Belgian Sheepdog

The versatile Belgian Shepherd

The Belgian Sheepdog, also known as the Belgian Shepherd Dog, is a dog breed that stands out both for its working ability and its dedication to the family. They are known for their intelligence, endurance and versatility. With four distinct varieties - Groenendael, Laekenois, Malinois and Tervuren - Belgian Sheepdogs offer something for all dog lovers. Let's explore more about this dog breed, its origins, characteristics, and what you should know before bringing home a Belgian Sheepdog.


The Belgian Sheepdog originated in Belgium and was originally a working herding dog. The four variants have the same origin but have been developed to suit different working conditions and aesthetic preferences. All four variants are recognized as separate breeds by the FCI and other international kennel clubs, but in some countries, such as the United States, they are classified as a single breed with different variants.

Traits and temperament

Belgian Sheepdogs are known for their intelligence, trainability and strong willingness to work. They are active and energetic dogs that love to have something to do, making them ideal for dog sports such as agility, tracking and obedience training.

They are also very loyal and protective of their families, which can make them excellent watchdogs. However, this can also lead to them becoming suspicious of strangers if they are not properly socialized from a young age.


Belgian Sheepdogs are medium to large dogs, with a height at the withers that varies between 56-66 cm and a weight that is between 20-30 kg, depending on the variety and sex.

Appearance and coat

The four varieties of Belgian Sheepdogs differ mostly in appearance. The Groenendael and Tervuren have long, smooth fur, with the Tervuren usually having a black and brown coat, while the Groenendael is all black. The Malinois has short fur and a black mask, while the Laekenois has a hard and rough coat.

How much fur does a Belgian Shepherd shed?

Belgian Sheepdogs shed moderately, but this can vary between varieties. Groenendael and Tervuren tend to shed more than Malinois and Laekenois. Regular brushing helps control shedding and keeps the coat in good condition.

Are Belgian Sheepdogs family friendly?

Belgian Shepherds are known to be very loyal and love their families deeply. They can be very good with children, especially if they have been properly socialized and trained from an early age.

How much exercise does a Belgian Shepherd require?

Belgian Sheepdogs are very active and require a lot of exercise. They are ideal for active families that can offer them plenty of physical and mental challenges.

Acquisition of a Belgian Sheepdog

If you are considering getting a Belgian Shepherd, you should be prepared for an engaged and active dog. They thrive best in homes where they get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Make sure you have the time, commitment and resources to meet their needs before you decide to get a Belgian Sheepdog.