The Belgian Shepherd dog is the only breed in the world that comes in 4 varieties: the long-haired fawn, red or grey ‘Tervueren’, the long-haired black ‘Groenendael’, the short-coated red, fawn or grey ‘Malinois’ and the rarer rough-coated reddish fawn ‘Laekenois’. Originating from Belgium, they are named after the areas in Belgium from which they came: Tervuren, Groenendael, Malines and Laeken. Hard working sheepdogs from Belgium have been recognised since the Middle Ages. At this time the type varied greatly and breeding was based on working ability. As they were bred locally certain common characteristics began to appear. In the 1890’s a Professor of the Belgian School of Veterinary Sciences recorded standards for the various types of Belgian sheepdogs. It was noted that they were all similar in type with the main difference being the coat. The Professor then divided them into varieties and advised breeding them as separate breeds. Once there were as many as eight varieties; now there are only four. The Tervueren is closer to the Groenendael than the other two. It is believed that two ‘black-tipped fawn long-haired’ sheepdogs were crossed and one of the resulting litter was crossed to the foundation stock of the Groenendael. This litter became the precedent of the Tervueren. In the 1940’s the Tervueren nearly disappeared altogether, however in the 1950’s interest was rekindled in the breed.
The Tervueren is a medium sized, longhaired dog that appears square in its outline. Although they are often confused with the ‘long-haired German Shepherd Dog’ by the general public, they are squarer in profile; lighter in bone and more refined in head, with a light, brisk movement.
|Colour||The Terveuren is fawn, red or grey in colour with black shading on the hair tips. Their tails are usually darker or have a black tip, the face is a black mask and the ears are mostly black. They may have limited white on the chest and toes.|
|Coat Length||Medium Long|
|Weight/Height Range||Dogs should measure between 61-66cms at the withers and bitches should ideally measure between 56-61cms at the withers. They weigh between 27.5-28.5kgs
Anyone looking for a puppy should make sure that both parents are hip-scored and eyes are tested. Hip status in the breed is generally excellent but that’s not to say that there haven’t been the odd high scores. Some Tervuerens have been diagnosed with juvenile cataracts. Epilepsy has occurred (and still does occur) in the breed but breeders have worked hard to reduce the incidence to a minimum. A few breeders have noted thyroid and pancreatic problems and a low fat diet may be advised to avoid the pancreatic problems.
|Breed Classification||The Tervueren is a member of the pastoral group. They were originally used for herding livestock; today they are used in the protection services, as assistance dogs and as companions.|
Feeding & Ownership
The adolescent Tervuerens are often found to be poor eaters so adequate diets should be fed. As adults there appears to be no real problems with eating.
|Food Cost||$15 to $20|
As pets they are devoted companions and do not make ideal kennel dogs, as they become bored and destructive. The Tervueren is very affectionate and totally devoted to their families. Not a breed for those wanting ‘just a dog’. The Belgian wants to join in with everything including doing the washing up, digging the garden etc. They will protect their home and family but it is not advisable to encourage their guarding instincts when young, as they can get confused and start guarding you in inappropriate situations. Their natural guarding instincts will kick in, if and when necessary
|Intelligence||The Tervueren has a great sense of humour and learns very quickly. At around 9 months of age they often enter a ‘juvenile delinquent’ stage and all the training will appear as though it has gone ‘out of the window.’ Just go back to the beginning with basic training and by 18 months your little angel will reappear!|
|Suitability for Children||High|
|Tendency to Bark||Medium|
|Overall Exercise Requirement||They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation and to this end they excel at agility and obedience. They are very active dogs and should not be considered as pets if they are to be left alone all day|
|Suitability as a Guard Dog||High|
|Ease of Transportation||Medium|
|Level of Aggression||Medium|
|Other Animal Compatibility||Medium|
The Tervueren is a longhaired dog that needs a fair amount of grooming. They have a long, straight and profuse outercoat with an extremely dense undercoat. This undercoat is shed twice a year in the case of bitches and in males, generally once a year.
|Grooming Requirements||More than once a week|
|Amount of Hair Shed||Moderate|
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