The Belgian Tervuren is intelligent, alert, attentive, watchful, serious and obedient. Female Belgian Tervurens tend to be more outgoing than the males. Belgian Tervurens appear wary, but are not timid or aggressive. They respond best to gentle and calm training and handling. The Belgian Tervuren has strong protective and territorial instincts and needs to be well socialized with a variety of animals and people from puppyhood. They are generally good with children but can be dominant towards other dogs. Belgian Tervurens perform best as sheepdogs or watchdogs, but also make good family companions.
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Belgian Tervurens need daily combing and brushing. The hair should be trimmed between the pads of the feet and on the outer ears. Belgian Tervurens are constant light shedders and the bitches shed heavily twice a year and the dogs once a year.
The Belgian Tervuren needs plenty of exercise and most of these dogs love retrieving and playing with a ball. If they have adequate exercise then they will be calm when indoors. Belgian Tervurens do well when competing in obedience training.
The Belgian Tervuren was formally recognized as the Belgian Shepherd Dog. Belgian Sheepdogs were already established as an important part of farm life in the 1700s, in Belgium. In the 1800s a group of breeders in conjunction with a veterinary school in the Brussels area, studied the variations found in these local sheepherders. This resulted in the division of the breed into four varieties – the classification being dependent on their color and coat. The four varieties are named after their area of origin: Groenendael, Tervuren, Laekenois and Malinois. The breed standards are identical except for coat color, texture and length.
General Appearance: Elegant, squarely proportioned and solidly muscled.
Color: Red, fawn and grey with black overlap.
Coat: The outer coat is straight, long, heavy and of medium-length and the under coat is dense.
Tail: Medium length, hanging when at rest with the tip curled slightly backwards. In action the tail is lifted.
Ears: Set high, triangular, rounded at base, stiff and straight.
Body: Long, oblique shoulders, deep and low chest but not too wide. Level, broad, muscular back and a curved stomach from the chest.
- The Belgian Tervuren is one of the varieties of the Belgian Shepherd Dog. Classifying the Belgian Shepherds is extremely difficult as national kennel clubs have different ways of naming them. There are four different types of sheepdog in Belgium that are recognized nationally and in many countries all these varieties are classified as a single breed. The varieties include the Groenendael, Laekenois, Malinois and the Tervueren. In the US the Groenendael is the Belgian Shepherd, with the Malinois and Tervueren recognized separately and the Laekenois is not recognized at all.
- The Belgian Groenendael and Tervuren are most often used as companion dogs while the Laekenois and Malinois are used as guard dogs.