Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Training: Previous owner, I haven't learned care / training techniques, Attended conferences / shows, Books, I’ve taught bird care / training techniques
Missouri, United States
Posted June 6, 2013
I met my first Belgian Tervuren at a dog show many years ago. He and his handler were standing alone on a hilltop, and I thought he was one of the most majestic and certainly, most beautiful dogs I had ever seen. Therein began my love affair with the breed.
The Belgian Tervuren is an extremely bright and very intense dog. Their intelligence and their devotion to doing something they love make them extremely easy to train, and they can and will excel at many tasks. They do well in Obedience, Agility, Herding, Conformation, and as military/police units. If you can find something that a Terv loves to do, whether chasing a frisbee or running an Agility course, they will always give 110%.
They are very loyal and can be very territorial. Though not aggressive, they do tend to be stand-offish with strangers. I don't believe a Tervuren is a dog that “anyone can own”. Their intelligence, coupled with a good dose of independence and sometimes stubbornness, means they do need someone who can be firm when needed. If allowed to, they can “run the show”, and they are quite happy to do so.
Though in the herding group, I have not found Tervurens to possess the high level of energy as some of the herding breeds. They do need exercise, and they do love a challenge, and you will both be happier when they are learning. But they do possess good house manners, and are not problematic to have indoors.
If socialized properly, the Belgian Tervuren can be a superior family dog. As a rule, they get along well with other dogs. I do not find them to be particularly vocal dogs, but they will protect their property and let you know if something is amiss. They do well in active households with adults and older children. I hesitate to recommend them for families with small children only because every dog is an individual, and must be assessed for its abilities to work out in a given environment.
They do require some grooming. A good brushing every other day will keep them looking their best.
Overall the Belgian Tervuren is a highly intelligent dog capable of many tasks. Their beauty makes them stand out from the crowd. If you are lucky enough to fall in love with this breed, plan on many future years of happiness and reward.