The Belgian Sheepdog is a relatively large dog, also known as Groenendael or Chien de Berger Belge, originally from Belgium. It was originally bred to guard sheep, an occupation with which it still commonly works, and it was registered with the AKC in 1912. The Belgian Sheepdogs average between 65 to 75 pounds in weight (29 to34 kg) and between 24 to 26 inches (61 to66 cm) in height. This title Belgian Sheepdog can in fact one of four different breeds, but in some places around the globe they are considered a single breed, and the Groendael breed is the one to which the name applies according to most kennel clubs and organisations. The way the different breeds are named and categorized has changed with time, and it still varies from country to country.
The Belgian Sheepdog is very sociable, caring and loyal. It is however not a good choice for newcomers. They are intelligent and easy to train, but may at times be very stubborn, and also need a lot of attention and daily exercise to stay healthy. They are very devoted, and make great companions. The Belgian Sheepdog was originally used, as the name implies, for herding and guarding sheep. Nowadays it can also be used as a regular family dog as well. They work hard, and if they don’t have any work to do they require a good deal of exercise to remain healthy and happy.
The Belgian Sheepdog is also confident and wellbalanded, and has nothing against working independently. They are great as companions, and their protective instincts make them good watchdogs as well. They get along fine with older more considerate children and strangers, but as all herd dogs it has a tendency of keeping them gathered if they move around “too much”. Pets are to be introduced carefully to the Belgian Sheepdog however, as it can consider all smaller animals as prey, and might try to consume the other species. Their instinct to chase is something they still retain since ancient days. The Belgian Sheepdog is not built to live in a very warm climate, and works best in colder, yet not arctic, surroundings.
The average lifespan of a Belgian Sheepdog is 10 to12 years. The most common causes of death are cerebral vascular and cancer. Common health issues include thyroid problems, pannus, epilepsy, cataracts, PRA and HD. You should also note that parents of Belgian Sheepdog puppys should have both OFA and CERF certificates.