Belgian Shepherd Groenendael
Males 60-66 cm
Females 56-62 cm
Males 25-30 kg
Females 20-25 kg
Thick, straight, dense, reasonable structure, with silky undercoat
10-14 years old
Shepherd and herding dogs
Protection dogs, guard dogs, dogs for children
Features of the breed
History of Origin
The old Belgian farmers were busy herding cattle. So they thought of the ideal breed of shepherd dog to accompany them during grazing. By the 1890s, the species were officially classified, and four variants remained that are known today: the Grunendal, the Malinois, the Tervuren, and the Lacroix. They were anatomically identical but differed in color and coat length.
By the beginning of the 20th century, the versatility and diligence of the Gründal became known beyond the pastures of Belgium. Paris and New York City used Belgian sheepdogs as police dogs. Customs hired them on border patrols, tracking down smugglers. During World War I, they distinguished themselves as messengers, ambulance dogs, and heavy artillery loaders. Belgian sheepdogs repeated their role as military dogs during World War II.
The Belgian Sheepdog Club of America was founded in 1949. Since then, this noble breed has been everywhere and in every role: show dog, athlete, police officer, soldier, service dog, search and rescue dog, guard dog, and tireless backyard tennis ball picker.
Appearance: height, weight, fur, color
The Groenendael is quite strong, graceful, muscular, alert, and full of life. The male dog is usually more imposing in size, but the female has a distinctly neat and refined appearance. The male representative’s weight is 25-30 kg at the height of 60-66 cm, and female – 20-25 kg at an altitude of 56-62 cm. The coat is long, thick, dense, and reasonable, with a silky undercoat of black color.
The Groenendael dog is known for its adaptability and its ability to excel at almost everything it does. They thoroughly enjoy their work, whether it’s merrily parading in the ring, showing off their intelligence during obedience tests, or controlling a flock of sheep on the farm.
They become loyal and faithful to their owners from a young age. And even when resting at home, they remain excellent guard dogs and bravely protect their family from any potential threat. Although not considered instinctively aggressive by nature. But if not properly trained, the dog can potentially become hyperactive and demanding.
The long, natural hair of Gründalns gives them a unique charm. Therefore, you should not trim them to the point where they lose their natural look. Plan to dedicate about 20 minutes a week to comb out your Belgian Shepherd with a smooth brush and metal comb.
One of the reasons the breed is so popular with security services around the world is its talent for guarding and its easy trainability. With enthusiasm and short training sessions, the owner of a Belgian Shepherd can excel in training with this capable pupil. Early socialization is essential for Groenendael dogs to prevent fear and aggression problems later in life.
Grunendals are prone to bone and joint diseases, so it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering purchasing this breed. Diseases:
- hip dysplasia;
- elbow dysplasia: this is a hereditary condition characteristic of large breed dogs;
- epilepsy: The Belgian Shepherd can have epilepsy, a disorder that causes mild to severe seizures;
- progressive retinal atrophy;
- stomach cancer: dogs, like people, can get cancer;
- sensitivity to anesthesia;
Nutrition should be balanced and varied, so include meat, fish, and eggs in your diet. Sometimes seasonal fruits, porridges from different cereals, sour-milk products. The menu may also consist of specialized quality industrial food.