In honor of the dog breed that I was 98% matched with according to this dog questionnaire, I introduce to you the Belgian Tervuren.
There are four different breeds of Belgian Sheepdogs: Belgian Groenendael, Belgian Laekenois, Belgian Malinois and Belgian Tervuren. They all have very similar physical characteristics but differ in their coat and coloring. The AKC is the only club that recognizes all four kinds as different breeds, whereas in other countries they are seen as the same breed, just different variations. The Belgian Tervuren received it’s name from the Belgian village of Tervuren where it originated. This breed has been used in policed work such as narcotics and bomb detection, protection, schutzhund, search and rescue, obedience, agility, tracking, herding, sled and cart pulling, guide to the blind and helper to the disabled.
The Belgian Tervuren is a medium to large sized dog reaching 22-26 inches tall and weighing 60-75 pounds. They have a long pointed muzzle and dark brown almond shaped eyes. Their ears are erect and triangular in shape, and their bushy tail hangs straight down. The coat is made up of a thick double coat that is weather resistant and a harsh outer coat that is medium to long in length. Males typically have a mane of hair around the neck that is not as prominent in females. They usually have longer hair fringing down the back and front legs, with lots of hair on the tail. Coat colors vary from fawn to russet mahogany or shades of gray with black tips. The chest, toes and chin may have white fur. The coloring of the coat usually darkens as these dogs age.
Belgian Tervuren’s are regarded as intelligent and protective dogs. They have a very strong territorial instinct and are very wary of strangers. It is crucial to socialize this dog from a very early age to avoid a shy or aggressive pet. When training this breed it is best to be firm, but not over dominating. They can be very good with children and other pets if socialized from an early age. Since they were originally used as sheepdogs they do have some of the same tendencies of other herding dogs, such as nipping heels.
The Belgian Tervuren is a high energy and extremely intelligent breed that needs to be challenged both physically and mentally to be happy. This breed should only be owned by someone who can dedicate time to exercising them thoroughly daily. These dogs were breed for working and thrive with lots of outdoor activities and runs off leash.
Ideally the coat of the Belgian Tervuren should be brushed weekly since they have such a heavy and dense undercoat. Mats may form around the legs which may be trimmed and sometimes the hair between the toes is clipped to prevent it from getting too long. This breed sheds year round and females go through 2 heavy sheddings a year while males only 1.
This breed is quite hardy with no major health concerns. Minor health problems may be epilepsy, skin allergies, eye issues, shyness, aggressiveness, hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. The average life expectancy for this breed is 12-14 years.
Famous Belgian Tervurens
- Wellard, from TV show EastEnders
- Albert, famous Holland police dog
- Wilson, from TV show Friday Night Dinner
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