Facts and Information on the Belgian Sheepdog Breed

The Belgian Sheepdog hails from Belgium. Previously known as a single breed, it now has four unique varieties distinguished by color and coat type. These dogs were used for herding purposes but later got into police work too. Their versatile personality makes them suitable for many roles and dog sports. To learn more about this breed, keep scrolling!

Breed NameBelgian Sheepdog
Other NameGroenendael
Dog Breed TypeHerding Dogs
Parent BreedsNone 
Height22-26 inches 
Weight60-75 pounds
Life Expectancy10-12 years
Coat TypeDouble layer coat
Common ColorsGray, Fawn, Black, Brown
Grooming NeedsMedium 
TemperamentPowerful, Affectionate, Loyal, Intelligent, Active
Apartment LivingSuitable for apartment living 
Pet-FriendlyYes if trained
Health Concernsprogressive retinal atrophy, cancer, retained testicles, hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy
Overall HealthHealthy 
Intelligence LevelHigh 
TrainabilityHighly trainable 
Energy LevelMedium to high 
Litter Size6-10 puppies

Breed characteristics

Adaptability 4 stars

Adaptive to apartment living 3 stars

Suitable for new owners 3 stars

Sensitivity scale 5 stars

Comfortable being alone 3 stars

Comfortable with cold weather 4 stars

Comfortable with hot weather 3 stars

All about friendliness 5 stars

Lovable with family 4 stars

Kid-friendly 5 stars

Dog-friendly 5 stars

Frank with strangers 4 stars

Grooming and Health Requirements 3 stars

Shedding quantity 5 stars

Drooling capacity 1 star

Effortless to groom 3 stars

Overall health 3 stars

Capable of weight gain 2 stars

Size 4 stars

Trainability 4 stars

Effortless to train 5 stars

Smartness 5 stars

Capable of biting 2 stars

Tendency to attack prey 5 stars

Urge to howl or bark 1 star

Wanderlust nature 4 stars

Physical Requirements 5 stars

Energy scale 5 stars

Intensity 3 stars

Exercise requirements 5 stars

Playful personality 5 stars

Vital Statistics






The Belgian Sheepdog is one of the four Belgian Shepherd dog varieties. These dogs have impressive appearances with elegant personalities. Their personality is beautiful as well as athletic. They are known for their agility, obedience, and herding abilities. They can work as working dogs as well as be great family pets. 

Give your Belgian Sheepdog enough exercise, and he will become suitable for any type of living space, even small apartments. Before getting this breed into your house, you should know he’s full of energy. He won’t be a couch potato and wouldn’t prefer an owner that’s a couch potato. These dogs want something to do all day. They can have a habit of chasing, thanks to their herding instincts. 

Their intelligence levels are so high that you need to get creative to entertain them. People who are always working or can’t give enough time to their pets shouldn’t get this breed as a pet. When left alone, the Belgian Sheepdog will get destructive, and this can burn a hole in your pocket. A home with a fenced backyard will be good for them to play around. 


During the 1800s, four varieties of the Belgian Shepherd were developed in Belgium. These varieties were the fawn-colored and rough-haired Laekenois, the fawn-colored and long-haired Tervuren, the black and long-haired Groenendael(the Belgian Sheepdog), and the fawn short-haired Malinois. The American Kennel Club of the United States of America recognizes them as separate breeds. 

The Belgian Sheepdog is a descendant of the common shepherd dog coming from Western Europe. Modern breeds such as the German Shepherd, Bouvier des Ardennes, and the Dutch Shepherd are also descendants of the same dog. 

Nicolas Rose was responsible for the development of the Belgian Sheepdog around 1893. The European name of this breed was given after Chateau Groenendael, Rose’s estate outside Brussels. Picard d’Uccle and Petite were this breed’s foundation dogs that were purchased by him. Their offsprings were today’s Belgian Sheepdog’s ancestors. These dogs became famous for their versatility and got into police work during the 1990s in New York and Paris. 


The Belgian Sheepdogs are a medium-sized breed suitable for any type of apartment or house as long as they are given enough exercise. Their energy levels are higher than their size. The male dogs of this breed grow 24 to 26 inches tall, and the females grow 22 to 24 inches tall. 


The Belgian Sheepdogs are brave, smart, alert, and loyal to their family members. You will always see them doing something. They have excellent observation skills that make them great watchdogs. However, they don’t trust strangers because of their herding instincts. This distrust can grow into aggression if not trained on time. A well-trained and socialized Belgian Sheepdog will be protective of its family and wouldn’t cause harm to any stranger without any reason. 

When they get comfortable with somebody, they become the most lovable creatures around them. They want proper attention and care so they wouldn’t be afraid to demand them. As long as you’re doing things with them, they’ll be very obedient toward you. 

The Belgian Sheepdogs grow well in an active family that’ll take their dog on adventures. Any type of outdoor adventure is loved by this breed. 


Generally, Belgian Sheepdogs are considered healthy breeds, but they are likely to face some health issues. 

  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Anesthesia Sensitivity
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • Hypothyroidism


As much as the Belgian Sheepdogs love to spend time with their family indoors, they want the same outdoors too. A fenced yard should cross your checklist before getting this breed as your pet. It’s because they will chase everything or everyone that moves because of their herding instincts. You will need to do socialization from an early age to stop their behavior from getting negative or aggressive. These dogs tend to get dental disease if proper hygiene is not maintained. Brush their teeth weekly or, better, daily to remove bad breath and tartar buildup. Their fur and skin need to be taken care of while grooming. As soon as any patchy or sore areas come to your notice, take your dog immediately to the vet. Make this a habit to take your pet to the vet regularly. 

Feeding and Diet

Give your dog a diet of high-quality dog food. It’s best if it’s made at home(vet supervision required); otherwise, manufactured food will be good too. They are very energetic, so keep fresh water available to them all the time. As this is an active breed, they are not likely to gain weight that easily in comparison to other breeds. Even if your dog seems fit, should be given limitedly to maintain their health for the future. It’s a great idea to ask your vet to make a special diet plan for your dog, keeping in mind all the necessary factors such as age, size, and environment. 

Coat color and grooming

The Belgian Sheepdog is mostly seen in black color with white marks between feet pads or hind toes. The white color can also be seen as a strip or patch on the chest. You might also notice a little frost on the muzzle or the chin. These breeds have medium grooming needs. Though they require brushing once a week, you should be ready to dedicate at least 20 minutes to the brushing session. This helps to prevent tangles and remove dead hair, plus there will be no loose hair around the house. Use a wire slicker brush if your Belgian Sheepdog is a puppy and has short hair and a medium size pin brush if your pet has long hair. Maintain their nails and ears from time to time. 

Children and other pets

Even if a Belgian Sheepdog grows up in a household with children and other pets, they will still try to herd them because of their herding instincts. That’s why early socialization is needed for these breeds to control this negative behavior. If you train them well on how to behave with others, they will be polite and friendly towards them.


The Belgian Sheepdogs have double layers of coat that shed around the year. There might be one heavy shed a year, depending on the weather and coat density. During the shedding season, give warm baths to your dog and increase brushing.

Male vs. Female Attitude

The male and female dogs of this breed will probably have similar characteristics depending on the type of socialization and training they receive. 


Prepare yourself to give your dog at least one hour of exercise daily. They need physical as well as mental stimulation regularly to remain healthy and happy. 

Little known facts

The Belgian Sheepdogs are not only used for herding purposes but also in law enforcement, protection, and police work. 

FAQ on breed

  1. Where do the Belgian Sheepdog breeds come from?


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

2 to 3 cups of high-quality dog food

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

1 hour of daily exercise

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