Updated 31-07-2023

Belgian Laekenois Characteristics, Facts & Traits

In the 1880s, Belgian Laekenois dogs were used to herd sheep at the Laken Castle in Brussels, which is where the breed got its name. The Laekenois, the most elusive of the four Belgian Shepherd breeds, is just now beginning to gain international acclaim. Chien de Berger Belge or Laeken are some of the names given to the breed by its devotees. Also, depending on who you ask and where you are, they may or may not be distinguished from the other three Belgian Shepherds.

The Belgian Laekenois is a dog that wants to please and defend its owners, making them excellent family pets. Unless you intend to take the pup with you when you go out and about, this dog may not be a smart choice if you will be away from home for extended periods of time. If not properly trained, this kind of herding dog may nibble at the feet of tiny children or pets. Even so, if you're prepared to deal with the breed's requirements and want a loving, alert companion, this could be the dog for you.

See below for a complete list of Belgian Laekenois characteristics and facts.


  • Coat colours for Belgian Laekenois might range from fawn to mahogany to red. A black mask may also be worn on occasion.
  • Even if they don't shed a lot, you should nevertheless brush their hair every week or two with a brush designed for coarse fur.
  • They can become destructive if they are left alone for lengthy periods of time, and Belgian Laekenois dogs are no exception. As long as they aren't left alone for long periods of time, they can thrive in an apartment.
  • Take your dog for a half-hour to an hour-long stroll each day. Incorporate a few healthy, energetic play sessions and brief walks within the day.
  • The Belgian Laekenois is a great family dog, but they are better suited to older children than smaller ones. Your Belgian Laekenois may try to herd small children and nibble at their heels if you give it a command.
  • The Belgian Laekenois, a herding breed, is ideally suited as the lone animal in the house because of their protective nature. To herd or hunt down smaller animals, they may attempt to do so


Social Appearance 


Contrary to popular belief, a little dog isn't necessarily more suited to an apartment than a larger one. In many cases, small dogs are simply too active and yappy to live in a high-rise apartment. An excellent apartment dog has a number of qualities, including minimal activity, calm indoors, and friendliness toward other residents. If you want some privacy for your dog in your apartment, consider purchasing a crate from this site.

Sensitivity Level

Certain dogs may be unfazed by a firm reprimand, but even a filthy glance can scare them. When their owners are more demanding or obnoxious, their dogs have a lower threshold for noise and chaos. They also have an easier time adjusting to a schedule that is more unpredictable. You might fall into this group if you're in a garage band, have small children, or lead a hectic lifestyle. Pick a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


Unless you tell them not to strain on the leash, you'll find that vigorous dogs perform all of their activities with a tremendous amount of energy: they eat and drink with enormous mouthfuls, and even strain on the leash (unless you teach them not to). If you're a family with young children or elderly members, these dynamos aren't the best option due to their extensive training requirements. A low-energy dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued outlook on life.

Potential for Playfulness

There are certain dogs that never grow out of puppyhood and are always looking for a game to play. With children or other dogs as playmates, how many games of fetch or tag do you intend to play each day? Especially if you have children or other dogs.

Personality Appearance


Just like dogs raised to gallop all day, sheepdogs require mental exercise because they were bred for herding and require a high level of intelligence and attentiveness. Digging and gnawing on a stick are two examples of activities that may encourage a child to create their own work if they lack mental stimulation. Obedience training and interactive dog toys, as well as dog sports and jobs like agility and search and rescue, can all help to keep a dog's mind sharp.

Energy Level

Active dogs are always looking for new ways to kill time. These canines were bred for stamina-intensive professions like hunting and herding. This is the animal for you if you enjoy running, jumping, and sniffing.

Low-energy dogs sleep all day. Depending on your energy level and lifestyle, a dynamic dog may excite or frustrate you.

Easy To Train

Easy-to-train dogs quickly associate a cue (like "sit"), an action (sitting), and a reward (a treat). Other dogs require more time, patience, and repetition.

Many intelligent breeds resist instruction. Easy-to-train dogs quickly associate a cue, an action, and a reward (such as a treat). Other dogs take longer to learn.

If you want your dog to follow your commands, use rewards and games not duplicate "In that scenario, utilise rewards and games to teach them to comply.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

When they're raised by the same person since they were puppies, some breeds remain detached and unattached, while others form strong bonds with a single individual and show no affection for anybody else. Breed isn't the only factor that influences a dog's level of attachment. Dogs who were raised in a household with other people are more likely to be affectionate toward their owners.


It's important for dogs to be calm, robust, and undisturbed by rushing, scream-inducing toddlers in order to be kid-friendly. There are a few names on the list that you would not expect to see: Fierce-looking Family pets are both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, Chihuahuas aren't always a good fit for families with young children.

Dog Friendly

Human friendliness and dog friendliness are two entirely different things. Even if their owners refer to them as "lovebugs," dogs can nonetheless be aggressive toward one another. A dog's breed isn't the only determining factor. At least six to eight weeks after birth, puppies who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother are more likely to have appropriate social skills as adults.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

You'll have to deal with dog hair all over your clothes and the rest of the house if you get a dog. Breeds, on the other hand, vary greatly in the amount of shedding they produce. Depending on the breed, some dogs shed all year round, while others ``blow" just at certain seasons of the year. If cleanliness is important to you, choose a breed that sheds less or lower your standards. Keeping your home a little cleaner is easy with the help of a good deshedding device.

Drooling Potential

Drool-prone dogs may leave large wet patches on your clothing and slobbery ropes down your arm when they come over to say hello. As long as you don't mind your dog drooling a lot, you can go ahead and get one.

Easy To Groom

Some dog breeds only need to be brushed, while others need to be washed, cut, and otherwise groomed on a regular basis in order to stay healthy and presentable. You should consider if you have the time and finances to properly groom a dog, or if you can afford to hire someone else to do it.

Exercise Needs

Some breeds may happily accompany their owners on short evening walks around the neighbourhood. People who work in physically demanding fields, such as herding or hunting, need to work out frequently.

As a result, these breeds can gain weight if they don't receive enough exercise, and their pent-up energy can express itself in unwanted behaviours like barking, chewing, and digging. It's important to choose a dog breed that requires a lot of exercise for an energetic individual who enjoys playing outside with their pet.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


44 to 66 pounds


10 to 12 years


22 to 26 inches


The village of Laeken, Belgium, gave its name to this rough-coated, fawn-coloured herding dog. The Laekenois were also responsible for keeping an eye on the drying linen in the fields. Tervuren, Malinois, and Sheepdog are all common breeds of Belgian shepherd dogs.

It wasn't until 1891 that Belgian dog fanciers formed the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club to identify and name their herding breeds that the Laekenois gained notoriety. The Laekenois and other Belgian herding breeds quickly gained notoriety outside of the fields for their work in law enforcement and the armed forces as guard and service dogs. The Laekenois was one of the breeds that bravely served as a messenger dog in Flanders fields during the First World War and again during World War II.

There are four distinct kinds of Brussels sheepdogs, which were recognised in 1991 by U.S. Kennel Club (USKC). Laekenois are not recognised by the American Kennel Club, which recognises the Belgian Malinois, Sheepdog, and Tervuren. Although the breed was just accepted into the AKC's Miscellaneous Class, official recognition is still a step away.

Personality and Temperament

Self-confident and fearless are the ideal characteristics of the Laekenois. In the event that he is called upon, he possesses the bulk and strength to protect himself. He can be possessive of members of his family. As a child, a Laekenois should have parents with decent temperaments and have been trained to be tolerant of others. A well-trained companion dog can help him become a discriminating dog capable of making proper decisions about when to become protective.

Like beloved drill sergeants, Belgian Laekenois can be found among the ranks of the Laekenois. Although they aren't the friendliest of people, they always have your best interests at heart. These canines are adorable and would make wonderful pets, but they are also working creatures at heart. There is nothing they enjoy more than a job, and they won't let anything get in the way of that, not even teasing you.

If you don't give them anything to do, they'll build up a lot of pent-up energy. As a result, they might be difficult to please as pets, as they won't be content to laze around on the couch all day.

Until they get to know you, they tend to be a little reticent. You shouldn't expect them to be very friendly to strangers, but they aren't aggressive either. For the time being, this dog keeps their cards close to their chest.

As a result, they may be easily trained because of their strong work ethic and intelligence.


With a job to do, this uncommon and beautiful breed was born. In spite of the fact that your Laekenois was born and raised in Belgium, this dog's mentality is always awake and ready to go. A lack of exercise and attention can lead to a neurotic, disruptive, and willful personality. Aside from teaching and exercising these canines, grooming is also a weekly task.


Generally speaking, the Laekenois is regarded as healthful. The Laekenois should be tested for some health issues, though, because it is a large breed. Prior to breeding, a responsible breeder would do a health evaluation of the mother and father dogs to ensure that the puppies are healthy.

There are a number of tests recommended by the American Belgian Laekenois Association: a hip and elbow exam, a cardiac examination, a thyroid ultrasound examination, an eye examination, and a dental examination Laekenois suffer from a number of other health issues, including:

Skin Allergies

The Laekenois, like many other dog breeds, is prone to skin conditions such as itching, redness, or irritation. Food allergies or allergens in the environment can be the cause of this.

Elbow and Hip Dysplasia

Dysplasia, which is more common in large breed dogs, is the result of an abnormal growth pattern in your dog's joints.

Heart Problems

In order to begin treatment as soon as possible if a condition is found, your veterinarian should do regular tests on your dog.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

When this eye ailment progresses, it finally results in blindness.


When a dog has epilepsy, a neurological disorder that produces seizures, medicine is normally used to treat mild to moderate cases.


This disorder, often known as hypothyroidism, affects the thyroid's ability to produce vital hormones.

Dental Problems

Your veterinarian should check your pet's teeth and gums on a regular basis for conditions like periodontal disease and oral disease.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Elbow Evaluation
  3. Cardiac Exam
  4. Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  5. Thyroid Evaluation
  6. Dentition Exam


Even if Laekenois were used as sheepdogs, they would have to put in a lot of effort for little reward. Because of this, they are able to consume less food than other dogs of the same size.

However, while we do not advocate reducing the amount of food you give them, you should be mindful of how much you offer them in order to avoid overfeeding. Portion up their meals meticulously rather than leaving food out for them to scavenge. Once they reach adulthood, they may only need to eat once a day.

When it comes to providing your dog with the energy they need to complete their tasks, offer them a high-quality kibble that is rich in protein. Look for one that has quite a bit of fat and fibre too, as those will keep them feeling full all day long (and keep them regular) (and keep them regular).

Carbohydrate-heavy foods will offer you a burst of energy, but they won't have a long-term benefit. If your dog isn't active enough, they can contribute to weight issues.

Avoid cheap fillers like corn, wheat, soy, or animal by-products, which do little to meet your dog's nutritional requirements. Look for food items like spinach, blueberries, sweet potatoes, and the like on the label instead of ingredients that aren't food at all.


It's unlikely that you'll be able to cuddle up to a Laekenois because of its wiry and tweedy coat. You may forget about getting their hair to comply too. No amount of brushing or combing will make the frizz lay down; it has a consciousness of its own.

In spite of this, if they're free to wander, you should still give them a weekly bath and examine their coat for brambles and other problems. Pay attention to their feet as well. It's important that their nails don't get too long since they could break and injure them. It is possible, though, that they will file their nails down on their own if they are constantly moving around.

Even though they're not outwardly unclean, they should get their ears cleaned out many times a month to avoid infection. Brush their teeth as frequently as possible – ideally, daily.


For the Laekenois, exercise is like breathing. Neither you nor they can get away with not having it. If you don't provide them with enough mental and physical stimulation, it will have a significant impact on their behaviour.

Giving them a job they can focus on all the time is the greatest option. They'll be on high alert all the time, even if they're not actively racing around. When it comes to living in an apartment, this dog isn't the best choice. They can't live in a house at all unless it has a massive backyard. To be happy, they require a lot of space to wander and a big perimeter to protect.

They're commonly employed on farms and ranches, where they're permitted to roam freely while keeping an eye on everything that's happening around them. Despite our aversion to letting dogs run free, the Laekenois can be trusted to stay on a leash when needed (assuming that they have proper training, of course).

Without sheep or jewels for them to guard, you'll need some other means of wasting their time. Agility training is a natural fit for the breed because of their intelligence, agility, and obedience.


The Laekenois is one of the easiest breeds to train. If you ask them, they'll do everything you want them to do without hesitation. Unlike some other intelligent breeds, they'll even tolerate monotony in order to please you, so you won't have to vary up your training as frequently. In our opinion, it's still important to switch things up a bit in order to keep things interesting for you and your partner.

You can teach them to do anything you want. As a result, they're a popular choice for law enforcement and the military because they'll happily follow orders. The greatest way to train them is to utilise positive reinforcement, because if they are abused, they will grow distrustful. Giving them praise or a treat will be enough to keep them motivated, but they'll run through fire for a few kind words.

It's critical to remember that children will fill in the blanks on their own if you don't teach them proper behaviour and expectations. Instead of prone to misbehaviour, they'll be trying to figure out what the task is that you're looking for, unless you explicitly tell them what it is.

Children and Other Pets

The Belgian Laekenois can make a wonderful family dog, although they tend to do better with older children than they do smaller ones. Belgian Laekenois are known to herd children and nibble at their heels, so watch out for them. If smaller children are taught how to appropriately play with your dog and you are able to supervise as they do so a Belgian Laekenois may be a fantastic family companion for any age group.

The Belgian Laekenois, a herding breed, is best suited as the lone animal in the house because of their protective nature. They may try to herd or hunt down smaller dogs and cats, which can be a stressful situation for all of your animals.


Because adult Belgian Laekenois are so soft and cuddly, it's easy to picture how cute they'll be as pups. They’re not all simply frizzy fur either. Their ears and legs appear to be completely grown, so they're lugging about these large appendages on their small little bodies.

As adults, these canines are always on the go, but as puppies, they never stop. They’re very curious, so expect them to get into everything that’s not fastened down (and possibly eat it to shreds while they’re doing it).

You should take advantage of your puppy's natural curiosity and socialise him or her as much as possible. When children reach adulthood, they are considerably more likely to be wary of strangers, but this can be counteracted by exposing them to a wide variety of people.

A dog's puppyhood is a formative period in which it learns to trust its human companion, and for Laekenois, that trust can last a lifetime.

Dogs like this don't appear to be exceedingly expensive because they aren't as prevalent as you may think. Puppies from Belgian Laekenois breeders often cost between $500 and $1,000.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognises this breed, but there aren't many well-established bloodlines. Even if you're looking for a dog that you can exhibit, the price drops because of this.

Dog breed similar to Belgian Laekenois

The Belgian Laekenois, like the Groenendael, Malinois, and Tervuren, is closely related to the other three Belgian shepherds.