The Belgian Sheepdog is one of four sheepdogs originating in Belgium. It is also known as the Belgian Groenendael (Grow-en-en-doll ) or Chien de Berger Belge. In some countries they are all considered one breed. The AKC recognizes three of the four breeds including the Belgian Groenendael. These four breeds are so closely related that, when they have a litter of puppies, some of the puppies will closely resemble one of the other three breeds more than its parents.
This medium to medium/large breed weighs between 55-75 pounds and is between 21″ to 27″ in height. They are a working dog and want a job to do. A bored Belgian Groenendael will find some way to fill its time and will make their own dog toys. That being said, it is best to ensure that they have plenty to fill their time.
The AKC recognized coat color for the Belgian Groenendael is black. They are permitted to have a very small patch of white on their muzzle, forechest and between feet pads. Their dense undercoat and long, straight, heavy outer coat needs daily grooming to prevent tangles and mats. They shed regularly but have a heavy shedding period twice a year.
Energetic and protective, the Belgian Groenendael is loyal to their family and makes an excellent watchdog. While two of the other Belgian Groenendaels are still used more as working dogs, the Belgian Groenendael is seen as family pet and watchdog. They need plenty of time and room to roam and run, so they work best with active families that have a large yard or regular access to a park or farm. They need early socialization for other dogs, children and pets. Some Belgian Groenendaels have been known to be aggressive so you should talk to the breeder about aggression in their ancestry. They are fairly easy to train, but early training is recommended.
Originating in Belgium, the Belgian Groenendael was developed by a breeder in Groenendael, Belgium. They have been traditionally used as working dogs and have had such jobs as police dog, cattle and sheep herder and search and rescue and message delivery dogs during WW I and II.
Family friendly, loyal and affectionate, the Belgian Groenendael enjoys companionship for play and rest. They are definitely not for families who want a calm lap dog. But, if you want an intelligent, energetic dog that enjoys exercise and play, then the Belgian Groenendael will not disappoint you in any way, shape or form.