We hope that this page will answer any questions you have about the Belgian Shepherd Dog!
There are four varieties of Belgian Shepherd; the Tervueren, Groenendael, Malinois and Laekenois. For differences between each of the varieties, please see the breed standard.
Belgian Shepherds are highly trainable in most disciplines. They are a very versatile, intelligent, sensitive and willing dog to work with and in the right hands this can lead to some very rewarding results. As a breed, the BSD is very keen to please and will often develop a very strong bond with their trainer, requiring a lot of human interaction.
Belgian Shepherds are a very active breed and will require a lot of exercise along with something to keep their brain occupied throughout their life. They are generally a very healthy breed and will need to be kept busy well into old age! As puppies, they require a lot of socialisation with both people and dogs in various places, so that they can grow accustomed to everyday sights, smells and sounds. Belgian Shepherds do not react well to negative training methods and so all training should be reward based.
All varieties of the Belgian Shepherd have the capacity to excel in most sports; they have done particularly well in agility, flyball, obedience, working trials and herding and also make fantastic family pets providing they have stimulation of some form. A growing number of Belgian Shepherds are also being trained as assistance dogs or in the field of search and rescue.
For information on genetic health problems, please see the 'Health Matters' page. Although genetic issues are relatively rare in Belgian Shepherds, responsible breeders have their dogs hip-scored and eye tested before breeding. For a list of health score results, please see the 'Health Scores' page.