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Belgian Sheepdog

Country/Date of Origin: Belgium/1200s

There are three herding dogs known collectively as the Belgian Shepherds. They share the same standard and are identical except for coat and color. The most popular is the long-haired Tervuren which is a rich mahogany overlaid with sooty black. The Gronendael, a long-haired solid black dog is usually referred to as the Belgian Sheepdog. The short haired variety is the Malinois, which is a brown or tan color with black mask and ears. They are shown as varieties of a single breed in some countries and as three separate breeds in others including their Belgian homeland. The American Kennel Club has considered them as three separate breeds since 1959.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Herding

Breed Club: Belgian Sheepdog Club of America, Inc.

Rescue Club: Belgian Shepherd/Sheepdog Rescue

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Body Type:

  • Has a square muscular body
  • Height: 22-26 inches (at the shoulder)
  • Weight: 60-70 pounds
  • Medium length, bushy tail is carried low and is never altered
  • The ears are erect and are not altered


  • Very intelligent
  • Trustworthy around people and property; a no nonsense dog with an innate sense of duty
  • Cautious of strangers; makes a fine watchdog
  • Loyal and affectionate to its family


  • Long straight, moderately harsh double coat that lies flat to the body
  • Moderate grooming required except when shedding in the spring and fall
  • Color is a solid black. Small bits of white are allowed but not desired

Health Concerns:

  • Generally healthy
  • Subject to hip dysplasia
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • This breed can be too aggressive
  • They were bred to protect flocks from attack by wolves and wild dogs
  • They have that strong territorial protectiveness and they are sometimes misplaced
  • The black variety is the most popular world wide
  • This breed was used as a war dog in World War I and II

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