shepherd that would combine some of the best qualities of the breed. In 1892 the Club created the first standard that described the new breed.
According to that standard, the breed had three subtypes with different coat lengths and colors. By 1897 the breed has been officially created. Another decade was dedicated to further crystallizing and improving the breed.