For a small country, Belgium has an impressive list of dog breeds which have a rich and colorful history.
In the Belgian Shepherd group there are four breeds of dog.
All are strong, muscular dogs that work hard and are keen to please their owners. They are useful 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 that come from Belgium.
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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 on a daily basis and does well in dog trials and as a family pet as both utilize its skills and requirements.
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 reenforcement during training sessions. With high energy levels it need 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 great pets if the owner has time to devote to training, exercise and care needed.
The Tervuren is the third of the four varieties in 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 are considered to be 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.
The Malinois is the last of the four varieties in the group of Belgian Shepherds.
Its name comes from Malines, the French name for the breed’s Flemish city of origin, Mechelen.
It is an excellent herder of cattle and sheep with it’s strong, well-built body and willingness to work hard.
This dog is totally devoted to its owner and very keen to please. It responds very well to training and direction and will cause major problems if it’s ignored or unloved.
The male is bigger than the female and more masculine in appearance also.
As well as the four Belgium Shepherd dogs there are also many more impressive dogs from Belgium.
Let’s learn about them.
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 since the middle ages to hunt deer and wild boar and to track humans. 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 incredibly strong ability to track scents which was useful to hunt and also find people who were lost or assisting police find people on the run. It also makes a great family pet.
6. Bouvier des Flandres
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, as well as being kept as pets.
7. Brussels Griffon
The Griffon Bruxellois or Brussels Griffon is a breed of toy dog, 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 smart, 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.
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 small 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. Shoemakers and other tradesmen kept them to eliminate rats.
These day they are a loving pet that is usually forgiven for its cheeky personality with a wag of its tail.
The Papillon is a dog who 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. 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 can be seen through many works of classic art.
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 in the links below: