The Belgian Sheepdog is not your average European dog breed. Historically, their lineage traces back to 1910, where they were officially named the Groenendael by breeder Nicolas Rose.
They are one of four recognized Belgian herding breeds which were introduced in the early 1800s. The Belgians were known to be employed in law enforcement in regions such as, New York and Paris in the early 1900s. Their loyal and watchful nature made them a popular choice during World War I, as they often were brought into battle as sentries, messengers and draft dogs. Their breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1912.
If you ever happen to cross paths with one of these beauties, you will be awestruck by their sleek black coats and energetic temperament. Standing at around 22-26 inches tall, they weigh in at around 40-75 pounds.
These active pups are notorious for herding flocks of sheep and engaging in a variety of agility sports. They are known to be highly bonded to their owners and easily trained. However, it should be noted that if they are not consistently involved in an active lifestyle, their boredom may cause destructive behavior (similar to that of a husky).
While they can be family oriented, small children should be cautioned against roughhousing with these Sheepdogs. Consistent training and positive reinforcement will yield an agile and protective young canine. Socialization is of utmost importance when raising your Belgian Sheepdog correctly.
In terms of genetic health issues, the Belgian Sheepdog is prone to a few ailments. Elbow and hip dysplasia are quite common for the breed to develop in late adulthood, along with cancer, epilepsy and hypothyroidism.
Their eyes are frequently known for causing health issues, including progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts. These Sheepdogs have an approximate lifespan of 12-14 years, which is typical for most purebred and large dog breeds.
When it comes to grooming care, the Belgian Sheepdog requires moderate to high levels of maintenance. In order to survive harsher seasonal climates, their shiny black coats grow to about medium length and is double-coated.
The top coat is long and straight, covering up a dense undergrowth of short black fur. They require an effective grooming schedule of weekly brushing with a slicker brush in order to remove and prevent tangles. The Belgian Sheepdog sheds year round, garnering one heavy shedding period per annum.
Overall, the Belgian Sheepdog is an excellent choice for the active family.
|Breed Group:||Herding (AKC:1912)(UKC)|
|Life span:||12-14 years|
|Height:||Male: 24-26 inches (61-66 cm)|
Female: 22-24 inches (56-61 cm)
|Weight:||Male: 65-75 pounds (29-34 kg)|
Female: 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg)
|Litter Size:||6-10 puppies|
|Puppy Price:||Average $1200 - $1400 USD|