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Belgian sheepdog

Belgian sheepdog, health, breed, training for german shepherd

The Belgian sheepdog (also known as the Belgian Shepherd Dog) is a medium to large breed of herding dog that originated in Belgium.

It is similar to other herding dogs and sheepdogs from the neighboring regions of Europe, such as the German Shepherd. In fact, some types of Belgian Sheepdogs are very similar in appearance to the German Shepherd. However, there is quite a great deal of variation among Belgian Sheepdogs, and the casual observer may not recognize two dogs as belonging to the same breed.

It is usually agreed that there are four types - Groenendael, Laekenois, Malinois, and Tervuren. These may simply be referred to as Belgian Groenendael and so on, but are considered variations of the Belgian Sheepdog, and not breeds in themselves. However, some authorities do treat these as separate breeds, and there seems to be a general move in this direction in recent years.

There are also numerous Belgian Sheepdog mixes, but these are not usually included in the breed.

The typical Belgian sheepdog is a lean, muscular, medium to large sized dog, with a longish muzzle, and erect, pointy ears. The Malinois has a short coat, but the other three have relatively longer fur. The Lakenois has a rather short coat, but long enough and rough enough to give it a permanently tousled appearance. The Turvueren and Groenendael usually have longer, more luxuriant fur. The coloring also varies from one type to the next – The Groenendael is completely black, while the Tervueren is usually fawn with certain areas of black. The Lakenois is usually fawn, with traces of black on the muzzle, while the Malinois may be fawn, reddish, or black, with the ears, muzzle, and a few other parts darker in color.
Belgian Sheepdogs are alert, active, and confident dogs. They tend to be protective, which is why they are popular as guard dogs.

However, it is important to have control over this behavior, for which proper training and socialization are necessary. Belgian sheepdog puppies should be socialized at the earliest possible age, and training should also begin at least by the age of 3 months. It is essential that the training is done patiently and consistently, and is reward based. It is also very important to keep the dog active and engaged, or else behavioral problems may start to develop. Belgian shepherds are usually healthy dogs, and the breed has no common medical conditions, although dysplasia and eye problems do occur occasionally.

  Submitted on October 7, 2009  

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