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Discussion Starter #1
I noticed this beautiful duog in the Westminster dog show. can anyone give me the scoop on this breed? Thanks!
 

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there are two on my flyball team. They are drivey, hyper, gorgeous and extremely friendly. That's about all I know though :)
 

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Your description is perfect. We adopted one last year.

My girl is drop dead gorgeous, friendly, but in her case, does not seem to have the brains of a GSD. We always say that she goes around telling us "Aren't I pretty? Aren't I pretty?".

And she is a world champion dog wrestler. Sister goes outside to play and we let the other dogs out one at a time to wrestle with her. When she wears one out, that one comes back inside and we launch another competitor out the door. Talk about energy!
 

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A girl in our obedience club has two that compete in agility. I love their looks and personalities
 

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One of the first dogs my wife and I rescued was a Belgian Shepherd/German Shepherd mix, we think. For sure Belgian Shepherd.
I've said it many times before on different threads, Rocky was the best dog I've ever been around.
Plenty smart, afraid of nothing and could chase chipmunks/squirrels or anything you wanted, all day long. We'd spend a day cutting wood and he'd go like crazy, lay down for 10 minutes and then go again.
Loved that dog.
 

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My girl is drop dead gorgeous, friendly, but in her case, does not seem to have the brains of a GSD.
One of them is aptly named Marley :D

Brains are in there, just overshadowed by the lack of power to THINK haha
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you everyone! And wow, beautiful picture. Looks like my shepherd, only with long hair. I'm not defecting, but was just quite taken with its beauty. When I looked them up online, what I found interesting is that in some countries, a bitch can throw any of the shepherd types in the same litter, and depending on what it looked like it would be a malinois, terueven, etc., and it's okay. In other countries, it doesn't work that way; it had to be born to the breed it was called.

[Sorry for the typos in my original post - I was trying for the first time to type on my phone using a virtual keyboard. It took so long to get those few words out, it wasn't worth correcting!]
 

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If you ever think about getting one, be prepared for "puppies" everywhere. Rocky shed so bad it wasn't even funny.
We even tried shaving him one summer. Helped for a while, but boy did it come back.
 

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I have been involved with Belgian Sheepdogs (Groenendaels every where else in the world) for about 16 years now. They are fun dogs, wildly exuberant in all that they do but like GSDs there can be a wide range of temperaments within the breed. It is very important to be very careful when selecting a breeder. There are some breeders out there who seem "good" at first look but regularly produce and breed dogs with some pretty bad temperament problems.

As performance dogs, they can be really great. They make a pretty picture in the obedience ring because they are light on their feet and quick moving. They can give the appearance of doing everything just a bit quicker than a normal dog. They are naturals at agility, as they are very athletic and light weight for their height. Some of my girls take great joy in jumping on and off of our 4' tall deck - they jump on it from a run like it's nothing. They can go and go and go and go when they are having fun. One thing that really drew me to the breed was that dogs can excel in both conformation and performance venues. There have been multiple occasions at the BSCA National where the BOB or BOS dog also won the Versatility Award (earning points by competing in conformation and multiple performance/herding competitions). One of the dogs I admired most in the breed was BOB at the National twice and was BOS from Veterans class to her son (my Jagger's sire). She also had advanced titles in herding, agility, obedience and a TD. A dog that can do it all :)

Around the house, they are not unlike GSDs. They should have an "off switch" and be perfectly happy to chill out when nothing interesting is going on. Puppies tend to housetrain very quickly if the owner is consistent. They are devoted, like to be where you are and the boys can be rather needy. They are probably less destructive as youngsters than GSDs and can often be trusted loose in the house earlier. There can be some same sex issues between them, although I haven't had the serious fighting with my Belgian girls that I did with the GSDs. Male Belgians tend to be very macho though, especially towards other male Belgians. Many Belgian girls dislike having dogs invade their space and will get snarky if dogs do. Like GSDs, Belgians are not really "dog park type dogs" and don't tend to enjoy free for all play with strange dogs. Also like GSDs, early socialization and training is very important.

Compared to GSDs, Belgians are a more prone to frantic behavior and more easily frustrated, especially males. That might be the most glaring difference between them and GSDs when working with both. GSDs tend to be more level headed, even high drive ones. Belgians aren't always level headed. Some want so badly to do what you want them to do that it actually gets in the way of them figuring out what you want them to do, which makes them increasingly frustrated. If the trainer is also easily frustrated and quick to resort to force, this type of dog is probably not suitable. They also IME are more prone to resource guarding than GSDs, even as very young puppies. With proper early intervention, they can be quickly trained away from the tendency. However, if they are allowed to continue resource guarding into adulthood you will have a dog with a very serious problem. I have known quite a few older puppies and adult Belgians returned to their breeders due to resource guarding issues. Not all Belgians display the frantic behavior and it is usually only in certain situations. Not all resource guard either. But they are things to be aware of in the breed.

Temper tantrums can be common with Belgians, especially young Belgians. This likely has to do with their frustration level. Jagger startled people as a puppy because sometimes he would shriek and carry on if he was picked up when he didn't want to be. These temper tantrums usually are over the top displays with flailing and shrieking, then promptly end when it becomes obvious that "hey no ones listening". So the dog goes from acting semi-feral to everything is fine within a minute or two. When handled in a "yeah whatever" sort of way, they tend to outgrow this pretty easily. But as adults Belgians still tend to shriek when they want out of their crates, when they are excited and when they are upset. Some are "touch sensitive" and will shriek when you grab them. Belgians are quirky creatures ;)

I would disagree about the shedding. IME the Belgians shedding is much easier to deal with than GSDs. Grooming them is very easy for me. They tend to hold their coat when they shed (unlike GSDs who lose it with or without brushing), so once they start I take them to the grooming shop, bathe them and use a high force dryer. That pretty much takes care of getting all the dead hair out and they loose very little around the house. My groomer friends are surprised by how easily they blow and brush out - go from looking unkempt to looking like show dogs in a couple hours :) Shaving them would not be advisable, since it will ruin the texture of the coat. Some get bad "spay/neuter coats" where they don't shed much at all but the hair stays packed in the coat and matts really badly. With those coats, shaving could be considered, since the coat is ruined anyway but most people find they are able to control it by using coat stripping tools. I suspect the Mals are more similar to GSDs with shedding. The Laekens are a very low shedding breed.

Health wise, they are a pretty healthy breed overall. Hip dysplasia is not a big problem with them and they have a high percentage of dogs in the OFA database with Excellent hips (I want to say 32% of dogs xrayed are Excellent). They need to be CERF'd for PRA, juvenile cataracts and Pannus, which are not widespread in the breed but can happen. The biggest health concern is epilepsy, which can happen in any line but is definitely more common in some lines. Puppies can be prone to demodex. Some lines are prone to certain types of cancer. On the whole though, the breed tends to have a pretty long life expectancy averaging 12-15 years with 15-18 years not being unheard of. Two of my dogs have parents still alive and relatively well at 16 years old and their sire was over 17 when he passed away.

In many places outside of AKC (including CKC and UKC), the Belgians are recognized as one breed with four varieties, determined by coat type: the long haired black Groenendael, the long haired brown Tervuren, the short haired brown Malinios and the wirey haired brown Laekenios. Even within AKC it is not uncommon for Groenendael to produce Tervuren in a litter because many of the dogs are from imported lines and have Tervs in their pedigree (or as littermates). It is a rather complicated and political issue.

A few of my dogs...

Whimsy 23 months old getting her RN title

Same dog, a couple weeks earlier at her first agility trial

Jagger and Jora - Belgians and GSDs like a lot of the same games :)

Whimsy 18 months old


Cherry - my first bred-by CH


Jagger Heeling


Jagger
 

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Belgians are my breed of choice. I have a Malinois and a Laekenois.

I saw that the Tervuran placed in the Herding Group, I have many friends with both the Tervuran and the "Sheep Dog" (black one).

These are great dogs, the breeders make sure you get a dog with the right fit, BUT, they are active dogs and will not be happy sitting on the sofa all day. Most people do obedience or agility. If you like hiking,that would be great.

They are super intelligent and love to please. They cannot be trained with harsh methods, or they will shut down (sulk). Did I say they love to please? :D

There are always a lot of Tervuran litters happening. I'm on Facebook with a bunch of Belgian breeders and there are always puppies.

What got me interested in them was spotting them on a TV dog show. I just love the long hairs. ;)

Somebody called them "drivey and hyper", I don't think that is accurate. I think they get so excited doing their "job" that they seem this way. But like I said they love to work, but they also love to cuddle on the sofa.
 

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I have a Malinois - you can see her in my icon.

And, as much as I hate to say it on a GSD forum, I don't think I will be going back to GSDs in the future, I think I'll stick with Mals. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Again, thanks!! I appreciate the additional information, and I enjoyed all of the videos - beautiful dogs ya'll have!
 

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Agile, thanks for all the information. One of the reasons I come here is because I always learn something new.
Rocky was a HORRIBLE shedder, but he was a mix. Nice to know that the PB don't seem to shed as much.
We lost him due to multiple seizures and we had run out of options in regard to medication/diet/etc.
I'm a HUGE GSD fan, had them all my life and had 4 police K9 partners. Rocky was still the best dog I've ever been around.
When we get our next puppy, hopefully within the next 24 months or so, I know my wife wants a Belgian Groenendale so we're up in the air about that. (I caught her looking at your web site last night)
 

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My Rafi is the BOMB! He is a perfect dog: calm in the house but always ready for an adventure. When it's exercise/training time he's 110% there. He has phenomenal focus and is an absolute pleasure. He loves everyone--human and animal alike. He is very smart and catches on to things even before I formally teach them. He is always watching me to try to figure out what I want from him.

However, he is not for everyone. I have an active lifestyle and run a tight ship in my house. He thrives on leadership, consistency and challenges--both physical and mental...and he must have a job (which, in his case, is carrying something)!







 

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Sorry to hear about Rocky. I lost my boy GSD to the same problem at a young age. If you decide to get a Belgian, I can certainly point you towards breeders. My regular website is a bit outdated and in need of maintence but the Facebook page is kept updated. Also if you just want to talk Belgians while you try to make a choice, feel free to PM me :)
 

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If you're interviewing Belgian breeders, make sure you ask about seizure disorders and thyroid. I haven't seen many Belgians with hip or elbow problems, but I HAVE seen quite a few with seizure and/or thyroid problems!
 

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I have a Malinois - you can see her in my icon.

And, as much as I hate to say it on a GSD forum, I don't think I will be going back to GSDs in the future, I think I'll stick with Mals. :)
We still love GSD's and will probably always have one or two, but I will ALWAYS have a Malinois from here on out. I just love Dante and couldn't be happier with the breed. :wub:

Regarding shedding, my Mal is only a pup still at 7 mo old so this may change, but he doesn't shed hardly at all. My GSD's at 7 mo were always shedding much more than him.
 
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