Updated 31-07-2023

Belgian Tervuren Characteristics, Facts & Traits

Created in Belgium in the late 19th century, the Belgian Tervuren dog breed is often considered to be the most elegant of the four Belgian sheepdogs. They’re intelligent and athletic, making them a versatile performer in any number of activities, including their original job, herding.

Belgian Tervurens are smart and sensitive. They do best if they get plenty of mental and physical stimulation, otherwise they may invent their own, potentially destructive, ways to alleviate boredom. They also don’t take well to being left home alone for long hours of the day. If you can provide a dog with plenty of exercise, training, and attention, this breed might be a good choice for you.

See below for a complete list of dog breed traits and facts about Belgian Tervurens.


  • This breed has a tendency to be shy. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who is fighting with his littermates or hiding in the corner.
  • This breed of dog requires at least one hour of exercise every day. Your pets will find their own entertainment if you don't offer them exercise and mental stimulation in the form of training or play.
  • It takes 15 to 20 minutes a week to brush a Belgian Tervuren.
  • Dogs and cats raised together have better chances of getting along. Tervs have an aggressive streak and will hunt down animals who run away from them.
  • A securely enclosed yard is essential for Belgian Tervuren since they will chase joggers, cyclists, and autos.
  • Tervuren are extremely clever and observant. They are also excellent herders and protectors. Consistent training from an early age is essential.
  • Despite their size, these dogs are quite sociable and eager to participate in family activities.
  • Belgian Tervuren, on the other hand, are both playful and delicate. It's important to keep training sessions entertaining and encouraging at all times.
  • Tervurens are not a good choice for first-time dog owners due to their high level of intellect and high level of activity.
  • Never buy a puppy from a puppy mill, negligent breeder, or pet retailer if you want a healthy dog. If you want to be certain that your puppy will be free of hereditary illnesses and have a healthy temperament, look for a reputable breeder who conducts genetic testing on 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


40 to 70 pounds


10 to 12 years


21 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder


As one of four Belgian shepherd breeds, Tervuren is one of the most well-known and widely recognised. Four breeds of dog are represented: the Laekenois, Malinois, and Groenendael, all of which have wiry, short hair. For centuries, these herding-guard breeds interbred before and after their designation as a single breed in 1891.

An early Tervuren breeder named his dog after his hometown, Tervuren, in the Netherlands. Due to the lack of eye-catching coloration and a lack of consensus on what hues were desired by breeders, Tervurens did not enjoy the same level of popularity as the other shepherd breeds. There were only a few Tervs in America when the registry opened in 1918 and the breed was nearly extinct by the Depression. Short haired progeny of Malinois parents were used to almost completely restore the Tervuren breed following World War II.

Tervurens were separated from the Belgian Shepherd in 1959 when the breed was split into three distinct subgroups. The most beautiful of the three breeds, these dogs have caught the attention of many people since their introduction. In recent years, they've gained a fair amount of notoriety. The Belgian Tervuren is a versatile dog that is employed less for guard duties and more for herding than the Belgian Shepherd.

Personality and Temperament

Smart and obedient, the Belgian Tervuren is a beloved family pet. It has a strong sense of self-reliance and prefers to avoid meeting new people. It also has a strong sense of duty to its human relatives.

Belgian Tervurens are exceptionally clever. It's eager to pick up new skills, but it also relishes the challenge of outwitting its human friends. When it comes to their family, they are both loving and protective. For this breed, early and frequent socialising is essential.

As a species, tervs require a steady stream of mental and physical stimulation to flourish. They, too, require regular contact with their human companions.

For those searching for an easy-going dog that is content to lounge around all day long, Tervs are not the breed for you.


The new owner of a Belgian Tervuren should have an idea of what to expect from the dog. Many families find the breed appealing because of its intelligence and passion for company, despite the fact that it may be a bit of a workhorse.


Like any other breed, Belgian Tervurens are susceptible to a variety of health issues. If you're thinking about getting a Belgian Tervuren, you should know that not all of these ailments will affect your pet.

Hip Dysplasia

The thigh bone does not fit securely into the hip joint in this hereditary disease. When a dog has hip dysplasia, it may or may not show any signs of pain or disability in the back legs. Arthritis may occur as a dog ages. In order to detect hip dysplasia, the Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program conduct X-ray screenings (Penn HIP). The breeding of dogs with hip dysplasia is not recommended.

Buying a puppy? Make sure the parents have been checked for hip dysplasia and are clear of any issues. It's possible that environmental variables, such as a fast development rate from a high-calorie diet, or accidents sustained by jumping or falling on wet floors, can cause hip dysplasia.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

The loss of photoreceptors in the retina eventually results in blindness due to this degenerative eye disease. In Belgian Tervuren, it is unlikely to be ubiquitous. Years before the dog shows any signs 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.

Do not, however, make it a practice to rearrange the furnishings. The eyes of their dogs are annually certified by a veterinary ophthalmologist and this ailment is not bred by reliable breeders. Your breeder's eye clearance indicates that you were born within the last year.

Elbow Dysplasia

Among large-breed dogs, this is a prevalent ailment. Joint laxity in the three bones that make up the dog's elbow is thought to be the reason. This can result in painful lameness. Depending on the severity of the problem, your veterinarian may advise surgery or pain treatment.


An epilepsy disorder, epilepsy can cause mild or severe seizures in the Belgian Tervuren. In addition to being passed down in families, epilepsy can also be brought on by a variety of other factors such as metabolic abnormalities, brain-infecting diseases, tumours, exposure to toxins, or even serious head injuries (referred to as idiopathic epilepsy). Unusual behaviour, such as running furiously as if being chased, stumbling, or hiding, may be indicative of seizures.

Dogs with idiopathic epilepsy have an excellent long-term prognosis despite the terrifying nature of their seizures. Epilepsy is treatable, but not cured, with medicine. If this condition is properly managed, a dog can have a long and happy life. Take your Belgian Tervuren to the vet as soon as possible if he experiences seizures.

Recommended Health Tests 

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


Keep your dog hydrated at all times. And provide your dog a nutritious, high-quality diet. The majority of pet owners feed their pets twice a day. Consult your veterinarian about the best diet for your pet, as it will depend on a variety of factors, such as age, weight, and level of activity. Because of their high level of activity, these dogs are less likely to gain weight, but you should still keep an eye on how many treats and other extra foods they consume.


By eliminating dead hairs from the coat on a weekly basis, you can cut down on shedding. Regular brushing with a pin or slicker brush will make quick work of this task and prevent your pet from forming mats in his dense undercoating..

It's not uncommon for your Belgian Tervuren to shed significantly for a few days each year. In order to maintain your home clean and expedite the shedding process, you should brush more frequently during this period.

By carefully studying his fur, you can see the vibrant shades that give him such a unique appearance. The base colour of each hair is normally fawn, although it can sometimes be a richer, redder brown.

Your dog's nails should be trimmed every few weeks, his teeth cleaned frequently, and his ears cleaned as needed. Additionally, he may benefit from an occasional bath to keep him clean and smelling good.


This is a very active breed. Too much energy and not enough excitement are major problems for Belgian Tervuren owners. Your dog still requires regular exercise, including walks, training sessions, and vigorous play, even if your yard is gated. Lack of activity can lead to negative habits like digging, gnawing, and barking in Belgian Tervurens.


Educating your dog at an early age is always a good idea. Preventing negative behaviours from developing and building a stronger bond with your pup can both be made possible with early housetraining and obedience training.

You can get a jump start on socialising your dog by having friends and family over to visit before he gets his immunizations. Children and cats can teach your puppy valuable lessons about proper behaviour as he grows older.

Children and Other Pets

Even if they've been raised with youngsters, well-socialized Tervs may have a tendency to nip at their heels and try to herd them while playing. Your Terv must learn that such behaviour will not be tolerated. For an adult Tervuren unfamiliar with children, a home with children of a mature age may be the greatest place to bring him into the fold.

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. As a parent, instill in your child an understanding of the dangers of approaching dogs while they are sleeping or eating. A dog should never be left alone with a child, no matter how old they are.

It is recommended for Tervs to be raised around other dogs and cats from the time they are puppies. Sometimes they become best friends with cats and other animals, who they will protect as if they were members of the flock, while other times they reach an accord of mutual indifference.

Even if they don't chase "their" cats, Tervs may be unable to avoid chasing cats or other animals that encroach into their yards because they have a chase impulse. When training your Terv to get along with other animals, it is critical that you begin the process early and reinforce good behaviour. Because Terv hasn't been socialised, it's your obligation to keep him under control in the presence of other animals.


Puppies in a Belgian Tervuren litter typically number from six to ten. There will be black tips at the ends of each hair on the pups' coats of fawn or mahogany. The Belgian Tervuren has a limited colour palette.

A Belgian Tervuren puppy of good quality can cost from $1,200 to $2,000 on average. Consider only working with responsible breeders when looking for a new puppy, rather than puppy factories.

Breeders that take their responsibilities seriously will only breed healthy dogs that have been thoroughly checked for hereditary health problems. For this reason, you should also steer clear of puppy mills when purchasing a puppy.

Dog breeds Similar to Belgian Tervuren

Other Belgian Shepherds, such as the Malinois and Belgian Sheepdog, are most similar to the Belgian Tervuren. Other large-sized herding breeds, like the German shepherd, can be found outside of this family.

Belgian Tervuren vs Malinois

In many respects, the breeds are very similar. Both require a lot of physical activity and training, are highly motivated individuals who take pleasure in having a job to complete. The Malinois has a short, robust coat that helps it perform well in hot and difficult environments. Unlike Tervurens, Malinois are more self-sufficient. The Tervuren, on the other hand, is more likely to form a tight link with the entire family rather than appointing one person as the leader.