Belgian Tervuren Dog
A Delightful And Multi-Talented Sheepdog
Background and Description
The Belgian Tervuren dog has a very dignified look about him. His body is finely built,
absolutely symmetrical and very fully coated with a long feathered tail. The appearance of
the Tervuren is 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.
Brewer Corbeel was given credit for establishing the standard for this variety of sheepdog,
when he bred his fawn dog with a black long-haired dog owned by M. Donhieux.
The are four different varieties of Belgian Shepherd dogs - Groenendale,
Laekenois, Tervuren and Malinois - all named for the towns from which
they originated. They vary in their coat color and coat type, the Tervuren bearing a full rich coat of
fawn to mahogany with black overlay.
In addition to his excellence in herding, the Tervuren could easily be
described as a jack of all trades. He is very successful in competitive obedience, police related
detection work, tracking, agility, search and rescue, as well as in the fields of therapy and
guide dog assistance to those in need of these services.
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 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.
His 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
Rich fawn to russet mahogany with black overtones.
Coat and Care:
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.
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.
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 excel in tracking, competitive obedience, police work, search and rescue, assistance
and therapy work.
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
Skin Itch Rescue Lotion
Breeds originating from a working heritage need an active lifestyle. The Belgian Tervuren dog
needs vigorous walks on a daily basis, coupled with frequent opportunities for other
energetic activities, is the ideal. Plus, if owners can find a safe open area, this dog will
really enjoy the opportunity to run off the leash.
The ideal home will have sufficient room for him 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.
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.
The high exercise needs of the Belgian Tervuren dog would generally not be sustainable for elderly owners or sedentary families.
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