AKC PuppyFinder: Belgian Sheepdog Puppies
- Breed Traits
- Personality: Serious-minded, watchful, and very bright and trainable
- Energy Level: Very Active; A breed built for hard work, and plenty of it
- Good with Children: Better with Supervision
- Good with other Dogs: With Supervision
- Shedding: Seasonal
- Grooming: Weekly
- Trainability: Eager To Please
- Height: 24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)
- Weight: 55-75 pounds (male), 45-60 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
- Barking Level: Barks When Necessary
- Breed Description
This strong, agile member of the Herding Group is born to work. Belgian Sheepdogs are so smart and trainable that they excel at everything from dog sports like agility to roles as watchdogs, search and rescue dogs, service dogs and military K-9s. Lively and alert, Belgian Sheepdog puppies thrive on physical and mental exercise and human companionship. An owner who appreciates this elegant, active workaholic and gives him plenty to do will inspire undying loyalty and affection.
- History & Job
Year Recognized: 1911
Breed History & Job Description: Belgium’s climate and terrain are highly favorable for livestock and dairy farming, and the small but industrious country has always been self-sufficient in these commodities. It should, then, come as no surprise that old-time Belgian farmers were preoccupied with herding. There were once eight types of Belgian shepherd dogs. By the 1890s, when they were officially classified for the first time, there remained the four we know today: The Belgian Sheepdog, Malinois, Tervuren, and Laekenois.
Like all living things, Belgian Sheepdogs can be susceptible to disease and affected by hereditary issues. In this breed, some problems that are seen are cancer, epilepsy, hip and elbow dysplasia, PRA and cataracts. Hypothyroidism and retained testicles issues are seen as well. Each of these health issues are commonly found across all pedigree lines. Most of these health issues are polygenetic and come from more than one gene pair. These traits are more complex than the typical dominant or recessive genetic trait and therefore, much more difficult to identify in breeding stock unless the dog is symptomatically affected. Another point to consider is that the health concerns highlighted here are very rarely unmanageable—or result in the death of a pet. Many times, the health concerns referenced are much more of an inconvenience to the owners than they are to the dogs—which learn to compensate quickly.
Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Elbow Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- Breed Club