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Is the Groenendael right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Belgian Groenendael; Belgian Sheepdog; Chien de Berger Belge

The basics:
The Groenendael (Belgian Sheepdog) is one of four types of Belgian Shepherd, each variety differing in coat type and color-- this one being the long-haired black version. Exceptionally intelligent and courageous, Groenendael have been used to herd sheep, as police and war dogs, in drug detection, search and rescue, and as family companions and guards. This large, powerful breed is not a dog for the first-time owner. Intelligent and athletic, this working dog is happiest when it has something useful and interesting to do. However, it must be properly socialized and trained by a good dog psychologist who knows how to handle a dog with strong protective instincts.

Appearance / health:
The Groenendael is muscular. It is not heavy but has a proud carriage. The body is squarely proportioned. Its ears are triangular and erect. The muzzle tapers forward, but is not pointed. It has a flat skull that is parallel to the plain of the muzzle. The lips are tight, eyes are the brown and almond-shaped, and the nose is black. The chest, which reaches out to the elbow, is deep without being excessively broad or narrow. The hindquarters are muscular and the front legs are straight and parallel to each other. The Belgian Sheepdog has round cat-feet. The dewclaws are usually removed from both, front and hind legs. The feathered tail is long, reaching at least till the hocks.

The long, heavy outer coat and the dense undercoat require daily combing and brushing. This breed is a seasonal shedder, shedding heavily twice a year, with some additional shedding throughout the year; more care may need to be given when the dog is shedding. Mats, whenever formed, are clipped out, particularly in the ruff and on the legs, between the toes, and on the outer ears.

This working dog breed is accustomed to an active outdoor life. They need a lot of exercise, preferably off the leash as much as possible, in a safe area. It is ideal for Belgian Sheepdogs to go for walks for at least 45 minutes a day.

This is a hardy and healthy breed that has no major health issues. Some minor concerns include epilepsy, skin allergies, eye problems, excessive shyness, excessive aggressiveness, and occasional hip and elbow dysplasia (deformation of joints leading to lameness). This breed also has a tendency to become obese. Cataracts may sometimes develop between two and four years of age.

Behavior / temperament:
Belgian Sheepdogs are smart and obedient. They are loyal and thrive on loving companionship. This breed needs to be part of a family and may not take to being confined to a kennel; if left alone, the Belgian Sheepdog finds ways to entertain self, often at the owner's expense. This breed prefers to bond strongly with one or two people.

Belgian Sheepdogs are an intelligent breed and quick learners. They need extensive socialization from an early age, and gentle but consistent training by an experienced trainer. Harsh or overbearing training methods only serve to make them uncooperative. They are good for working and competition obedience. These dogs make excellent police and guard dogs. This type of work is their main occupation.

Belgian Sheepdogs bark loudly at outsiders, but are quiet otherwise.


good watch dogs, amazing dog, quiet dog, good guard, good family dogs


Socialisation, gentle hand

Helpful Groenendael Review


From Esme Sep 6 2018 7:51PM


From shelters/rescues




Baltimore, MD





Shippenville, PA


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