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Belgian Shepherd Dog Breed Facts and Information

Updated on May 11, 2011

The Belgian Shepherd has established its name as both an outstanding herding dog and cattle dog, but these canines also have managed to make their marks as excellent war dogs, police dogs, and as loving loyal family pets throughout recent history. Not many dog breeds have the criteria to qualify for such a wide variety of tasks and jobs like Belgian Shepherds, but the Chien de Berger Belge is not just any old regular breed of dog; these canines truly are something special, and I don't say that lightly by any means.

Did You Know?

Belgian Shepherds are a breed of Herding Dogs that go by practically more names than any other breed of dog! Beglian Sheepdogs are classified with a wide variety of labels which consist of the Belgian Shepherd Dog, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Shepherds, Chien de Berger Belge, Groenendael, Tervueren, the Malinois, and the Laekenois. Not sure if it's just me here, but that's a dang lot of names for just one type of dog!

belgian shepherd puppies - Tervueren Puppies - Belgian Shepherd Dog Tervueren Puppy
belgian shepherd puppies - Tervueren Puppies - Belgian Shepherd Dog Tervueren Puppy
Groenendael Belgian Shepherd Black
Groenendael Belgian Shepherd Black
Tervueren Dog
Tervueren Dog

Beglian Sheepdog Appearance and Coats

Belgian Shepherd Dogs come in four distinct coat varieties which are,

Groenendael Belgian Shepherds - The Groenendael Belgian Shepherd Dogs feature long straight coats that are thick. Groenendael Belgian Shepherds have black double layered coats that usually come in either solid black or solid black with a bit of white on their chests. These canines have coats that are tough and are considerably weatherproof; their coats are built to withstand even some of the harshest weather conditions.

Groenendael Belgian Shepherd Dogs exhibit almond like shaped eyes that are placed on heads that are long and primarily flat. Like all of the other Belgian Sheepdogs, the Groenendaels display erect triangular ears in which are medium sized. Groenendael Belgian Shepherd Dogs exhibit large, feathered, bushy tails. These canine companions also consist of feathering fur around their necks, shoulders, legs, and slightly around their stomachs and waists.

~Also, the Groenendael is the most popular variation of this herding dog breed.

Malinois Belgian Shepherds - Malinois Belgian Shepherd Dogs display short, smooth, thick coats that carry a very similar appearance to that of a German Shepherd, more so than any other type of Belgian Sheepdog. Malinois Belgian Shepherds wear black masks and black ears and carry the same distinct facial features as the rest of the Belgian Shepherd Dog breed. These herding dogs own tails that are slightly long, fairly straight, and slightly low set on their bodies. These canines show eyes that are usually either a light clear light brown or an opaque dark blackish brown.

Laekenois Belgian Shepherds - Laekenois Chien de Berger Belge dogs are by far the most unique looking out of all the Belgian Shepherds. Laekenois Belgian Sheepdogs have harsh, wiry, and wavy to curly coats that are medium in length. Laekenois tend to come in light cream to tan colors, but they may also sometimes have a bit of white on their bodies and chests too. Laekenois require fair amounts of grooming like the rest of the Belgian Sheepdogs. Laekenois Chien de Berger Belge dogs are by far the most rare variation of this herding dog breed, to the point that many people often times forget to even consider Laekenois as a part of the Belgian Shepherd Family.

Tervueren Belgian Shepherds - The Tervueren dog version of Belgain Shepherds have long, straight, puffy coats that are multicolored. Some of the color combinations that the Tervueren dog comes in tend to revolve around a gradually fading mix of blacks, dark browns, brown, light tans, gold, bronze, and autumn reddish tans. Tervueren have extremely dense double layered coats that perfectly defend these dogs against even some of the harshest of weather conditions. Tervueren Belgian Sheepdogs have bushy hair, which is in particularly puffy at this dog breed's tail.

The Appearance of the Belgian Sheepdog

Generally speaking, all four types of Belgian Shepherds share practically the same physical body appearances and builds with one another, for example every style of the Belgian Sheepdogs look quite similar to German Shepherds when it comes to their faces, sizes, bodies, and builds. All of the Chien de Berger Belge dogs display perfectly erect, sturdy, triangular shaped, pointed ears. Their muzzles are long and slender, and these canine companions have chests that are slightly deeper and broader than the waists in which they gradually lead up to. The Belgian Shepherd Dog stands on just ever so slightly long, lean, legs that are strong and made for running, speed, and stamina.

Belgian Shepherd Dog Withers and Weight

Belgian Shepherd Dog Withers

Male Belgian Shepherd dogs stand on withers that measure roughly 24 inches to 26 and a half inches tall. Female Belgian Sheepdogs come in at shoulders which should lye somewhere between 22 and a half inches to 24 and a half inches in height. Anything that is shorter or taller than what the average withers measure for this herding dog breed is considered to be at least slightly abnormal and a faulty feature for a dog to have; it's is recommend that dog owners do not breed Belgian Shepherds that are abnormally short or tall in order to preserve this dog breed within only the finest of its standards and official AKC breed qualifications.

Belgian Shepherd Dog Weight

The healthy weight margin for male Belgian Sheepdogs is 59 lbs to 63 lbs. The target weight margin for female Chien de Berger Belges is from 59 lbs to 61 lbs. It is critical that whenever owning a Belgian Shepherd Dog, or any other dog breed for this matter, that you periodically keep track of your canine's weight to make sure that your dog is fit and healthy. Checking your dog’s weight from time to time is ever more so important with long haired dog breeds in particularly because their hair predominantly covers their bodies, which it can be hard to tell if your canine is either gaining weight or losing weight. Even if you're providing your dog with a good disciplined diet and adequate amounts of exercise, you never know if your canine pal might become ill, develop a disease, or have a condition in which could make your dog become very thin and frail or overweight to obese. Like for example, some of the conditions that this dog breed is slightly prone to developing include issues such as Hypothyroid and Hyperthyroid which can drastically affect your dogs weight, lively hood, health, and happiness. You just never know if you dog might happen to be at risk for certain disorders in which can affect your pooch’s weight.

The German Shepherd and The Belgian Sheepdog
The German Shepherd and The Belgian Sheepdog
A Belgian Sheepdog
A Belgian Sheepdog

Belgian Shepherd Temperament and Dog Training

Belgian Shepherds, like the majority of herding dog breeds are extremely intelligent canines that are capable of performing even the most difficult of tasks. Not only are Chien de Berger Belge dogs highly intelligent, but unlike some purebred dog breeds they're a breeze to train as well, due to their alert, corporative temperaments and personalities. The Belgian Shepherd Dogs respond great towards most any form of dog training that you can throw at them. These canine companions have the potential to be taught to become extraordinary show dogs, reliable family pets, cattle dogs, and herding dogs; this breed of dog is also talented when it comes to precisely performing tasks which relate to obedience dog training and agility dog training as well.

So I think that you're probably getting the jist that Chien de Berger Belges are one heck of a well rounded pet when it comes to dog training, but there are plenty of other positive qualities these domesticated animals display. One of the major plusses of Belgian Shepherds is that they are by far one of the best dog breeds with children and for families because of the stable even temperaments and behaviors that these herding dogs naturally have. If you want a dog breed in which you can heavily trust and rely on for your safety or a dog that will not bite you or others unless loved ones are in danger, then I highly recommend that you consider purchasing and look into owning a Belgian Sheepdog. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Belgian Shepherd Mix and German Shepherd Mix
Belgian Shepherd Mix and German Shepherd Mix

Belgian Shepherd Dog Care Requirements

Belgian Shepherd Dogs are highly active and need plenty of exercise on practically, if not a daily basis. These dogs were bred for stamina and physical strength, so because of these traits they still need the proper amounts of exercise in which their bodies crave. If you're one who simply loves to go the park for intense walks or you like to jog outside around your neighborhood, this could definitely be the breed of dog for you. Belgian Shepherds even more so could be a dog breed for you to take into consideration if perhaps you're a woman and would like an exercise companion in which can protect you incase unexpected trouble or danger comes your way. This is because the Belgian Sheepdog wouldn't even think twice about protecting his or her loved ones from those who attempt to harm you, your family, or friends.

Now, for those of you who are not so active or you feel as though you have to exercise indoors at the local gym and not outside, this is simply not the breed of dog for you by any means whatsoever $6. Chien de Berger Belge dogs will grow increasingly bored, anxious, depressed, overweight, and tired if you neglect and deprive these sweet natured animals from participating in proper levels of consistent physical fitness, but hey, no worries! There are still plenty of other purebred dog breeds and even mixed dog breeds around to choose from that will more than likely fit your individual personality and lifestyle one hundred percent.

When it comes to the Belgian Sheepdog breed's coats, they need a decent bit of grooming in order to stay adequately clean and healthy, but not to the point that grooming your dog would become way too overly time consuming. You would just need to set aside some of your schedule at least 3 to 4 times a week to give your pooch a quick brush up and the occasional washing or bathing style clean up once every 10 days to two and a half weeks depending on your pet’s living conditions and daily tasks he or she frequently participates in.


The Belgian Sheepdog
The Belgian Sheepdog

Belgian Sheepdog Health

Belgian Sheepdogs are generally canines that go through their entire lives with excellent health, but like most purebred dog breeds Belgian Shepherd Dogs are prone to a few hereditary health conditions and diseases in which their owners should take into at least a bit of concern. Some of the hereditary health issues in which Chien de Berger Belges are slightly prone to include Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHP) and from time to time these pets may develop Hyperthyroid or Hypothyroid. Hyperthyroid and Hypothyroid are usually not way too big of a concern with the Belgian Shepherds though. Also, when it comes to Canine Hip Dysplasia, this herding dog breed tends to not get this disorder unless their exercise needs are neglected or if these dogs are regularly fed too much food.

Belgian Sheepdog Life Span

On average Chien de Berger Belges live for about 10 years to 12 and half years of age. These canines can however live up to roughly 14 and half years or age if they are exceptionally healthy, well exercised, and happy dogs. The same thing goes for if Belgian Shepherd Dogs are neglected or happen to suffer from health issues in that they might live significantly shorter lives in which are years below the average life expectancy for this breed of dogs.

Shepherd Sheepdog
Shepherd Sheepdog

Belgian Sheepdog Grades

~ Here's what the Belgian Shepherd Dogs scores with my Dog Breed Grading System

Intelligence = A-

Dog Training = A

Stamina = B+

Belgian Shepherd Dog Temperament = A+

Dogs That are Good with Children = A

Suitable for City and Apartment Living and Lifestyles = D+

Suitable for Metropolitan and Suburban Living and Lifestyles = B

Suitable for Country and Farm Living and Lifestyles = A+

Guard Dog Capabilities and Qualifications = A

Watch Dog Capabilities and Qualifications = A

~ This is what Chien de Berger Belges score from levels 1 - 4 on Care Requirements and Care Difficulties. (1 = Low Care Requirements, 4 = Highest Care Requirements)

Feeding Requirements = 2.5

Exercise Needs = 3

Grooming Levels = 2 – 3

Living Space = 2.5

Backyard Space = 2.5



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