Fun Belgian Sheepdog Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Jan 06, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Belgian Sheepdog Fact File
Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.4 Min

The Belgian Sheepdogs dogs are also called Belgian Sheepdog, Groenendael, or Chien de Berger Belge in their homeland Belgium. Belgian sheepdogs are a highly trainable, intelligent, hardy dog breed.

They make excellent pets and bond strongly with their owners. There are four Belgian herding breeds named after their villages of origin. The Groenendael, Belgian Laekenois, Belgian Malinois, and the Belgian Tervuren.

The history of Belgian sheepdogs can be traced the to late 1800s. Most herding dogs like the German shepherds, and Dutch and French shepherd breeds were known as continental shepherd dogs.

The four Belgian Shepherd dog breeds share similar kinds of behavior, habitat preference, and food. The only difference is in the shape of their square and triangular ears, and coat color, length, and texture. The Belgian Shepherd Dog Club was formed in 1891.

All Belgian shepherd dog breeds are medium sized herding dogs. The name suggests they were bred mainly to herd sheep. These multi talented breeds of working dogs are agile and alert. These traits later graduated them to do police work, search and rescue jobs, and participate in several dog sports. Belgian Sheepdogs are obedient, alert, affectionate, and territorial.

You may also check out the fact files on Polish lowland sheepdog and Croatian sheepdog from Kidadl.

Belgian Sheepdog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Belgian sheepdog?

Belgian Sheepdogs or Groenendael, as known in Europe is a solid colored Belgian shepherd dog breed. The sheepdog Belgian breed is an elegant and graceful, canine with a long black coat and high energy level. These dogs have an imposing appearance, athletic body, and friendly temperament.

They do well in agility, obedience, and of course herding. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Belgian sheepdog breed ranks 125 in popularity among the 197 breeds recognized by the AKC.

What class of animal does a Belgian sheepdog belong to?

Belgian sheepdogs are mammals. The bright eyed, affectionate, bushy tailed herding dogs give birth to puppies.

They are affectionate, loving, and sensitive but have a strong prey drive due to their herding dog status. These dogs need plenty of exercises, at least for 40 minutes every day. Mental stimulation is important for these dogs to avoid health conditions and to stay happy.

If the high energy Belgian sheepdogs are not provided with enough exercise, they may be bored and resort to destruction and mischief. These animals need space to run and play.

A home with a fenced yard will be an ideal living space for a Belgian sheepdog. Belgian sheepdog puppies tend to chase anything that moves. They will run after squirrels, rabbits, and even a moving bike.

How many Belgian sheepdogs are there in the world?

It can’t be said for sure how many Belgian sheepdogs are there in the world. However, from the American Kennel Club or AKC ranking, it can be guessed that they are not extremely popular in America.

Where does a Belgian sheepdog live?

A Belgian sheepdog lives on a farm or an urban home with its owners. The Belgian sheepdog requires balanced indoor and outdoor exposure.

They live inside homes with their human families. They require access to a fenced yard or open space where they can run chase, roll on the ground, and some off leash exercise. This dog breed makes excellent jogging, walking, and hiking companions.

Forty minutes to an hour’s exercise should be given to a Belgian sheepdog puppy. That will help maintain good health, a healthy weight, and a delightful temperament.

What is a Belgian sheepdog's habitat?

The most favorable climatic condition for these dogs in Belgium. All Belgian shepherd dogs can tolerate cold weather better than warm climates. Four varieties of shepherd dogs were bred in Belgium for herding sheep, The Groenendael Tervuren Belgian breed, the Belgian Malinois, and the Laekenois. The Groenendael was given the name Belgian sheepdog by the American Kennel Club.

The dog's main job was to herd sheep. That explains the high energy levels of these herding dogs. The long, black coated shepherd dogs got their name Groenendael as an important breeder of this dog breed Nicolas Rose, who operated a restaurant called the Chateau Groenendael.

Later these versatile dogs went to work as police dogs, border patrol dogs, tracing narcotics. During World War II, these intelligent dogs worked as excellent war dogs. They did jobs as messenger dogs, ambulance dogs, rescue dogs, and cargo for gunnery.

Who do Belgian sheepdogs live with?

Belgian sheepdogs live with human families in homes and farms. They need socialization to coexist and to lead happy life with other pets.

Belgian sheepdog puppies have a good temperament. They are curious and playful, eager to meet people. Exposure to people, sounds, smells, and experiences allow a Belgian sheepdog puppy to grow into a versatile, friendly, and well rounded dog.

This dog breed does not like to be neglected or left alone. They enjoy the company of their human family members. Training Belgian shepherd dogs is easy. They are obedient, intelligent, and quick learners.

How long does a Belgian sheepdog live?

Belgian sheepdogs have a life span of 10-14 years. This dog breed is quite robust and healthy and usually does not get overweight. However, they may face some common canine health problems like skin allergies, bloating, joint dysplasia, eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy.

How do they reproduce?

Belgian sheepdogs reproduce sexually like most mammals. A female Belgian sheepdog gives birth to six to eight puppies after a gestation period of 63 days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Belgian sheepdog breed is of the Least Concern.

Belgian Sheepdog Fun Facts

What do Belgian sheepdogs look like?

Belgian Sheepdogs look extremely elegant. The long haired dogs with a matt black coat have an impressive appearance with a well balanced body.

They are full of life, obedient, and have a friendly temperament. Belgian Sheepdogs either have a solid black coat or a black coat with white markings between the pads on their feet and tips of the toes.

Some may even have a small patch or a strip of white on the muzzle, chin, or the fore chest. White markings on the tips of the front toes according to the AKC breed standards are considered a fault.

This double coated dog breed has a topcoat with dense, long hair. The hair is straight but slightly coarse to touch. The undercoat is dense and soft. It provides warmth and protection from the weather. The thickness of the coat varies with the changing climate or the environment of the dog.

The body is muscular and athletic. They have a wedge shaped head and a long muzzle. The upright, triangular ears, dark brown eyes, and abundant hair around the neck or the ruff give them an elegant look.

The head well in proportion to the body with a flat skull top. The muzzle is fairly pointed and the size of the eyes is medium and shaped like almonds. Its triangular ears have a tuft of hair at the opening for protection.

The nose is black and the forehead is domed. These slender dogs usually are never overweight. They are agile, well mannered, and observant of strangers because they were bred to be guardians of their flock.

The weight of these medium sized dogs can be anywhere between 45-75 lb (20.4-34 kg), depending upon the sex, age of the puppy, and lineage. Male dogs are 24-26 in (60.9-66 cm) in height and the female is a couple of inches shorter.

Belgian sheepdogs have straight and strong legs that are well in proportion to the square body. The tail is feathered. Their grooming need is moderate but they shed heavily.

Twice weekly brushing and occasional bathing can keep the coat stylish, and tangle-free. Grooming needs to increase during the shedding season.

How cute are they?

Belgian sheepdogs are cute and cuddly. They love the attention of their owners and crave human attention. This dog breed needs proper training and socialization. Otherwise, they can be suspicious of strangers, and not so friendly with cats and other pets.

How do they communicate?

These affectionate dogs are loyal and love spending time with their family members. They do not like to be neglected, disrespected, or ignored. Belgian sheepdogs are vocal. They do not like noisy homes. The herding instincts of these dogs are expressed through their efforts of trying to herd their family members, by circling them and nipping on their heels.

How big is a Belgian sheepdog?

A 22-26 in (55.88-66 cm) tall Belgian sheepdog is almost four times taller than a tiny Chihuahua dog.

How fast can a Belgian sheepdog run?

Among the four Belgian shepherd dog breeds, the Belgian Malinois runs the fastest at the speed of 35 mph (56 kph).

How much does a Belgian sheepdog weigh?

The weight of a male Belgian sheepdog is around 65-75 lb (29.5-34 kg). The weight of a female is 60-70 lb (27-32 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male Belgian sheepdog is called a dog and a female is called a bitch.

What would you call a baby Belgian sheepdog?

A baby Belgian sheepdog is called a puppy.

What do they eat?

The herding dog breed can be given homemade food or commercially prepared food. Controlled food should be given at the age puppy doesn’t understand how much to consume. Most Belgian sheepdogs are not prone to getting overweight but a check on the food is necessary. Treats can be an important training aid.

Are they slobbery?

The group of Belgian shepherd dogs doesn’t tend to drool.

Would they make a good pet?

Smart, intelligent, and loving, Belgian sheepdogs make good pets. Belgian shepherd dogs are a group of highly trainable dog breeds. Early training allows gaining trust and respect. The best way to train a shepherd dog is with care, love, and respect. Wrong handling can hurt the dog’s temperament.

Belgian sheepdogs are good for experienced owners. These dogs have a high prey drive.

They can live with cats and other small animals only if they have been brought up with them from a puppy stage. Grooming needs are moderate, training is essential, and exercise requirements are high to keep them from gaining extra pounds.

These athletic dogs belong to the group of Continental Shepherds and do well in dog sports. If you love this Belgian breed you could get one from one of the national breed clubs or rescue shelters.

Did you know...

The Groenendael is the most popular Belgian shepherd dog variety from the group of four. Belgian Tervuren and the Belgian Malinois are becoming popular but the Laekenois is rare to find.

In the 1900s, Belgian Malinois and Groenendael varieties of shepherd dogs from Belgium were the first to appear in the United States. When the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America was formed, all the three varieties, the Belgian Malinois, Groenendael, and the Tervuren were considered a single dog breed. These breeds started appearing in AKC events in the mid 1900s.

Are Belgian Shepherds good family dogs?

Belgian sheepdogs make excellent family dogs. They are affectionate and good with young children. Breeders sell Groenendael Belgian Shepherd puppies at the price of $1500 to $2000. The breeders charge according to the dog’s age, lineage, and parent’s health.

Is a Belgian shepherd the same as a Belgian Malinois?

Both the Belgian sheepdog breed and the Belgian Malinois are varieties of Belgian shepherd dogs. Belgian Malinois has better trainability than the Groenendael or Belgian sheepdogs. Prey drive is more in the Malinois and the level of affection is greater among the Belgian sheepdogs.

None of the shepherd dogs are ideal for apartment living but the Belgian Malinois does better in apartments than the Groenendael. Both breeds are good in dog sports and compete under AKC’s herding group.

Both breeds are full of life and do not require much sleep. They are always ready to head outdoors for some activity and exercise.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these pyredoodle facts and merino sheep facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our English Sheepdog coloring pages.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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