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Belgian Shepherd Dog Breeds

Belgian Shepherd Dog Breeds

From the history of the breed: 
In 1891 Belgian veterinarian Professor Adolf Reul tried to breed a national shepherd dog. He took the same type of dogs of a medium size with standing ears, but different in color and coat - short-haired, middle-haired and long haired. Although Professor Reul recommended to breed according to the fur type, the preference was given to color. Later, in 1907 the following standard was adopted: middle-haired Shepherd Dogs should have a black color (Groenendael), short haired - yellow-brown or charcoal (Malinois) and long-haired - ash-gray (Laekenois). 
Groenendael was bred by a dog-breeder Nicholas Rose, who lived in the city of Groenendael. Malinois is also named after a small town of Mechelen or Malines (in French). Laekenois got its name after the Royal Castle "Laeken", where shepherds lived along with the nobility and bred dogs with rough and tough hair. This is the most numerically insignificant type of "Belgians". 
Tervuren also received its name after the town where their first breeder lived.

Two Belgian Malinois Wearing Leather Dog Collars

Country of origin: 
Belgium. General appearance: 
The Belgian Shepherd Dog - is mostly a working and herding dog breed. There are four types of Belgian Shepherd Dogs: Groenendael (long-haired black), Laekenois (wire-haired), Malinois (short-haired) and Tervuren (long-haired of different color except for black). 
By the classification of the FCI, all these dogs are the dogs of one breed. But in some countries, each of these species is stated separately. 
All of them differ only by texture and length of hair and color. In the United States only Groenendael is known under the name of Belgian Shepherd Dog. Malinois and Tervuren are registered as separate breeds - Belgian Malinois and Belgian Tervuren, and Laekenois - the rarest of the four species - is not recognized at all. 

This dog breed has moderate lines, harmoniously proportional, clever, unpretentious, and adapted to be kept in the open air, resistant to seasonal weather changes and different weather conditions which are typical for Belgian climate. Due to its harmonious shape, proud set of the head makes an impression of an elegant castle that has become a breeding heritage of the working dog breeds. 
Behavior and character: 
The Belgian Shepherd Dog is an alert and lively dog, which possesses explosive energy and is always ready for action. Along with innate ability to protect the herd, it is also extremely valuable as the best dog for property protection. Without any doubt this dog is an irreconcilable and intense defender of his owner. He combines all the qualities a shepherd, protection, guard and service dog should have.

The ideal height at the withers: males - 25 inches (63 cm); females - 23 inches (58 cm). 
Weight: 28 kg. 
The Belgian Shepherd Dogs silhouette resembles a square. Chest is quite heavy and deep. The length of the muzzle is approximately equal to a half of the length of the head or slightly more than a half. 
Coat: 
The coat of all species should be thick, dense, with a silky undercoat that provides excellent protection from adverse weather conditions. 
Long-haired: 
Hair on the head, outside part of ears and bottom part of limbs is short. An exception is the backside of the forearms, which is covered with long hair from the elbow to the wrist forming feathers. The rest part of the body is covered with long and smooth fur. The neck and the front of the chest have longer and more abundant coat which forms a collar and jabot. Open areas of the body are protected by a thick fur. The back side of the thighs is covered with very long abundant fur forming feathers. The tail is also covered with long abundant hair, fluffy at the end. Groenendael and Tervuren are referred as long-haired breeds. 
Short-haired: 
Hair on the head, outside part of ears and bottom part of limbs is short. The rest part of the body is covered with short coat; tail and neck are covered more abundantly. There is a coat collar around the neck which begins at the base of ears and ends at the throat of a dog. There are long feathers on the back of the thighs. The shape of the tail reminds a corncob, the tip of the tail is not fluffy. Short-haired breed is represented by Malinois.

Wire-haired: 
This type of breed is characterized by tight and dry hair, more than that - it is rough and mussy. Hair length along the body is about 2 1/2 inches (6 cm). It is shorter on the top of the muzzle, forehead and limbs. Fur around eyes and muzzle should be long enough not to hide the shape of the head. It is important the muzzle to be decorated with wool. Tail should not be too fluffy. Wire-haired breed type is represented by Laekenois. 
Color: 
Tervuren: 
Color is red-foxy with "coal" color (black). The more natural color the better. Red color should be warm, neither light, nor blurred. Dogs with not enough bright coloration are not eligible to get "excellent" mark. 
Malinois: 
Color is monochrome red with charcoal and black mask. 
Groenendael: 
Pure black monochrome color. White "tie" and a little of white hair on the fingers of the hind paws are allowed. 
Laekenois: 
Red color with traces of blackness, mainly on the face and tail. Little of white fur on chest and toes of the hind paws are allowed.

Highly raised, moderately long, dry. The length of the skull and muzzle are approximately equal, but muzzle is a bit longer. 
Skull: 
Of an average width, proportional to the length of the head; forehead is more flat than round; frontal sulcus is not very expressed; occiput is poorly developed; superciliaris and cheekbones are not expressed. 
Stop: 
Moderate. 
Muzzle: 
Medium length, with sharp edges below the eye level, gradually tapering to the nasal planum resembling an elongated wedge; bridge of nose is straight, parallel to the line, extending the upper line of the forehead; when the mouth is open, the corners of the lips apart and jaws are distinctly separated from each other. 
Ears: 
Small, set high, almost of a triangular shape, rounded at the base, tips of ears are sharpened. When alert a dog keeps his ears straight and upright. 
Eyes: 
Average in size, neither prominent nor sunken, a bit almond shaped, obliquely set, brown (dark brown is preferred); eyelids are black. The glance is straight, lively, clever and inquisitive. 
Body: 
Upper line of the back and waist is straight. 
Withers: expressed. 
Back: strong, short and very muscular. 
Loin: strong, short and very muscular. 
Croup: very muscular, with very small inclination; wide enough, but not excessively. 
Chest: moderately broad, but quite deep and extensive. The upper part of ribs is arched. When viewed from the front the front side of the chest is more broad than narrow. 
Bottom line: it begins below the chest and smoothly, like a harmoniously curved line, rises to the stomach. Stomach is moderately tucked up.

Limbs: 
Forelimbs have strong bones, muscles are dry and stylish. Shoulder blades are long and oblique, close fitting, form a haul angle with humerus bone for free movement of elbows. Elbows should move in parallel to the longitudinal axis of the body. Forearms are long and well muscled. Pasterns are strong and short, clean, without traces of rickets. Paws are nearly round-shaped, fingers are curved, pads are thick and elastic, claws are dark and strong. 
Hind-limbs are powerful, move in the same plane as the front limbs; perpendicular to the ground. Hips are broad with strong muscles. Lower thighs are long, wide, and muscular, curved toward the hocks, but not excessively. Hind pasterns are strong and short. Dewclaws are undesirable. Paws almost of an oval shape, fingers are curved, pads are thick and elastic, claws are dark. 
Activity: 
This dog breed is very active. The Belgian Shepherd Dog is able to move very good at a gallop, but the most typical thing for him is a quiet motion by step, especially at a trot. The Belgian Shepherd Dog moves his limbs parallel to the center line of the body. At high speed the dog puts his paws closer to the midline; while moving at a trot the motions are smooth and easy. Top line remains solid, compact, and the front should not rise too high. Being in constant motion, the Belgian Shepherd Dog makes an impression of relentless; movements are fast, springy, lively; able to change the direction at very high speed. Due to his temperament prefers to move in circles, rather than adhere to a strict forward direction.Attractive features: 
The Belgian Shepherd Dog can work in various spheres. Due to the unique neural system, this breed can perform various tasks, it all depends on how and what you train your dog. This is probably the most jumping breed in the world - Malinois can overcome very high barriers, up to three meters high and more. They are extremely enduring and tireless in-process. They are well trained, very sociable, resistant to stress, combat-ready. In addition, under certain conditions, the Belgian Shepherd Dog - is a great dog for a family and a wonderful companion. 
Disadvantages: 
The Belgian Shepherd Dog breeds have excellent working qualities, but they require regular training. If you do not give enough attention to this working dog, he can create lot of inconveniences for his owner. So, they are not suitable for passive people who prefer quiet and steady life.