Newsletter Signup
Choosing & Caring for a Dog
Kids & Dogs
Great Dogs
Contact Us
Your Breed "Enjoy the great DigitalDog QuickTip courtesy of DigitalDog and"

Belgian Sheepdog (Groenendael)
The Belgian Sheepdog, known as the variety Groenendael in it's home country, offers an alert, confident and tireless worker in its ideal form.  In the USA, it is recognized as a separate breed while in Belgium it is simply a color variety of the Belgian Sheepdog. This variance in its recognition has created some issues in the breeding programs since in Belgium it is a purebred to breed a Groenendael to a Terverun but in the US it would not.  Nevertheless, as the breeds gained popularity in the US and more examples were available this issue becomes less a concern.  Handsome, vivacious and devoted to family and friend, the Groenendael is far from a dog suited for each and every home but for those homes that it is suited to, a greater friend is hard to find!
By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): Herding Height: 22-26 inches
Weight: 40-70 pounds Longevity: teens
Colors: black Coat type: long straight over the body, legs with feathering, ears and head smooth
Recognized Registries: FCI, AKC, UKC and others
Overall Appearance: Elegant, square and lithe, the Belgian Sheepdog with its prick ears and foxy expression exudes presence and intelligence.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderate to high
General Nature: genial to reactive
  with Children: can be good, proper supervision and introductions necessary
  with other pets: small animals could be at risk but often good
  with dogs: generally good but dependent on socialization
Socialization requirements: moderate
Ideal home characteristics: One that appreciates a dog interested in a job with high energy and intelligence.
Temperament Notes: Curious, intelligent and intent, this is not a dog that will deal with boredom well.
Training requirement: Moderate to high, socialization, basic manners and a
Trainer notes: Learns quickly and ALWAYS learning something.  Do not assume that if you are not actively "training" this dog that you are not training.  If so you will just as easily train bad traits and behaviors as desired ones.  Definitely not a dog to take on if you lack the time, commitment and/or ability to pursue a "calling" as this dog has one. From agility to flyball to herding to pet therapy to SAR, this dog is one who will always be seeking a task, if you do not provide one, you will likely end up with a neurotic mess who barks at every passing car while seeking to dig out of your yard and chase the neighbor's cat.  Inside they will seek to bark at everyone on the sidewalk while they eat your furniture.  Be prepared to give this dog a purpose and function.  It is your choice if this is the best of all possible companions or your worst nightmare.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: In the US early 1900s but in Belgian for many decades prior.
Country of Origin: Belgium
Original Function: herding and protection
History: One of the four naturally occuring sheepdog types of Belgium. When recognized in the US they were separated into the Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Turverun, Belgian Malinois. The Belgian Lakenois is not yet recognized.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: white, too large
Health Notes: hip dysplasia, eye problems, thyroid issues, epilepsy, low tolerance to anesthesia
Health Testing: OFA, CERF, Thyroid Panel
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Belgian Sheepdogs?
  • Why do you have Belgian Sheepdogs (show, performance, hunting, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Belgian Sheepdog?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you sent your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Beagle?
  • How would you describe the ideal Belgian Sheepdog home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Belgian Sheepdog?
  • Web Sites: Rescue List for the Belgian shepherd breeds including the Sheepdog and other three "cousins". Belgian Sheepdog Rescue

    Other Resources
    Breed standard: Belgian Sheepdog Club of America Standard

    Breeder Ethics: Code of Ethics for the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America

    Customize Site
    Enter Dog's Name:


    About Us | Contact Us | Advertising Opportunities | Privacy Policy

    © 2004
    All rights reserved