Belgian Groenendael Shepherd

Dog Facts

Type:
Pastoral
Energy:
High
Exercise Requirement:
High
Affection Level:
Very affectionate
Protection:
Highly protective
Size:
Large
Grooming Maintenance:
High
Temperature Preference:
Temperate
Typical Lifespan:
10-12 years

About the Belgian Groenendael Breed

The Belgian Groenendael is biologically very similar to the Tervuren, Malinois, and Laekenois, although they look very different because of their coats. They all fall under the name "Belgian Sheepdog" but can be classed as separate breeds.

Like the other Belgian Sheepdogs, the Groenendael is a well built dog that is very square. It is good at chasing down and herding livestock. It carries its head high, and looks quite proud because of it. It has a smooth and easy gait that looks effortless. As a result of being bred for herding, it tends to run in long arcs rather than straight lines.

The Groenendael has a very distinctive black coat, and upright ears. The coat is double layered, and protects from weather and the cold, although it does mean it needs a bit more maintenance than the shorter haired Belgian Sheepdogs. It has a thicker layer of hair around the neck. It needs brushing once or twice a week, but once or twice a year it may shed and it will lose a lot of hair in this time.

Bred for hard herding work, the Belgian Sheepdogs are all about action. The Groenendael likes to run, move and is very high energy. It needs a lot of exercise, both mentally and physically. A simple walk likely won't be enough, and it needs training in such things as agility, fly ball or obedience. Its energy not only makes it good at working long hours, but gives it an alertness which makes it a good guard dog. It can be very protective of the family and the home, and as such may struggle to get along with other dogs, and has a domineering approach towards them.