While the Belgian Sheepdog is considered one breed in many countries, it is pretty unique in that people breed it in four different varieties. There is the long-haired black Groenendael, the fawn Malinois with short hair, the Laekenois who is also fawn but has rough hair, and the long-haired fawn Tervure. In the US, the AKC considers them to be four separate breeds that fall under a very similar umbrella. As such, the appearance of your Belgian Sheepdog will very much depend on its variety! You can, however, expect them to be a fairly large and lean dog with pricked ears.
You may have heard of just how active a Belgian Malinois is, and that’s pretty true for all of the Belgian Sheepdog varieties. These dogs need a ton of exercise and aren’t usually content lazing around on the couch all day. In fact, if left to do so, you can expect them to become bored and highly destructive — likely the last thing you want since these are large and powerful dogs! They are, however, very intelligent. Training them should be a breeze if you can balance a firm and gentle hand. Dogs respond best to positive reinforcement, so make sure you’re ready and willing to work with yours.
Belgian Sheepdog – A Unique Dog
Unfortunately, some varieties of the Belgian Sheepdog can be a little snappy and intolerance of nuisances. That means they aren’t always best-suited to live with other animals. Take introductions slow, and have them meet other pets on neutral territory first. The energy level and intelligence of these dogs means they aren’t suitable for every family. However, if you have the right home and attitude, they can make absolutely wonderful companions. Just prepare yourself to give them all of the physical and mental stimulation that they need to thrive.