Updated 31-07-2023

Belgian Sheepdog Characteristics, Facts & Traits

This herding dog breed originated in Belgium, where they were bred to herd flocks of sheep. Because of their versatility, they are now appropriate for a wide range of occupations and dog sports.

Belgian Sheepdogs are intelligent, loyal, and watchful companions. Their sensitivity and compassion make them wonderful pets for families. However, they do require a lot of physical and mental activity in order to remain happy. When a dog is bored, it is easy for it to become destructive. As these pups have a tendency to chase just about anything that moves, whether it's a biker pedalling by or a wayward squirrel, they need a large and well-fenced yard. An energetic owner will be rewarded with a caring, devoted member of the family.

For a complete list of Belgian Sheepdog characteristics and facts, see the following section.


  • This breed is prone to timidity. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who is fighting with his littermates or hiding in the corner of the room. '
  • At a minimum, Belgian Sheepdogs need one hour of daily exercise. If you don't give them something to do to keep them physically and mentally active, such as training or play, they'll find something else to do and it will cost you more money to fix.
  • It takes 15 to 20 minutes every week to brush a Belgian Sheepdog's coat.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs can get along with other dogs and cats, although they have a strong pursuit instinct and can pursue animals that flee from them if they've been raised with them. •
  • A securely enclosed yard is essential for Belgian Sheepdog owners since they will chase joggers, cyclists, and autos.
  • As a breed, Belgian Sheepdogs are extremely intelligent and vigilant. Also, they have a great instinct for herding and protecting their herd. Consistent training from an early age is essential.
  • If you're looking for a large dog with a lot of personality, go no further than these two.
  • It's no secret that Belgian Sheepdogs are a lot of fun. Make sure your workouts are enjoyable, regular, and upbeat.
  • Belgian Sheepdogs are not suggested for inexperienced dog owners because of their intelligence, high energy levels, and other qualities.
  • Never buy a puppy from a puppy mill, negligent breeder, or pet retailer if you want a healthy dog. To avoid passing on hereditary disorders to their offspring, a respectable breeder will do temperament and health testing on all of her breeding dogs.


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


60 to 75 pounds


10 to 12 years


22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder


When the original breeder, Nicholas Rose, died in 1893, he left the name of his estate to the breed. The Chateau Groenendael, outside of Brussels, was as charming as the dog it housed. The Belgian Sheepdog was born since the name Groenendael is difficult for some to recall. This moniker is appropriate because the dogs were initially utilised in the Belgian countryside as sheep herders. Malinois, Tervuren, Laekenois, and Groenendael are just four of four sheep dog breeds bred by the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club in Belgium.

This prestigious society met in September of 1891 to determine the national standards for the ideal shepherd dog.. A shepherd dog should be medium-sized, square, and have wide-set triangle ears and brown eyes, according to the researchers. Only the texture and colour of the dogs' coats were to be altered. With these characteristics in mind, the Belgian Sheepdog is a lovely dog that easily meets them. Picard d'Uccle, a Belgian Malinois, and Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, a Hound, are two breeds that came together to create this beautiful dog.

It was a perfect blend of these breeds that resulted in a highly intelligent and highly athletic dog. It takes a lot of energy to keep up with this dog's alert and lively nature, but it's worth it in the long run.

Personality and Temperament

Multi-talented breed Belgian sheepdog this dog is not only an excellent herding dog but also an excellent protection and law enforcement dog, as well as a bomb detection dog, a search and rescue dog, a sled dog, and a therapy dog for the ill, the old, and the crippled. An experienced owner is required for this high-energy canine. It is difficult to control a Belgian sheepdog unless the guardian has the proper training. In terms of temperament and aggression, sheepdogs fall into a wide variety of categories. They care deeply about other people and long to be with those who are close to them, especially their own family. As a result of this temperamental quirk, Belgians make poor kennel dogs since they might become overly excitable and start digging holes.

The Belgian Sheepdog rotates in huge circles, ever vigilant and always on the go. They are a breed that is equal parts playful, alert, attentive, protective, and fiercely self-reliant. As a result, they should only be introduced to other canines and domestic pets under strict supervision. Some people can be a little too obnoxious. They're smart and obedient, yet they're also self-reliant. They are fiercely protective of their house and those they care about the most to them.


The Belgian Sheepdog is a very straightforward dog to teach, but it needs a lot of activity every day to keep up with its high energy level. Grooming is a year-round chore for pet owners, and there are two periods of particularly significant hair loss.


Belgian Sheepdogs are typically healthy, however as with all breeds there might be health issues that arise from time to time. If you're thinking about getting a Belgian Sheepdog, it's crucial to know about these disorders.

Hip Dysplasia

The thigh bone does not fit securely into the hip joint in this hereditary disease. There are some dogs that demonstrate pain and lameness on one or both of their hind legs, but a dog with hip dysplasia may show no symptoms at all. Arthritis can occur in an older dog. The Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program conducts X-ray screenings for hip dysplasia (PennHIP).

Healthy dogs should not be bred with those who have hip dysplasia. Inquire of the breeder if the parents have been checked for hip dysplasia and found to be healthy before purchasing a puppy. Hip dysplasia can run in families, but it can also be brought on by a person's lifestyle, such as an excessively high-calorie diet or a fall on a slick floor.

Elbow Dysplasia

Among large-breed dogs, this is a prevalent ailment. Different growth rates of the three bones that make up a dog's elbow are assumed to be the cause of joint laxity, which in turn causes the problem. Painful lameness can result from this. Veterinarians may offer surgery to fix the disease or medication to alleviate the pain in dogs with arthritis.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

The loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye eventually results in blindness as a result of this degenerative eye illness. Belgian Sheepdogs are supposed to be immune to the disease. Years before the dog exhibits any evidence of blindness, PRA can be detected. Due to their highly developed sense of hearing and smell, dogs may make up for their lack of sight by using their other senses to their advantage. Just don't make it a habit to rearrange the furniture. The eyes of reputable breeders are examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist every year, and they do not breed dogs with this condition. Your breeder's eye clearance indicates that you were born within the last year.


The epilepsy of the Belgian Sheepdog can range from the moderate to the severe. Ecstasy can be hereditary; it can result from a variety of conditions, including metabolic problems and infections that affect the brain; it can also be caused by exposure to chemicals and serious head injuries; or it can have no known cause (referred to as idiopathic epilepsy). 

When someone has a seizure, they may exhibit strange behaviour like rushing around like they're being followed or staggered. The long-term prognosis for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy is often fairly excellent, despite the terrifying nature of seizures. Medication can help manage epilepsy, but it will not cure it. With proper treatment, a dog can enjoy a long and healthy life. Take your Belgian Sheepdog to the vet immediately if he is experiencing seizures to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


Cancer can strike dogs just like it affects humans. There are a wide variety of cancers, and the treatment that works best for one patient may not work for another. In some cases, the tumours are surgically removed, while in others, chemotherapy is used. In certain cases, both surgical and medical treatments are used.

Anaesthesia Sensitivity

The anaesthetic sensitivity of some Belgian Sheepdogs has been observed in the past. The same anaesthetic protocols used for sighthounds should be followed, including a pre-anesthesia physical exam and lab work, obtaining a current weight, careful anaesthesia administration, and monitoring the dog's vital signs during and after surgery. It is critical that you inform your veterinarian of this possibility.


Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid produces an unusually low amount of hormone. Infertility might be a modest symptom of the condition. Obesity, mental dullness, drooping eyes, low vitality, and erratic heat cycles are some of the more visible symptoms. Dog's fur becomes coarse and brittle and begins to fall out, while the skin hardens into a deep brown colour. Dogs with hypothyroidism can be treated with daily medicine that must be taken for the rest of their lives. A long and healthy life can be had by a dog who receives thyroid medication on a regular basis.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Elbow Evaluation
  3. Ophthalmologist Evaluation


Like other dogs, the Groenendael does well on any high-quality dog food with a good nutritional content. Check the bag to see if the food is acceptable for the dog's age. Make sure you feed your dog the correct amount of dog food based on their weight and activity level. Always make sure your dog has access to fresh water


Because Belgian Sheepdog Groenendael have lengthy hair, they require regular grooming. To minimise shedding, brushing should be done at least once a week. In most cases, you won't have to wash them more frequently than once every few days unless they get particularly dirty or roll about in foul-smelling items.

Gronendaels, a breed of Belgian Sheepdog, shed extensively once a year, around the time of spring. Brush them more frequently if you begin to observe this excessive shedding period so that the coat can be thoroughly removed without shedding all over your home.

Additionally, you'll need to keep your dog's nails trimmed on a regular basis. Do it yourself or have your veterinarian or groomer take care of it.


Due to their herding instincts, even if these dogs aren't the most active, they still require a lot of exercise. Because Belgian Sheepdogs enjoy spending time with their owners, you'll need to set aside time for them to get some exercise. This can take the form of jogging, trekking, or simply strolling alongside your Belgian. However, not all exercises need a lot of effort from you. Groenendaels also love to play fetch with balls, sticks, or Frisbees.


For Groenendaels to achieve their full potential, socialisation and training are essential. Belgians should place a high value on training. Fortunately, these dogs are eager to please their owners and quite intelligent, so they react very well to training. However, the training will only be effective if you can gain the participants' trust by encouraging and supportive methods. Most dogs, including Belgians, will not respond well to training methods that are harsh or aggressive.

Children and Other Pets

Belgian Sheepdogs get along well with children, especially if they've been reared in the same household as them. However, due to their herding ancestry, they may try to herd children away from their games. You need to teach your Belgian Sheepdog that this type of behaviour is not okay. For an adult Belgian Sheepdog unfamiliar with children, a home with kids who are old enough to appropriately interact with him may be the best place for him.

If you have dogs around small children, be sure to show them how to approach and touch them so that no bites or ear or tail pulling occurs. Teach your youngster to never disturb a sleeping or eating dog, or to try to steal the dog's food away from the animal in any way. A dog and a youngster should never be left alone.

From puppyhood, Belgian Sheepdogs are great friends with other dogs and cats. In some cases, they form strong bonds with cats or other animals and take care of them as if they were members of their own family; in other cases, they come to an accord of mutual disinterest between themselves.

Belgian Sheepdogs have a reputation for being aggressive, especially toward creatures that aren't their own. For your Belgian Shepherd to get along with other animals, you must begin early and reward them for appropriate conduct. Your Belgian Sheepdog must be kept under control if he hasn't been socialised with other animals.


Make sure you buy a Belgian Sheepdog Groenendael puppy from a reliable breeder that meticulously selects dogs to mate based on their strong health records. Buying a puppy from a puppy mill, which has a bad reputation for low health and safety standards, might be an easy mistake to make.

Your puppy will need tons of training, either from you or from a professional programme, if you decide to get a Groenendael. A minimum of one hour of exercise is required of them each day. As a result, by the time they reach adulthood, you should have a large yard with a fence. Because Groenendaels enjoy chasing people and small animals, it is critical that they have a fence in place.

In order for Groenendaels to become "excellent dogs" as adults, they will need a lot of training and exercise. Otherwise, you risk having a stubborn and independent dog who prefers to do things its own way rather than follow your instructions. Begin teaching your Groenendael puppy as soon as possible so that you may get the most out of your time and money.

There is a price to pay for this well-behaved and well-behaved canine. For a fresh Groenendael puppy, you should anticipate to pay roughly $2,000 from a reputable breeder. Assuming, of course, that the dog's pedigree and temperament are both excellent, the price is well worth it.

Dog breeds Similar to the Groenendael

Take a look at other Belgian Shepherds if you're curious about this breed and want to know more about it. They all share a lot of similarities, yet they also have their own unique characteristics.

Belgian Malinois

The Groenendael's short, smooth coat necessitates minimal grooming time. Fawn to deep mahogany are all possible shades. Wears a black mask to conceal his identity. The Groenendael is known to be less timid and more outgoing.

Belgian Laekenois

A new breed recognised by the AKC with a rough coat.

Belgian Tervuren 

Like the Groenendael, except for the hue. The colour of the Tervuren ranges from fawn to mahogany, with black tips to each individual hair. A black mask is another distinguishing feature of this species.

Even though the German shepherd is not related to the Belgian Shepherd, they share many traits, such as intelligence, willingness to please, and high energy levels, with each other.