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Belgian Tervuren Dog
A Delightful And Multi-Talented Sheepdog





belgian tervuren sheepdog

The history of the Belgian Tervuren dog begins around 1892 when the first general standard for Belgian Shepherd dogs was formulated. At about the same time period, the different shepherd types were being sorted out for classification.

With respect to the Tervuren, Brewer M. Corbeel (yes, he was a brewer) was given credit for establishing the standard for the Tervuren variety of sheepdog, when he bred his fawn dog with a black long-haired dog owned by M. Donhieux.

The Belgian Sheepdog is an impressive dog with a proud carriage that is well defined and exhibits both strength and balance. The head in finely sculpted and compliments his squarely built body.

Belgian Tervuren vs Belgian Sheepdog

Although known simply as the Belgian Sheepdog in the United States, this breed is well known in many parts of the world as the Groenendael, or Chien de Berger Belge. The name difference came about when they were first registered with the AKC, which included a requirement that they must have three generations of Groenendael ancestors in order to be registered.

The Belgian Tervuren dog is one of four different varieties of Belgian Shepherd dogs, the other three being the Groenendale, the Laekenois, and the Malinois - all named for the towns from which they originated.

These types vary in their coat color and coat type, the Tervuren being longhaired and bearing a full rich coat of fawn to mahogany with black overlay.

The Tervuren sheepdog has a very dignified look about him. His body is solid yet finely built, absolutely symmetrical and very fully coated with a long feathered tail.

His appearance is often likened to that of the German Shepherd dog, though he is more squarely built and has much fuller furnishings, especially around the neck and head. All in all, he is an impressive muscular dog, while at the same time appearing graceful.


Heritage

belgian tervuren puppy in sweet profile
Tervuren Puppy
credit - Finiky at flickr

The Belgian Tervuren heritage is distinguished by working contributions to both World War I and II, where he was successful in carrying messages on the battlefields, providing ambulance assistance, and even pulling armaments when needed.

Many of this breed were also assigned to guard duty at military bases.

In addition to his excellence in herding, the Tervuren could easily be described as a jack of all trades:

To name a few...he is very successful in competitive obedience, police related detection work, tracking, agility, and search and rescue. He is also able to provide help in the fields of therapy and guide dog assistance to those in need of these services.




Appearance and Coat Care:


Belgian Shepherd Dog Art Print

Height: 22-26 inches
Weight: 56-66 pounds
Color Variations: Rich fawn to russet mahogany with black overtones. Eye color is dark brown.




The medium textured coat is straight, abundant and long, with a thick ruff around the neck. The coat also forms a fringe on the back of the legs as well as the hindquarters.

Maintenance should include regular brushing to remove the loose hair, as well as working out mats and tangles which tend to form in this type of coat.

During the heavier seasonal shedding that occurs a couple of times a year, a bit of extra attention is needed. One tool that is very useful during periods of shedding is the FURminator. Pets also seem to enjoy being "furminated", I know mine do!






belgian tervuren owner guide book

Personality and Traits:

The Belgian Tervuren dog is intelligence, confident, loyal and very devoted to his family.

Consistent with most breeds of herding dogs, his nature is inherently alert and protective. These traits make him a viligant watch and guard dog, though not aggressive. He thrives in a family that can give him a lot of interaction and make him a part of everything they do.

This breed is gentle, affectionate and friendly, seeks attention and is eager to please his master.

He does best with owners who are experienced, capable of providing strong leadership and training without harshness. Early socialization to people and situations is very helpful and desirable.

Today, for the most part, Belgian Sheepdogs are no longer working as herding dog breeds. None the less, they enjoy a job to do and will love it if they are trained in one or more of the areas in which they have proven to excel.

It bears repeating that they are pretty smart and are well-suited to these "jobs": tracking, competitive obedience, police work, search and rescue, assistance and therapy work.


Health:

Skin Rescue healing  Lotion for dogs
Skin Itch
Rescue

The overall health of the Belgian Tervuren dog is fairly good, but they are prone to a few health problems.

Those include hip and elbow dysplasia, gastric issues such as bloat, epilepsy, eye problems such as cataracts, and thyroid problems.

They also can have some skin problems.


Activity Level:

Breeds originating from a working heritage need an active lifestyle.

So it's no surprise that the Belgian Tervuren needs lots of exercise including vigorous walks on a daily basis. Ideally, this would be supplemented with frequent opportunities for games and other energetic activities. If you're a jogger, your Terv will happily go along, but give him some time to transition.

Plus, running off-leash will be really enjoyed if you can find any safe open areas to let him loose.




Space Needs:

The ideal home will have sufficient room for a Terv to move about freely indoors as well as a decent sized yard outside.

While he does not mind being outside for short periods of time, he really prefers being inside with the family.


Children:

Parents interested in this breed should should take into consideration the large size of the Belgian Tervuren dog. With this in mind, he will do best with children if raised with them from a puppy.

As with any breed of dog, it is recommended that interactions between pets and children should always be supervised.


Elderly:

The high exercise needs of the Belgian Tervuren dog would generally not be sustainable for elderly owners or sedentary families.

That being said, if someone is available to take over the exercise requirements, then the Terv makes an excellent and loyal companion while at the same time providing the assurance of watch dog diligence.




dog reading book

 

Share Your Begian Tervuren
Knowledge And Pictures

The Belgian Tervuren is a rather unique breed. If you have one, won't you tell us about your dog.

There is nothing to compare with first hand information to get a good idea of what a particular dog breed is really like to live with on a daily basis.

Please join our community and we'll put your dog's story on a webpage for others to enjoy.

We've made it quick and easy for you to share what you know right here. Don't forget the pictures!

We can't wait to put your story on our website!







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