Facts and Information on the Belgian Laekenois Dog Breed

Anyone can guess by the name Belgian Laekenois(pronounced as “Lak-in-wah”) that this breed comes from Belgium. These are medium-sized herding dogs that resemble sheep. This sheepdog has close relations with the Groenendael, Tervuren, and Malinois- native shepherds of Belgium. The Belgian Laeonis breeds might be closely related to these natives, but they still stand out because of their unique coats. Keep reading to know more about this breed. 

Breed NameBelgian Laekenois
Other NameLaekenois 
Dog Breed TypeHerding Dogs
Parent BreedsNone 
Height22-26 inches 
Weight44-66 pounds
Life Expectancy10-12 years 
Coat TypeTousled, Rough
Common ColorsFawn, Red, Grey
Grooming NeedsHigh 
TemperamentAlert, Watchful, Affectionate, Protective 
Apartment LivingSuitable for apartment living 
Health ConcernsHeart Problems, Epilepsy, Dental Problems, Skin Allergies
Overall HealthHealthy 
Intelligence LevelMedium to High
Energy LevelHigh 
Litter SizeEight puppies 

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability 3 stars

Adaptive to apartment living 3 stars

Suitable for new owners 3 stars

Sensitivity scale 2 stars

Comfortable being alone 2 stars

Comfortable with cold weather 3 stars

Comfortable with hot weather 3 stars

All about friendliness 4 stars

Lovable with family 4 stars

Kid-friendly 4 stars

Dog-friendly 4 stars

Frank with strangers 3 stars

Grooming and Health Requirements 3 stars

Shedding quantity 3 stars

Drooling capacity 3 stars

Effortless to groom 4 stars

Overall health 3 stars

Capable of weight gain 3 stars

Size 4 stars

Trainability 3 stars

Effortless to train 3 stars

Smartness 4 stars

Capable of biting 2 stars

Tendency to attack prey 4 stars

Urge to howl or bark 2 stars

Wanderlust nature 3 stars

Physical Requirements 4 stars

Energy range 4 stars

Intensity 3 stars

Exercise Requirements 4 stars

Playful nature 4 stars

Vital Statistics






The Belgian Laekenois dogs are not the happiest when left alone. This leads to destructive behavior to show their unhappiness to their owners. They are suitable for apartment living as long as you’re not keeping them alone in your apartment. These are herding breeds, so they will be protective by nature and will try to control everyone around them. 

They are high-maintenance dogs, as you can tell just by looking at their fur. The Belgian Laekenois dogs like to learn new things. They are said to grow more mature mentally soon than physically because of their high intelligence levels. Obedience training is the best form of training for them. 


Some say that the Belgian Laekenois is not a purebred; instead, in the 1880s, there were four Belgian Shepherds, and it’s a variation of one of those. This breed got its name from the region where it was developed in Belgium. They were protectors and herders of the Royal Castle of Laeken’s sheep, so they might consider this breed as an aristocratic breed. 

The Belgian Laekenois acted as messenger dogs during both world wars around the 20th century. They rose to popularity because of this, and their demand increased. The Belgian Shepherds were classified into four main types during the 1890s are- the Malinois, the Laekenois, the Groenendael, and the Tervuren. All these four types were similar in nature and appearance. They were differentiated based on coat types. The Belgian Laekenois was recognized because of its curly and wiry coat. 


The Belgian Laekenois are medium to large-sized dogs. The female dogs might be a bit shorter than the male dogs. The size of a dog can vary because of many factors, so they might grow big or short than the average size for their breed. 


The Belgian Laekenois dogs are loyal and attentive and love pleasing their hoomans. That means this breeds a lot of your care and attention, so better not leave him alone. They are hungry for love, and if you give it to them, they will become your companions for life. Harsh training or yelling will do no good and instead make your pet resent you. No pet owner wants that. Be consistent with your dog, and obedience training will be helpful. 

Socialization is a necessity for every dog to become the best version of itself. Take them to dog parks, travel with them where pets are allowed, and help them make friends. Let them gain new experiences, and the Belgian Laekenois dogs will become your best friends. Socialization helps in controlling the negative traits of your dogs. Especially when this breed has a history of being territorial, socialization will get rid of that and make your pet friendly towards everyone.


The Belgian Laekenois dogs are generally a healthy breed. However, there are some health issues this breed is likely to face. 

  • Heart problems
  • Skin allergies
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Dental Problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Get your dog tested for a dentition exam, hip and elbow, ophthalmologist evaluation, cardiac exam, and thyroid exam. 


The Belgian Laekenois dogs are prone to skin allergies, so take them on regular vet visits. Your vet can also help to make a diet and exercise schedule for your dog. A proper care routine made with the help of your vet will keep your pet healthy and happy. These dogs can gain weight if given a lazy lifestyle. Don’t make your dog a couch potato, and take them on long walks daily. They’ll love to spend time with their human. Do some interesting activities to maintain your pet’s physical as well as mental health. 

Nail trimming should be done before they get long, and scratch everything with it. Take them to a professional groomer if you’re a first-time pet owner. Brush their teeth regularly to avoid any bacteria buildup. Dog teeth are not like a human’s, so take your vet’s advice on how to brush them. 

Feeding and Diet

All dog breeds need to be fed a nutritional diet with treats given in limited amounts. Give high-quality dog food to your Belgian Laekenois. Treating them for every good thing they do or leaving food everywhere can impact your dog’s health in the long term. These dogs are likely to face dental issues, so keep wet food away from them. Instead, feed them crunchy and hard kibble to avoid plaque buildup. Your vet can tell you about your dog’s food allergies and help you make a good diet plan for them, keeping in mind their activity, size, and age.

Coat color and grooming

You’ll notice that the Belgian Laekenois’ coat is curly and wiry. There will be a short and soft coat underneath. This breed’s coat can be found in mahogany, red, or fawn colors. They’ll probably have a black mask too. 

Looking at their coat type, you can easily guess that they are high-maintenance dogs and require daily grooming. Brush their fur at least once a week to get rid of debris and avoid matting. Never clip the coat, as it can damage the fur’s double layer that naturally controls its body temperature. Regularly check their ears to avoid any possible infections. Dip a cotton ball in a cleaning solution to clean their ears. 

Children and Other Pets

The Belgian Laekenois can become a great family dog, especially with children. They can bond well with older children more than younger children. Being herders in the past, these dogs will try to herd kids and also nip their heels. All you need to do is teach your kid and dog how to behave with each other and supervise their playing sessions. Doing so will make this breed the perfect family dog for you. 

As you know that these are herding dogs, so they become a bit territorial. Having other pets in the house can make them protective of their things. However, early socialization can help them make friends with other pets without being controlling.


The Belgian Laekenois dogs might not be heavy shedders, but you still have to brush them using a brush made for coarse fur. Doing so helps in removing knotting and dead hair. They are said to shed a little or not at all. If they do, it will happen once a year. 

Male vs Female Attitude

The Belgian Laekenois is a friendly, alert, affectionate, and protective dog in its nature, regardless of gender. The only difference you will notice between male and female dogs is their size. All dogs of this breed will have similar attitudes depending on the environment they grew up in.


Prepare yourself to take your Belgian Laekenois on hour-long walks to keep them happy. This breed needs a lot of activities and exercises to be healthy. 

Little-known facts

Apart from protecting livestock, the Belgian Laekenois had another fascinating role too. Their job was to look after linen drying out in the field. Another interesting thing about this breed is that there are around 1,000 Belgian Laekenois alive today, making them the rarest dog breed to be owned. 

FAQ on breed

  1. Where do the Belgian Laekenois dog breeds come from?


  1. What is the best diet routine for a Belgian Laekenois dog?

Hard, crunchy, and high-quality dog food

  1. How much exercise is required for a Belgian Laekenois?

Daily hour-long walks

Leave a Comment