Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael)
Breed Rating (2 Reviews)
The Groenendael is one of four 'Belgian Sheepdog' herding breeds from Belgium, along with the Malinois, Laekenois, and Tervuren. It was in 1959 that the 'Belgian Sheepdog' was divided into the different breeds or show purposes. The Groenendael was named after the kennels of that name that had been the centre of Belgian Sheepdog breeding since 1893.
By the First World War the Groenendael was being used as a sentry and messenger dog, soon becoming a popular pet n Europe and the US. In America they are still known as the Belgian Sheepdog.
The Groenendael is watchful, alert and loyal, with a strong instinct to protect it's family. They are good with children if they have been brought up with them, but may try and herd them, as shepherding breeds tend to. They can be trained not to give in to this instinct. They are usually fine with other dogs in the home and can even live peacefully with cats. They are wary of strangers at first and can be very protective of the home, so early socialisation is vital. Their independent and protective nature can cause problems if they are not exposed to a variety of people, places, sounds, etc, from a young age.
Training is generally easy with an intelligent breed such as this. They have a tendency to try taking over, so they need a firm and consistent hand when it comes to training. They are easily bored and you will have to adopt a variety of training techniques to get the best out of them. Play is an important element of both training and everyday life, which makes training fun.
Groenendaels are commonly used by protection companies and Police forces, as they learn quickly, have great focus, and can be relied on to do the job. They need a confident, firm but fair handler - anything weaker, and they will assume they are the top dog, which is bad news.
Greonenedaels have tons of energy and need plenty of long walks to help burn off their excess energy and pent-up stress. They enjoy going jogging with you and love playing frisbee or catch. They require a long walk at least once a day. WIth insufficient exercise, they soon become destructive and may develop behavioral problems. The breed does well competing in agility, flyball, herding, and obedience trials - a great way to tire them out and form a closer bond.
The Groenendaels' coat is long and dense and requires grooming. They need brushing every other day or so, and every day when they start their moult.
The Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) is intelligent and obedient, calm and focused, and quick to act in its role as guard dog. They are defensive of their human family and home, and their territorial instincts make them excellent guard dogs. This means they treat strangers with suspicion at first, and they are not suited to houses with young children. They are very athletic dogs and require plenty of exercise. They also need firm and consistent training to prevent them becoming bored and destructive at home.
The Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) is prone to epilepsy, allergies, eye disease, canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and elbow dysplasia.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 13 - 14 years
- Weight: 55 - 66 lb
- Height: 22 - 26"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Large House
- Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
- Breed Type: Herding
- Size: Large
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Over 2 hours