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Belgian Shepherd et All


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There is a grouping of three Belgian dogs, all originally sheepherders. I have heard wonderful things about them but its all sort of a mishmash. I would love to hear from people who actually own/have owned/have personal experience with. . . Carol?

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Hi DP Long time no speak :lol:

There are 4 typoes of BSD

they are
Belgian Shepherd Dog - Groenendael

Belgian Shepherd Dog - Laekenois

Belgian Shepherd Dog - Malinois

Belgian Shepherd Dog - Tervuren

go to breeds in dogo and read up on them till carol gets here

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes, there are actually 4 "flavors" of the Belgian Shepherd. The US or AKC is the only country that separates them into the Sheepdog, Tervuren, Malinois and the Laekenois.

The Belgian Laekenois is not recognized by the AKC, but they are recognized in Europe and Canada.

The Belgian Shepherd is a herding dog. You can look up the breed standard for the AKC at [url]www.akc.org[/url]. The standard for all 4 varieties is and should be the same. The only difference is drive and coat type.

Most if not all Belgians excel at everything from obedience to messenger dogs. Many are Search and Rescue Dogs and many Malinois are K9 and Military dogs.

If you can be more specific, I can perhaps try to answer your other questions.

Judy
Sourire Belgian Sheepdogs (the Black Variety)
New Jersey

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Welcome to Dogo Judy

Let's see where to start with the questions . . . temperment.
I have been led to believe that although the whole lot of them bond to their famalies they are not the most lovey dogs but that the B. Sheepdog is a bit more affectionate and the B.Malinois a bit less - is this so. I have also heard that working drive is reversed - Malinois more, Sheepdog less.

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Hmmm, how to answer this in a nutshell.

The belgian sheepdog is aloof with strangers. It is supposed to be that way because it was bred as a guardian dog. They are in no way like a Golden Retriever or Lab.

They should certainly welcome strangers, but don't expect happy faces, licks and tail wags. They tolerate it and should always accept it when trained and socialize properly. For this very reason Belgians are difficult to show in the show ring ....... after all they have to be touched by a "stranger", ie; the judge. They should never under any circumstances be vicious, growly or barky. Their demeanor can certainly come off as skittish or nervous, but it isn't.

I've seen many Belgians of all varieties do from Schutzhund to Therapy work. Breeding lines are very important to get what you want. If you want high drive high energy dogs, you will breed like to like. Pedigree study and research is most important.

My Belgians are very typical. They are aloof with strangers and won't happily walk up to one for a pet, but if I ask them to they will. This is typical of the breed.

You should read the akc standard ....... it really does explain them well.

My female is quite zippy and firey. I would consider her a harder Belgian to handle, altho she excels in agility and loves children, her first and foremost concern in life is ME!

I bred her to a male who has a much overall stable temperament, but she is certainly within the breed standard for temperament.

No I don't think one "flavor" is more affectionate than the others ...... if you speak to owners of the others they will all say that their Belgians often lay at their feet, follow them around like a shadow and sleep with them.

All of them are extremely nice ...... some more biddable than others, but very nice just the same.

I am, of course partial to the Black Coated Variety. :D

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Welcome Judy! :D

You explained that really well, I learned quite alot! We have another Belgian lover here, Carolk9's, you two should chat! :D

We would also [i]love[/i] pictures of your dogs and pups!

Glad you made it over here, hope you stick around! I'd learn alot from you! :)

-Rowie-the-Pooh :angel:

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Believe me Rowie, I talk to Belgian folks all the time :D .

I've posted pictures of Kira's puppies under the thread "the cutest puppy in the world".

There are many many more knowledgeable people about Belgian than I, and for every unique Belgian there is a unique owner/handler who has a different take on them.

But basically, what I forgot to mention, they still are sheep herders ....... I take herding lessons once a week with both of my dog ..... they love it and so do I!

You will see many Belgians of all varieties at the Herding Trials around the US ........ they are fun to watch ...... and they are quite impressive with their thinking ability.

Belgians also need a job to do everyday ...... they need brain work. They are highly intelligent and if training them gets boring to them, they will change the rules of the training session and if you aren't quick enough to follow along, they will leave you in their dust! :D

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[quote]Temperament
The Belgian Sheepdog should reflect the qualities of intelligence, courage, alertness and devotion to master. To his inherent aptitude as a guardian of flocks should be added protectiveness of the person and property of his master. He should be watchful, attentive, and always in motion when not under command. In his relationship with humans, he should be observant and vigilant with strangers, but not apprehensive. He should not show fear or shyness. He should not show viciousness by unwarranted or unprovoked attack. With those he knows well, he is most affectionate and friendly, zealous of their attention, and very possessive. Viciousness is a disqualification.
[/quote]

The above is the AKC Standard for the Belgian Temperment.

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THE BELGIAN SHEPHERD.....WHAT JUDY SAID! 8)
Judy, I've been bragging about my Jesse for a long time, welcome to the forum and I look forward to watching the puppies grow and hearing more about your dogs.

My Belgian boy Jesse is the love of my life, he was my introduction to Belgians and boy has he taught me! He never fully got the hang of that 'aloof' thing, while he will mostly ignore strangers who are ignoring him, let them show the slightest interest and he's all smiles and howdy how are ya?
He is truly the most biddable dog, he set the standard in my house and the girls try to keep up.
He always barks ferociously from inside the house at the mail delivery person, recently I was outside with my neighbor and the dogs were loose. We were behind a large bush in her yard, I did not realize the mail truck was coming, she pulled up and got out to bring my neighbors mail. Jesse saw her and my heart about stopped. I snapped out a hard stay command as I worried how he would react. I quickly went to him and grabbed his collar only to realize he was slowly waving his tail. He really wanted to go visit but she is understandably leery of him. He WAS on his toes but gave no indication of aggression.
His rule is, in the house or in the back yard, BEWARE I AM ON PATROL AND WILL ALLOW NO TRESPASSERS! Out front is another story, he wants to meet and greet.

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Oh I forgot something.
A few months ago I helped transport an older rescue Malinois named Luke down to NC. He was an absolute GENTLEMAN! I had time to take him out and walk him around before Connie met me. By the time she arrived, he was relaxing and seeking attention from me. Let me tell ya, if I did not already have an older male, Luke would have come home with me!

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Oh one more post then I really must wash the dishes!
Like with all breeds, breeding the correct temperament is critical. Belgians are supposed to notice and react to their environment, in other words very little if anything should escape their notice. This trait has created some Belgians who do indeed have nervous and/or hyper temperaments. Their reactive mode is set overly high ALL of the time. I have met some freaky Belgians but thankfully very few.
Years ago at my vets office, I mentioned that Jesse, who was just acting restless, was a bit nervous. The vet laughed and said for a Belgian, Jesse was being a rock, he'd seen some that would not have sat still for a second and would be all over the exam room. Silly me, I thought he was typical. I will brag tho and say that I've rec'd many compliments at the vets on all my dogs for them being so well behaved. It's what I expect from them!
In my not so humble opinion, Jesse has a wonderful temperament. Granted he is more outgoing and friendly than the standard calls for but I'll take that over a fearful dog ANY day. He doesn't act like a Golden, nor does he act like a Kuvasv, somewhere in the middle.

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  • 2 months later...

From what I understand they are very loyal and devoted to their people. How is that shown? Like with Tahoe, a border collie I know, she comes right up waggs her tail and wants to be petted all the time. Morga, a great pyrenees, will stand a distance off and wag her tail and be happy if you come up to her, but she won't go seeking attention the same way as Tahoe. Which are Tervurens more like? How many people do they consider to be their family? Can it be any amout, or just 1 or 2? So they don't love strangers. But if they meet the same person a few times, will that person become a friend? Is it easy to make friends with them? Is about 2 hours aday outside walking, running free and running beside a bike good enough exercise or not? Can they learn to be calmish inside? Like not ALWAYS running around or pacing nervously? What is the best way to train them? Are they generally easy to houstrain? Is there a big difference between the bitch and the dog? :)

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  • 3 months later...

Welcome to Dogo JDM

I understand that Belgians tend to have a fairly dominant nature and are very high energy. I think I would manage but it probably won't come up anytime soon - it will likely be at least 5 years before I add to my doggy family - 2 is enough with my tiny backyard. A freind of mine's parents got a Belgian Malinois, they had experience with dog training/police dogs/GSDs but I don't think they had any experience with keeping a dog like this as a house pet. They claim the dog "went crazy." It broke the crate and tore up the house and ate chair cusion. So what do they do . . . the next time they go out they but the crate up against the couch . . . the dog ate its way out. Needless to say they need a new couch. They took the dog to the pound. I think the problem was likely that they were crating it too much (in a crate that was obviously not sturdy enough) and not excercising its mind and body enough - and why on earth they thought the couch would stop it I'll never know - you'd think with their alleged background they'd know better.

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thanks for the warm welcome DogPaddle! :D

the problem with your friends Mal is they crated the dog so much! Mals need to expend their energies which some days seem to never run out! i train my Mals every morning and bring them with me to the office as much as i can during the day. when we get home i put them on the run for an hour then give them dinner and by then they would be tired and satisfied. i train my Mals in protection, obedience and agility. i'd have to say that they are very fast learners and the set back to that is they also bore easily, so you'd have to figure out a new challenges for them from time to time! :D

good luck on your new dog in 5 years or so! hehe! :D

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I agree completely. I have read a bit about Malinois and know someone who does Schutzhund (with his Czech lines GSD) with I guy who breeds Malinois. They seem like a breed who require the most attention to them in terms of opportunity for physical and mental excercise. They also have a wonderful reputation for obedience - if you ensure they get the excercise they need and keep yourself alpha to them. I have heard of Malinois doing SAR and policework as well as agility, tracking and obedience. I have even heard of one Malinois that does SAR and therapy work but I think that it must be an exceptional dog and a devoted handler.

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well i do protection work, obedience and agility with my Mals! me and my dogs have lots of fun during trails - win or lose! hahaha! :D

you are right about the Alpha thing! i bought Sage when he was 2 years old and was already protection trained. on the second day we trained when i was about to put the collar around his neck, he bit me! good thing i was wearinga jacket and that saved my arm! hehe! i guess he was just trying to see if he can be Alpha. but now he is as lovable as ever! :D

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