Facts and Information on the Belgian Tervuren Dog Breed

The Belgian Tervuren is a herding dog with a majestic appearance. These are black-masked dogs that have a mahogany to rich fawn coat and black hair tips. Four varieties of the Belgian shepherd breed were developed in Belgium, and the Belgian Tervuren is one of them. This breed should be owned by those who are ready to give their time and attention to their pet. You will learn more about this breed if you keep reading.

Breed NameBelgian Tervuren
Other NameChien de Berger Belge, The Terv
Dog Breed TypeHerding Dogs
Parent BreedsNone 
Height21-26 inches
Weight40-70 pounds
Life Expectancy10-12 years
Coat TypeDouble layer coat
Common ColorsGray, Fawn, Brindle, Black, Mahogany
Grooming NeedsLow to medium
TemperamentEnergetic, Attentive, Alert, Protective, Intelligent, Loyal
Apartment LivingSuitable for apartment living
Pet-FriendlyYes, if raised with them
Health Concernsosteochondritis dissecans, von Willebrand’s disease, cataracts,  autoimmune thyroiditis
Overall HealthHealthy 
Intelligence LevelHigh 
Energy LevelHigh 
Litter Size6-10 puppies 

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability 3 stars

Adaptive to apartment living 3 stars

Suitable for new owners 3 stars

Sensitivity scale 5 stars

Comfortable being alone 1 star

Comfortable with cold weather 4 stars

Comfortable with hot weather 3 stars

All about friendliness 3 stars

Lovable with family 4 stars

Kid-friendly 3 stars

Dog-friendly 3 stars

Frank with strangers 3 stars

Grooming and Health Requirements 3 stars

Shedding quantity 4 stars

Drooling capacity 1 star

Effortless to groom 3 stars

Overall health 3 stars

Capable of gaining weight 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 2 stars

Wanderlust personality 4 stars

Physical Requirements 4 stars

Energy scale 5 stars

Intensity 3 stars

Exercise requirements 4 stars

Playful nature 5 stars

Vital Statistics 






The four Belgian herding varieties might be similar in type, but they are distinguished based on their looks. The Belgian Tervuren is an elegant, medium-sized dog with a russet mahogany to rich fawn coat that’s long. The black overlay gives a majestic look to this breed. All Belgian Shepherd breeds have some things in common, like they are filled with energy and have an athletic appearance. 

The Terv is known for its elegance, sense of humor, intelligence, and alertness, making him the complete package. He knows that he’s capable of protecting his property and humans and stands tall in front of strangers. Around his family, you’ll find him acting all lovey-dovey and playful. This dog will be demanding all your attention and time, so be ready to give that. This is the type of dog that wants to be involved with his human. 

He has a talent for doing a lot of things. The Belgian Tervuren identity isn’t limited to being a herding dog anymore. These dogs now have jobs in police work, therapy work, and assistance work and perform in a variety of dog sports too. They like to keep themselves busy and will ask you to be with them. 

If you don’t have previous experience owning a dog, the Terv might not be a good first choice for you. These breeds demand a lot, and only experienced owners can give that. 


There were four varieties developed in Belgium of Belgian Shepherd dogs, and the Belgian Tervuren is one of them. These four varieties are Tervuren (long coat with a black cover, fawn-colored), the Groenendael (long coat, black-colored), the Malinois (short coat with a black cover, fawn-mahogany colored), and the Laekenois (rough coat, fawn-colored). The American Kennel Club considers all these breeds separate, whereas the United Kennel Club considers these four breeds as one. 

In September 1981, the Club du Chien de Berger Belge was formed to determine the valid breeds that represent the Shepherd breed only. Looking at their personality and appearance, one can guess that these dogs won’t get tired even after a long day. 

This breed got its name from Tervuren, a village in Belgium. After the Industrial Revolution, this breed wasn’t required for any more farm work, so their roles were switched to police and military work. They are still required for such roles. 


The Belgian Tervurens are medium-sized dogs. The male dogs grow between 23 to 26.5 inches, and female dogs grow between 21 to 24.5 inches. Their size isn’t a problem for anyone, but their high energy levels can become a little problematic. 


The Belgian Tervurens make excellent watchdogs because of their vigilance and observing skills. They are confident about protecting their property and people and don’t attack unless they sense danger. When they get comfortable with someone, they become affectionate around them. They are not afraid to demand their human attention and time. They want to be involved in what their family members are doing and don’t like being alone. 

With their high intelligence levels, you can expect they require a lot of mental stimulation. You need to get creative while planning activities for them, as they can easily grow bored. There’s going to be a lot of work for you if you get such an active, alert, energetic, and watchful dog for your home. 

As long as you are giving the Belgian Tervurens proper socialization and training, they will be well-mannered both inside and outside the house. Their herding instincts can make them chase cars, cyclists, or anything that’s moving.


Any dog breed like the Belgian Tervuren is generally healthy. However, there are some health issues associated with this breed that you need to be aware of. 

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia


To take proper care of a Belgian Tervuren, you need to give them proper physical and mental stimulation. They are sensitive dogs that don’t do well with harsh training methods. They can learn quickly because of their smartness, but if you get harsh with them, they will not obey you at any cost. They perform well to reward-based training methods. Be consistent with them and give positive feedback to make your dog well-mannered. This dog will obey anyone he trusts and respects. 

Feeding and Diet

Feed your Belgian Tervuren two times a day in 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dog food. Give preference to dry dog food over wet dog food. It’s a general recommendation, so ask your vet to make a diet plan for your dog. They will take your dog’s size, age, environment, health, and other important factors into consideration while making a diet plan. 

Coat color and Grooming

The Belgian Tervuren’s coat has a rich and strong color that ranges from russet mahogany to rich fawn with a black overlay. The hair might have black tips overall. The chest will have a gray or black color or a combination of both. There will be a black mask on the face, black ears, and a dark or black tip on the tail. The male dogs of this breed grow darker as they age, and it’s normal. Regardless of gender or age, you will never see a Belgian Tervuren coat fade out. Other colors found are light beige and cream. 

Looking at their coat’s texture and length, you might think it will be a tough job to maintain the Belgian Tervuren. To prevent tangles and mats and remove dead hair, you should brush them weekly for at least 20 minutes. You can also brush them daily but for only a minute or two. Other grooming requirements are brushing their teeth, cleaning their ears, and taking them on regular vet visits. 

Children and other pets

If your Belgian Tervuren grows up in a household with pets and children, they will bond well with strangers, kids, and pets too. Still, you need to socialize them to make them well-mannered and control their herding behavior. Teach your kids to behave well with your kid too. 


The Belgian Tervuren has a double-layered coat, so you can expect some shedding. The male dogs shed once a year, while female dogs shed during every heat cycle. During the shedding season, you should increase the brushing time. 

Male vs. Female Attitude

The male dogs of the Belgian Tervuren breed might act a bit more protective than the female dogs. However, all the dogs, regardless of gender, will have what type of attitude depends majorly on the environment they grew up in and the training they get. 


The Belgian Tervurens are high-energy dogs that require a lot of exercises. Be prepared to dedicate at least one hour of your time to their exercise. 

Little-known facts

Some countries don’t consider the Belgian Tervuren as a separate breed. 

FAQ on breed

  1. Where do the Belgian Tervuren breeds come from?

They were named after the region they come from- Tervuren, Belgium

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

2-3 cups of dry dog food divided into two meals a day.

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

Daily 1-hour exercise

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