The Belgian Sheepdog: A Complete Guide

The Belgian Sheepdog is not only graceful but also versatile.

He is a workaholic in disguise. His work ethic is second to none, and he is happiest when he has specific duties to perform.

The Belgian Sheepdog is very intelligent and can learn almost anything with the right training.
He is not all work and play, though. He is an active dog and will keep the kids busy.

He is a vigilant and keen watchdog. His protective nature will ensure that you and your family are safe and that your home is protected as well.

He is a great companion for families with active lifestyles.

The Belgian Sheepdog combines the versatility of a working dog with the gentleness of a family companion. He will be a wonderful companion as long as he receives the exercise he needs.

Of all the traits this breed has, energy is at the top of the list of what to consider before you purchase.

The Belgian Sheepdog is not a breed that enjoys lazing around the house. He’s a working dog.

Expect to give him at least an hour of exercise per day. He needs variety to keep from becoming bored.

A black Belgian Sheepdog with pointed ears
The Belgian Sheepdog may show signs of aggression towards other pets and dogs.

He’s not a good choice for people who work long hours and have no way of exercising their dog during the day.

If he’s left on his own, he will tend to create his own enjoyment or suffer from separation anxiety.

Belgian Sheepdogs do better in homes with yards. Their herding heritage makes them chasers, and they’ll take off after joggers, bicyclists, and cars if they aren’t contained by a fence.

Loving and devoted, the Belgian Sheepdog will always protect the children in his family, but adults should still supervise them when playing or when neighboring children are around.

This versatile dog has many excellent characteristics, but he’s probably not suited to a first-time dog owner.

He’s affectionate, devoted, and active, but he can also be shy, sensitive, and strong-willed. When you put time and effort and energy into him, however, he’s well worth all your work.

Belgian Sheepdog Puppies – Before You Buy…

What Price are Belgian Sheepdog Puppies?

The price of Belgian Sheepdog puppies is approximately $1,200 to $1,400.

How to Find Reputable Belgian Sheepdog Breeders?

When you’re looking to buy a Belgian Sheepdog, you want to find a reputable breeder with a history of producing healthy puppies.

These breeders breed few litters, and they often have waiting lists for their puppies.

However, you need to take the time in finding a good breeder. Do your research and talk to people who have Belgian Sheepdogs.

Reputable breeders can tell you all that you need to know about the breed that you want. Attending a dog show is an enjoyable way to track down a breeder.

But you can also refer to dog magazines and check out the breeder advertisements.

If you can’t find anyone locally, call the nearest Belgian Sheepdog breeder, who likely is a member of a national or regional breed club and can give you a breeder referral.

Joining a club devoted to the Belgian Sheepdog also puts you in touch with good breeders through an email subscription and contacts with other members.

3 Little-Known Facts About Belgian Sheepdog Puppies

  1. The Belgian Sheepdog is sometimes referred to as Groenendael. It’s known for its versatility and hardworking nature.
  2. Between 1891 and 1901, there was a concerted effort to develop a standard for the breed and improve it for exhibition shows.
  3. The earliest Belgian Sheepdogs were used for herding and guarding purposes.

Physical Traits of the Belgian Sheepdog

A small Belgian Sheepdog puppy
The Belgian Sheepdog is very obedient and playful.

Belgian Sheepdogs are muscular, strong, graceful, and agile dogs. They are squarely proportioned.

They have long muzzles, round, dark eyes, and erect ears that sit high atop the head. They have thick double coats that should be all black or black with trace amounts of white patterns.

Belgian Sheepdogs need a lot of brushing to keep up with their shedding and to keep the coat tangle and mat free.

Daily brushing using a special comb or a brush can make coat maintenance much easier. Twice a year they will blow their entire coat, which will require extra grooming time.

Bathe him only when needed, like when he gets dirty or smelly. Check his ears weekly and brush his teeth several times a week to keep away harmful bacteria.

Active Belgians will naturally wear down their toenails. But if the nails click on a hard floor, they should be trimmed.

How Big is a Full-Grown Belgian Sheepdog?

Male Belgian Sheepdogs should stand from 24 to 26 inches in height and weigh between 45 and 65 pounds.

Females should stand from 22 to 24 inches at the withers.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Belgian Sheepdog?

The Belgian Sheepdog life span is about 10 to 12 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Belgian Sheepdog

A Belgian Sheepdog with a tennis ball in its mouth
The Belgian Sheepdog is alert and intelligent.

Intelligent, alert, and brave, the Belgian Sheepdog is an ideal companion for an active family.

He was bred to herd livestock, so he likes to constantly move or entertain. It can be just playing with the kids, going out for walks, or chasing an interesting object.

His vigilance makes him an effective watchdog. He can be trusted to keep a watchful eye on the kids while they play outside.

He can be trained to do just about any task, and he will do every task put before him with efficiency and grace.

Though sometimes stubborn, the Belgian Sheepdog is also very easy to train. He can read small movements and even changes in facial expression.

He is famous for being so in tune with his trainers that he can stay one step ahead. This is why Belgian Sheepdogs often compete and win in agility and herding competitions.

The Belgian Sheepdog is not for the first-time dog owner. He is very smart and manipulative, and he can easily walk all over you if you don’t show him who’s the pack leader.

Positive reinforcement works best when it comes to training a Belgian Sheepdog because discipline can result in stubbornness or avoidance behavior.

The Belgian Sheepdog’s herding nature makes him prone to chasing. Kids, cars, bikes, or other animals can cause him to just take off.

Fenced yards and leashes can prevent him from running off into the sunset and possibly getting hurt.

Small animals should not be brought into a Belgian Sheepdog’s home or yard because his instinct may be to chase and hurt the animal.

This inborn herding nature also makes the Belgian Sheepdog protective of his home and family. It makes him wary of strangers.

It’s important to socialize him as early as possible so that he will learn the difference between a welcome guest and an unwelcome one. Otherwise, aggression can develop.

Barking, chewing, and separation anxiety can sometimes develop in this breed, but this can be because of boredom or lack of exercise.

Choosing to have a Belgian Sheepdog means choosing to lead an active lifestyle.

The Belgian Sheepdog’s Diet

The Belgian Sheepdog is a large dog, and he will consume quite a bit of food. It’s best to give him dry kibble formulated for his activity levels.

The quality of food will help determine the amount of food the dog requires to stay healthy and fit.

How Much Exercise Does a Belgian Sheepdog Need?

Belgian Sheepdogs need a lot of physical activity to remain happy and healthy.

Apartments are not the ideal living situation for this breed because they will not be satisfied with just daily walks.

They need to run, jump and play every single day. If they don’t get sufficient physical activity, they can quickly become disruptive and destructive.

This breed is perfect for families with big, fenced-in yards and kids to play with. Belgian Sheepdogs want to join all outdoor family activities, including playing, walking, running, and swimming.

They love interacting with people and shouldn’t be left alone too long during the day.

Belgian Sheepdog Health and Conditions

Both elbow and hip dysplasia are prevalent in the Belgian Sheepdog.

Other health issues such as epilepsy, cancer, and progressive retinal atrophy have been diagnosed as well.

Belgian Sheepdogs often have anesthesia sensitivity, so be careful when considering giving them any kind of sedation.

My Final Thoughts on the Belgian SheepdogA close up of a Belgian Sheepdog's face

The Belgian Sheepdog is best defined as an intense dog.

He exhibits an independent nature and is highly protective of his humans.

This is why this breed is a great choice for a house dog!
He is somewhat conscious of strangers.

At times, he can show signs of aggression towards other pets and dogs.
But the Belgian Sheepdog is very obedient, playful, alert, intelligent.

He’s a very quick learner, but some Belgian Sheepdogs also display a dominating character.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3