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Belgian Sheepdog: Breed Temperament, Exercise Needs & Health (Belgian Shepherd)

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About Belgian Sheepdog

Country of Origin, History of Belgian Sheepdogs

The country of origin of the Belgian Sheepdog (the Groenendael) is Belgium. The dogs developed from hardy working dogs. No wonder why these dogs are found to be so very efficient and energetic on the fields. Nicholas Rose had developed the Groenendael breed of dogs. He was a breeder from Groenendael in Belgium. He had established the first Belgian Sheepdog kennel with a pair of black sheepdogs called Petite and Picard d’Uccle. It was the progeny of this pair that turned out to be the foundation stock of the Groenendael breed.

This is a highly intelligent and protective breed and has been employed during the two World Wars as a police and war dog and in drug detection, search and rescue operations apart from being used commonly for herding purposes. The dog has also emerged as a wonderful family friend and guardian. In fact the dog is now most often sought for acting as a companion dog.

Belgian Sheepdog Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the Belgian Sheepdog the right breed for you?

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Belgian Sheepdog Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your Belgian Sheepdog needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Belgian Sheepdog Calorie Calculator.

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Description of the Breed

This is a black colored graceful dog. It is muscular and solidly built but not heavy and very agile. It carries its squarely proportioned body with an air of pride and elegance. The muzzle of the dog is long and tapering (though not very pointy) and its ears are triangular in shape and stand erect. The skull is flat and lies parallel to the plane of the muzzle. The eyes are brown and almond shaped. The nose is black. The dog has tight lips and teeth meeting in a scissors/level bite.

The tail, long and feathered, extends beyond the hocks. The chest of the dog is deep- reaching to the elbow and not very broad or narrow. The hindquarters are muscular while the front legs are straight. They have round caw-feet. The dewclaws need be removed from the hind legs and may also be removed from the fore legs.


The coat of the dog is very full and moderately long. There is a ruff around the neck region and extra feathering on the underside, the legs and the tail. There is an undercoat too, which is dense. Short hair covers the face and lower legs. There may also be a little white on the chest, chin and toes.


Dogs range between 24'' and 26''
Bitches range between 22'' and 24''


Dogs weigh 65-75 pounds
Bitches weigh 60-70 pounds.

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Belgian Sheepdog Personality Traits

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Temperament of the Breed

This dog is popular for its smartness, obedience and serious and protective nature. This is a watchful dog that has strong territorial instincts. The dog requires extensive socialization from a young age. It needs an experienced master who will be firm but not harsh in training. The dog can make an excellent police or guard dog.

This working dog can make a great pet too. Its territorial and protective instincts make it a watchful, alert and loyal pet of the family. It loves companionship. It is good with children provided it has been properly socialized with them. It needs also proper socialization training with other dogs and non-canine pets of the family for otherwise it tends to be rather dominant towards these. The dog hates being locked up in a kennel and should be made a part of the family.

Living Conditions

With sufficient exercise given to the dog it will stay fine in an apartment. The Belgian Sheepdog stays moderately active indoors and enjoys actively moving around in a yard of average size. Though the dog can sleep outdoors yet it always prefers the company of the family and it is better to allow it sleep inside the home.


Belgian Sheepdogs being working/herding dogs are adapted to an active outdoor life. Hence, it needs to be provided with ample exercising opportunities. A long daily walk is the minimum exercising requirement. The dogs will also benefit if allowed off their leash to move around in some safe area.


The Belgian Sheepdog has a long and straight heavy undercoat of medium length and a dense undercoat. It sheds heavily during seasons- twice a year. Alongside, it also sheds throughout the year. The dog’s coat requires combing and brushing on a regular basis. Mats that form particularly in the ruff and on legs are to be clipped out. Hair lying between the toes and those lying on the outer ears are to be clipped.

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Free Belgian Sheepdog Training Secrets

Free Course on Belgian Sheepdog Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

This is a hardy and healthy dog breed. No major health concerns have been reported. The minor health problems that are found with the breed are- epilepsy, skin allergies, eye problems and hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia (seen occasionally). Excessive shyness or excessive aggressiveness is also observed at times. Besides, the dog has a tendency to become obese and lazy especially if overfed.

Life Expectancy: 13-14 years.

National Breed Clubs

Breed Club:

Rescue Link:

Group: Herding Group

AKC Popularity Ranking: 125

Also Known As: Belgian Groenendael, Belgian Shepherd and Chien de Berger Belge.

Train Your Belgian Sheepdog To Listen To You

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You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:

  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

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  • One hidden psychological trigger that all Belgian Sheepdogs have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

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Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Belgian Sheepdog information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Belgian Sheepdogs have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The Belgian Sheepdog training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

Here are a few of our experts:

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