Belgian Shepherd Groenendael Breed Overview
The Belgian Shepherd Groenendael has a flat skull decorated with its sharp muzzle which stop at it’s tight lips. It is well muscled, with tight skin and a squarely proportioned body which is covered by a weather-resistant coat that is usually solid black in color or with a small amount of white on the chest, chin or toes.
Even though it is a herding breed and it active nature is good fit for outdoor life, it could adapt to an apartment life as long it is given the chance to exercise daily and be off the leash as much as possible in a safe area.
The Belgian Shepherd Groenendael has a long, straight medium length, heavy outer coat with a dense underlying coat that requires daily brushing to clips out tangles and mats. This breed is a seasonal heavy shedder, shedding heavily twice a year which required frequent brushing to lessen the burden of cleaning.
A male Belgian Shepherd Groenendael would be 60 – 66cm tall and weigh 29 – 34kg
whereas a female Belgian Shepherd Groenendael would be 56 – 61cm tall and weigh 27 – 32kg.
Their life expectancy is approximately 10 to 12 years.
- Suitability for Children – High
- Tendency to Bark – Medium
- Energy – High
- Suitability as a Guard Dog – High
- Grooming Requirements – More than once a weekly
- Trimming Required – Monthly
- Amount of hair shed – Moderate
- Food Cost – $15 – $ 20
- Average Monthly Pet insurance Premium –
Origins of Belgian Shepherd Groenendael
The Belgian Shepherd Groenendael is one of four varieties of the shepherd dogs that were developed in Belgium in the late 1800s. The four varieties are the Malinois (fawn-mahogany, short coat with black mask), Tervuren (Fawn-mahogany, long coat with black mask), the Laekenois (Fawn, rough coat), and the Belgian Sheepdog, or Groenendael (black, long coat).
The black-coated Belgian Sheepdog was developed by breeder Nicolas Rose in the 1890s with the features of square, medium size dog with well-set triangular ears and dark brown eyes. This dog was popularized due to its versatility in work as it can be used as a police dogs in Paris and New York in the 1900s. In Belgium, customs officers patrolled the border with them too.
Belgian Shepherd Groenendael Temperament
As a herding group, the Belgian Shepherd holds true to its devoted nature to humans and is an intelligent, courageous and observant dog. It has strong protective and territorial instinct which makes it a good watch dog and a guard dog among the four different Belgian Sheepdogs.
It is very affectionate and friendly with people he knows and would be demanding of their time and attention as it does not like to be left alone. It is described as always in motion as it is full of energy and require daily exercise or training to simulate it mentally and physically. Constant training can build up its confidence and strength and to be taught firmly and patiently would gain its’ trust and respect easily.
It is essential to have Groenendael go through extensive and positive socialization at the early age to ensure that it grow to a well-rounded guard dog who can work independently on the field. As it is protective of its territory and simple to train, it makes them excellent police and guard dogs. Furthermore, it will chase joggers, cars or animals that runs, thus, it is better to keep it in a fence yard or let in on a leash to keep them in check.
Common Belgian Shepherd Groenendael Conditions and Diseases
Elbow Dysplasia – This is a heritable condition common to large-breed dogs. It’s thought to be caused by different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog’s elbow, causing joint laxity. This can lead to painful lameness.
In World War I, the Belgian Sheepdog carried messages and pulled ambulance and machine gun carts for the soldiers.