9 Belgium Dog Breeds ( Native Belgian Dogs)

Belgium has an impressive list of dog breeds that have a rich and colorful history for a small country.

In the Belgian Shepherd group, there are four breeds of dogs.

All are strong, muscular dogs that work hard and are keen to please their owners. They are valuable workers in many industries, including farming and police work, and make great pets also.

Let’s meet the four Belgian Shepherd dogs and then the other breeds of dogs from Belgium.

1. Groenendael

Groenendael dog photographed against a white background

The Groenendael is one of the four varieties in the Belgian Shepherd dog group.

The history of the Groenendael breed dates back to the 1800s. They were officially named in 1910 after Groenendael Village, where a man named Nicolas Rose first bred them.

The Groenendael has a long-haired black double coat (sometimes with patches of white) and grows up to be a medium-sized dog.

It has a strong, sturdy appearance. It needs a lot of training, attention, and exercise daily and does well in dog trials and as a family pet as both utilize its skills and requirements.

Did You Know?

  • The Groenendael has a missing optic chiasm, but its vision is surprisingly not impaired.
  • This dog breed can get separation anxiety if left alone for too long and loves company.
  • Sometimes it’s used in the police force and search and rescue agencies.

2. Laekenois

Laekenois puppy in front of white background

The Laekenois is another variety in the group of Belgian Shepherd dogs.

This strong, sturdy dog with a rough coat in red, gray, or light brown is the rarest of the four in this group.

The Laekenois reacts well to positive reinforcement during training sessions. With high energy levels, it needs daily exercise.

This friendly dog also needs regular brushing of its rough-haired fawn coat. It is reserved with strangers but devoted to those it knows. This dog needs a confident owner who can control a strong-minded dog.

It is used for police work, including bomb detection, drug work, search and rescue, and guiding the blind.

They can make excellent pets if the owner has time to devote to the training, exercise, and care needed.

Did You Know?

  • The Belgian Laekenois is very protective of both its owner and habitat.
  • Originally guarding linen drying in the fields was one of its jobs and herding.
  • It was used as a messenger in World War I and II.

3. Tervuren

belgian tervuren dog on white background

The Tervuren is the third of the four varieties in the Belgian Shepherd group.

It hails from the area of Tervuren in Belgium.

The dog’s history traces back to the late 1800s. It may have been assisting shepherds herd animals for centuries before, though.

One of the early breeders of the dogs bred Tom and Poes, who is considered the breed’s foundation dogs. They produced Miss, who then gave birth to Milsart, the breed’s first champion in 1907.

And so began a long history of Tervuren dogs.

It is a confident and hard-working herding dog that never gives up on the task assigned. It is affectionate and even possessive with its owner and family.

Did You Know?

  • Many Belgian Shepherd, including the Tervuren, are aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex.
  • Its long-haired mahogany or fawn-colored coat usually darkens with age.
  • If you own a Tervuren, you should brush its double coat once or twice a week for about 15 minutes.

4. Malinois

belgian malinois with goggles on white background

The Malinois is the last of the four varieties in the group of Belgian Shepherds.

Its name comes from Malines, the French word for the breed’s Flemish city of origin, Mechelen.

It is an excellent herder of cattle and sheep with its strong, well-built body and willingness to work hard.

This dog is devoted to its owner and very keen to please. It responds very well to training and direction and will cause significant problems if ignored or unloved.

The male is bigger than the female and more masculine in appearance also.

Wanna know more about this dog?

I have a nice article about Belgian Malinois vs. German Shepherd Comparison.

[ QUESTION: Are Belgian Malinois Good With Other Dogs? ]


Did You Know?

  • The Malinois is used in the police force and military.
  • This large, short-haired dog is prone to overweight, so its diet needs to be carefully monitored.
  • Mal is the nickname given to the Malinois breed.
  • The Mal is popularized in the movie: John Wick 3.


As well as the four Belgium Shepherd dogs, there are also many more impressive dogs from Belgium.

Let’s learn about them.

5. Bloodhound

2 Bloodhound dogs in the garden

The Bloodhound is one of the four varieties in the group of Belgian Shepherd dogs. You could be forgiven for falling instantly in love with the Bloodhound’s adorable appearance and puppy dog eyes.

This large scent dog was used for hunting deer and wild boar and tracking humans since the middle ages. History shows it came from hounds at the Abbey of Saint-Hubert in Belgium and was bred by the monks.

It’s famous for its powerful ability to track scents that were useful to hunt and find people who were lost or assist police find people on the run. It also makes a great family pet.

Did You Know?

  • The Bloodhound can track people over great distances, even days after they were in an area.
  • The expected life span of a Bloodhound is only around 7 years making it one of the shortest for all breeds of dogs.
  • Bloodhounds suffer an unusually high rate of gastrointestinal and eye, skin, and ear ailments.

6. Bouvier des Flandres

Bouvier des Flandres in front of a white background

The Bouvier des Flandres is a herding dog breed that came from Flanders.

They were originally used for general farm work, including cattle droving, sheep herding, and pulling carts. Nowadays, they work as guard dogs and police dogs and are kept as pets.

Did You Know?

  • The Bouvier des Flandres has a calm nature but will be aggressive
  • Many people say once the dog learns something, it will never forget it.
  • This breed stays small with puppy qualities for longer than most other breeds and is considered an adult around 4 years old.

7. Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon standing on the lawn

The Griffon Bruxellois or Brussels Griffon is a toy dog breed named for their city of origin: Brussels.

The Griffon Bruxellois may refer to three different breeds, the Griffon Bruxellois, the Griffon Belge and the Petit Brabançon.

There’s a lot of personality in this tiny dog that only weighs about 12 pounds. This intelligent, funny, and sensitive character will entertain its owner and all those around. They are easy to train and make lovely pets but not great for small children.

Did You Know?

  • In old folk songs, the dog was mentioned as bearded dogs, referring to their distinctive black muzzle, beard, and whiskers.
  • The Brussels Griffon gained popularity after being featured in the Jack Nicholson movie As Good As It Gets.
  • They are also known affectionately as Griffs.
  • They are dogs that look like Ewoks.
  • Brussel Griffons tend to take the fried chicken appearance when grouped up in numbers

8. Schipperke

Schipperke dog standing on the lawn

A Schipperke is a small Belgian black breed of dog that originated in the early 16th century.

There has been a long informal debate about if this type of dog is a spitz or miniature sheepdog. In their home country of Belgium, they are considered a miniature shepherd.

It’s a cheeky, brave, and curious dog and has earned the nickname of Little Black Devil (LBD) due to its nature.

The smart and outgoing Schipperke originated in Belgium as a small version of a black Belgian sheepdog known as the Leauvenaar.

The name Schipperke comes from a word meaning “little shepherd,” but the dogs were best known for guarding the boats on the canals between Brussels and Antwerp, and Shoemakers and other tradesmen kept them to eliminate rats.

This day they are a loving pet that is usually forgiven for its cheeky personality with a wag of its tail.

Did You Know?

  • Puppies are born with a full tail, half tail, or stub.
  • Schipperkes love to splash around in the water and will take a dip any chance they get.
  • They are sometimes too fearless and can get into tricky or dangerous situations.

9. Papillon

Papillon dog photo taken on white background

The Papillon is a dog that will win your heart just with its massive ears and delicate face and features.

The Papillon, also known by the name the Continental Toy Spaniel, is a spaniel breed. Papillon is French for butterfly, and it is named after the butterfly-like look of its long, furry ears.

Papillons became popular in the 16th century with aristocrats and artists and were seen through many classic artworks.

Did You Know?

  • The toy spaniel was often portrayed in paintings by the Old Masters from as far back as the 16th century.
  • The Papillon is one of the oldest of the toy spaniels.
  • Some call it the Butterfly Dog.

Final Thoughts

And so we complete our look at the collection of Belgium dog breeds.

Belgium indeed has a handsome bunch of versatile dog breeds in many different sizes and characters.

For someone looking for a loyal pet, you should be able to find one suitable for your lifestyle within this group of dogs.

Check Out Other European Dog Breeds Now

About the author: Driven by his lifelong passion for dogs and an insatiable curiosity about their diverse breeds, Pablo Pascua founded dogbreedsfaq.com. Through this website, he seeks to expand his knowledge and share his findings with fellow dog enthusiasts. Having owned several dogs throughout his life, Pablo’s experiences have fueled his interest in learning more about these beloved animals. His mission is to provide accurate and comprehensive information to help pet owners make informed decisions about their furry companion.