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Belgian Shepherd
Bélgica FCI 15 . Sheepdogs

Pastor Belga

The Belgian Shepherd originates from Belgium, the Campine region and North of Brabant.



The Belgian Shepherd Dog is the name of four breeds or varieties of dogs, depending on the Cynological Association we consult. The four breeds or varieties are: Groenendael, Laekenois, Tervueren and Malinois.

At the end of the 19th century, in Belgium there was a large number of herding dogs whose type was heterogeneous and their coats were of great diversity. In order to put order into this situation, some cinófilos (cinógrafos) enthusiasts formed a group led by Professor A. Reul, the school of veterinary medicine of Cureghem, who can be considered as a true pioneer and founder of the race.

The Belgian Shepherd was officially born as a race between 1891 and 1897. The 29 in September of 1891, The "Belgian Sheepdog Club" was founded in Brussels and that same year, the 15 November, Professor A.. Reul manages to gather in Cureghem, 117 dogs, allowing you to carry out a census and form a group with the best copies. In the following years becomes a real selection, making an extreme inbreeding on some stallions.

The 3 in April of 1892, The “Belgian Shepherd Dog Club” drafted a first well-detailed standard for the breed.. Was admitted a single race, with three varieties of hair. In any case, at that time, the Belgian Shepherd was only a dog of humble people and therefore a breed that still lacked prestige. Therefore, is not until 1901 that the first Belgian Shepherds were registered in the Book of Origins of the Société Róyale Saint Hubert (L.O.S.H.).

In the course of the next few years, the leaders cinófilos fans to the Belgian Shepherd pursued tenaciously to unify the type and correct defects. We can affirm that towards the 1910 the type and character of the Belgian Shepherd were already established.

Throughout the history of the Belgian Shepherd, the issue of the different varieties and accepted colors has given rise to many controversies. On the other hand, As far as morphology is concerned, the character and fitness to work, There has never been any disagreement.

According to the classification scheme of the Federation Cynologique Internationale, It's four different from same breed varieties. Other organizations such as the American Kennel Club recognize only under the name of Belgian Shepherd Groenendael. The cynological organizations of Australia and New Zealand classify them as four different breeds.

But, in many countries like Canada, Great Britain, Puerto Rico, Mexico and South Africa, among others, using the classification of the CRF, recognizing them as four varieties of the same species.

From the middle ages are known, only that in those times there were different varieties classified solely by their function and not so much by their morphology since the interest in their breeding was based on the search for an efficient breed for grazing.

Physical characteristics

According to the FCI they are classified in the Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Section 1 Sheepdogs. With working trial. Use: Grazing, company and guard.

The desirable average size of a Belgian Shepherd is of 62 cm in males and 55 cm in females. Tolerance is of 2 cm less and 4 cm. more. The weight of 25 to 30 kg, in males and in females approximately 20 to 25 kg.

All are smart dogs, workers and approximately the same size and temperament, Although they differ superficially in their appearance and coat. They are closely related genetically to the point that by crossing two dogs of the same "type" it is possible for puppies of different "variety" to be born..

The Belgian Shepherd life expectancy (in any of its 4 variants) in 2004 in United Kingdom was around of 14 years. What is high for this size breeds especially if you consider used them, and highlights the utility and work. Of 113 United Kingdom copies, the main cause of death was cancer (23%), age (23%) and failure of internal organs (heart, kidneys, liver) (13%).

The Belgian shepherds suffer from common diseases of dogs in relation to reproductive issues, Musculoskeletal and skin issues.

They are still used as shepherds, and their ease of learning transformed them into police auxiliaries, competing as equals with their German relatives.

Character and skills

With regard to their nature, the Belgian shepherd dog is a vigilant and active, a great vitality, She loves children. Her innate aptitude of flock guardian joined the unique qualities of the best guard dog of the property.

It is a dog that stands out in the defence of his master and property, This is necessary to provide you with plenty of exercise. It is good to train since childhood but without ill-treatment, that they can give as a result, a nervous and little obedient animal. They are very watchful and protective to children.

Since the length, the address, the appearance and the colour of the hair are varied in the Belgian Shepherd, This point as the criterion has been adopted to distinguish the four varieties of the breed: Groenendael, Tervueren, Malinois and Laekenois. These four varieties are judged separately.

It is a rustic dog, supports both high and low temperatures. The Argentine Republic has places with extreme temperatures and there are specimens throughout the country. In some cases must be checked for hip dysplasia.

Images of the Belgian Shepherd

Belgian Shepherd videos

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 1: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
  • Section 1: Sheepdogs. With proof of work..


  • FCI – Group 1 Herding dogs, Section 1 Sheepdogs
  • AKCHerding
  • ANKC Group 5 (Working Dogs)
  • CKCGroup 7 – Herding
  • ​KC – Pastoral
  • NZKC Working
  • UKCHerding Dog

FCI breed standard "Belgian Shepherd"


Date of publication of the valid original standard:



General appearance:

The Belgian Shepherd Dog is medium- line, harmoniously proportioned, at the same time elegant and powerful, of medium size and lean and strong musculature. Your body has shape of a square. It's rustic, used to outdoor life, and its constitution allows it to resist the atmospheric variations so frequent of the Belgian climate. Due to the harmony of its forms and the haughty carriage of the head, the Belgian Shepherd Dog should denote that graceful robustness which has become the attribute of selected representatives of a working breed. The Belgian Shepherd will be judged while resting in his natural positions, no physical contact with the presenter.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: His body forms a square. The chest descends to the level of the elbows. The length of the muzzle is equal to or slightly greater than half the length of the head.

Behavior / temperament:

It´s, without a moment's hesitation, the tenacious and ardent defender of his master. It brings together all the necessary qualities of a shepherd dog, guard dog, of Defense and service.

His impetuous and alert temperament and his confident character, without any fear or aggression, they must be evident in the attitude of the body and in the haughty and alert expression of its shining eyes. During the judging, his “calm” and “bold” character must be taken into account..


Is presented high; is long, although not in excess. In a rectilinear way, well molded and thin. The length of the skull and muzzle is visibly equal, with at most, a slight edge for the muzzle, which gives a finishing touch to the whole.

Cranial region:

Amplitude medium, in proportion to the length of the head. The forehead is flatter than round and the middle furrow is not very pronounced. In profile, The skull is parallel to the imaginary line that extends the forehead. The occipital Crest is little developed. The arches of the eyebrows and the zygomatic arches are not prominent.

  • Depression links (Stop): Is moderate.

facial region:

  • Truffle: Black.
  • Snout: Medium length and well molded under the eyes. Gradually decreases towards the region of the nose. It has elongated angle shape. The region of the forehead is straight and is parallel to the upper line that extends it. The muzzle is well split, which means that when the mouth is open the corners of the lips are pulled back. The jaws are wide apart.
  • Lips: Thin, well together and markedly pigmented.Jaws/Teeth: The teeth are strong and white. Their articulation is uniform and they are strongly implanted in some well developed jaws. The joint is “scissor” shaped.. “Clamp” shaped dentures are accepted, which is the favorite of sheep and cattle drivers. The denture is complete, according to the dental formula. The absence of 2 premolars (PM1), and the molars 3 (M3) are not taken into consideration.
  • Cheeks: They are thin and flat, although muscular.
  • EYES: Medium-sized; they are neither prominent, or sunk. Its shape is slightly almond. They are oblique, brownish, preferably dark and the edges of the eyelids are black. The look is direct, alert, smart and inquisitive.
  • EARS: They are rather small, set high and visibly triangular in shape. In conchian cartilage it is very round. They are rigid and the end is pointed. They are presented upright and in an upright position when the dog is attentive.


Well loose, slightly elongated, well muscled. Stands fairly upright and gradually widens towards the shoulder area. There is no presence of dewlap. The neck is slightly arched.


Corpulent, but without the appearance of heaviness. Its longitude, taken from the tip of the shoulder, to the tip of the gluteus, It is approximately equal to the height at the withers.

  • top line: The margin of the back and loin is straight.Cross: It is accentuated.
  • Back: companies, short and well muscled.
  • Pork loin: Solid, short, wide enough and well muscled.Rump: She is well muscled and slightly sloping. Wide, although not in excess.
  • Breast : It is not very broad, but yes well inclined. The ribs are arched in its top. Seen from the front, the sill is not very wide, but it is not narrow either.
  • bottom line: Starts below the chest and rises slightly in a harmonious curve towards the belly, that is not even sunk, or agalgado, but rather raised and moderately developed.


Is well implanted. Strong at the base, medium length. Reaches to the hock, but preferably it should exceed it. During the rest it appears hanging, with the tip slightly bent back at the level of the hock. When the dog is in action it appears more upright, without reaching beyond the horizontal. The curve of the tip is then more marked, although without deviating, nor at any time take a hook shape.



  • General appearance: They have solid bones, but not heavy. The musculature is strong and thin. Seen from all sides, forelimbs are plumb. Seen from the front, they are perfectly parallel.
  • Shoulder: The shoulder blade is long and oblique. It is well attached to the shoulders, forming with the humerus an angle that ideally measures of 110 a 115º.
  • Arms: Long and sufficiently oblique.Elbows: His firms, or peeled, not together.forearms: Long and straight.
  • Carpi: They are firm and marked.
  • Metacarpus: Strong and short. They are as perpendicular to the ground as possible or only very slightly inclined towards the ground. forecrown.
  • Previous feet: Round; Jack's foot. Fingers are hunched and tight together. The pads are thick and elastic and the nails dark and thick.


  • General appearance: They are powerful, but without the appearance of heaviness. Seen in profile, are plumb and seen from behind are perfectly parallel.
  • Thighs: Medium length, wide and well muscled.
  • Knees: Approximately plump at the hip. Angulation is normal.
  • Legs: Medium length, wide and muscular.
  • Hock: It comes close to the ground. It is broad and muscular and moderately angled..
  • Metatarsals: Solid and short. The Rams are not desirable.
  • Hind feet: They can be slightly oval; fingers bent and close together. The pads are thick and elastic and the nails are dark and thick.


It is loose and agile in all steps. The Belgian Shepherd is a good galloper, but the usual movements are the step and especially the trot: limbs move parallel to the median plane of the body. At high speed the feet approach the midplane; during the jog, the amplitude is medium, movement is regular and easy, with a good boost from the hind limbs, while the top margin stays well stretched, without the forelimbs getting too high. The Belgian Shepherd seems tireless, because it is always on the move; his step is fast, elastic and agile. Able to make a sudden change of direction while going at full speed. Due to their energetic temperament and their desire to care for and protect, has a marked tendency to move in circles.


  • SKIN: Is elastic, but well stretched over the whole body; the edge of the lips and eyelids is well pigmented.
  • MANTO AND ITS VARIETIES: Since the length, the address, the appearance and the colour of the hair are varied in the Belgian Shepherd, This point as the criterion has been adopted to distinguish the four varieties of the breed: Groenendael, Tervueren, Malinois and Laekenois.
  • These four varieties are judged separately and can each get, a CAC proposal, of CACIB or reserve.

NATURE OF HAIR: In all varieties the hair must always be abundant, tight, good texture, forming together with the bottom hair, what is woolly, an excellent protective layer.

  1. Long hair: The hair is short on the head, the outer surface of the ears and the lower part of the limbs, except for the back edge of the forearm which is covered, from elbow to carpus, long hair called fringes.

    The hair is long and straight on the rest of the chest and longer and more abundant around the neck and on the chest., where it forms collar and double chin. The opening of the ear canal is protected by abundant hairs. The hairs that grow at the base of the ear are raised and frame the head. The back of the thigh is adorned with very long and abundant hairs that form a pants. The tail is adorned with long and abundant hair that forms a pompadour..

    The Groenendael and the Tervueren have long hair.

  2. Short hair: The hair is very short on the head, the outer surface of the ears and the lower part of the limbs. It is short on the rest of the body and more abundant on the tail and around the neck, where he draws a necklace that begins at the base of the ear and extends to the throat. It also, the back of the thighs are covered with longer hairs that form fringes. The tail is spike, but it does not form a pompadour.

    The Malinois is short-haired.

  3. Wire-haired: What characterizes above all the wire hair, which is also hirsute, is its roughness and dryness. Its length is evidently six centimeters over the entire body, and it's shorter at the top of the head, forehead and limbs. Not the hairs around the eyes, nor those that adorn the snout, they will be so abundant as to cover the shape of the head. But, muzzle adornment is mandatory. The tail should not form a pompadour.

    The Laekenois is wire-haired.


  • Mask: In the Tervuerens and the Malinois, The mask must be well pronounced and tend to cover a single black area, both upper and lower lip, as well as the corners of the lips and eyelids. A strict minimum of six pigmentation points of the phantoms has been defined, which must be black: both ears, the two upper eyelids and the upper and lower lip.
  • Carbonado: Both in the Tervuerens, as in the Malinois, charring means that some hairs have a black tip, which darkens the base color. This black color must be “flaming” in any case and cannot occur even in large spots., nor in the form of stripes. In the Laekenois the carbonado is more discreetly presented.
  • Groenendael: Only the black chestnut.
  • Tervueren: Only carbon red and carbon gray, under a black mask. But, the preferred color is carbon red. Must be uploaded, unclear, nor faded. Any dog ​​whose color is different from charcoal red or does not correspond to the desired intensity, cannot be considered an elite specimen.
  • Malinois: Just the carbon red with black mask.
  • Laekenois: Only the red color with traces of carbon, mainly on the muzzle and tail.

For all varieties: Some white is tolerated on the sill and fingers.

Size and weight:

Height to the cross:

  • The desirable mean is 62 cm for males
  • 58 cm for females

Boundaries: 2 cm. less, 4 cm. more.


  • In males approximately: 25-30 kg.
  • In females approximately: 20-25 kg.

Measurements: Normal measurements in a male Belgian Shepherd of 62 cm to the cross:

  • body length (from the tip of the shoulder to the tip of the buttock): 62 cm..
  • Head length: 25 cm..
  • Length of the snout: 12,5 to 13 cm..


    • Any deviation from the above mentioned criteria is considered to lack, and the gravity of this refers to the degree of deviation to the standard and its impact on the health and well-being of the dog.
    • General aspect: appearance of heaviness, inelegance; too light too weak, longer than high, rectangular shaped body.
    • Head: heavy, Too big, absence of parallelism, insufficiently molded or thin; very round forehead; very marked or imprecise naso-frontal depression; snout very short or collected; bulging front of head; very prominent arches of the eyebrows or zygomatic.
    • Nose, lips, eyelids: traces of depigmentation.
    • Teeth: misaligned incisors.Serious fault: absence of an incisor, of a premolar 3, of a premolar 2, of 3 premolars 1.
    • Eyes: clear, round.
    • Ears: large, long, too wide at the base, low-set, divergent or convergent.
    • Neck: weak, short and sunken.
    • Body: too long; rib cage too wide (cylindrical).
    • Cross: indefinite, baja.
    • top line: long back and / or loin, weak sunken or convex.
    • Rump: too steep or too high.
    • bottom line: too steep or too little steep; too much belly.
  • Tail: very low implantation; it is too high, hook-shaped or offset.
  • Members: too light or too heavy bones; incorrect poise, viewed profile (for ex. Very oblique pasterns or weak carpals), front (for ex. feet that turn inward or outward, elbows off, etc.) the one behind (for ex. hind limbs together, separate or barrel-shaped, closed or open hocks, etc.); very slightly angulated or exaggeratedly angulated.
  • Open feet.
  • Movement: lack of elasticity, very short strides, very little momentum, caused by poor transmission from the back, raised step.
  • Fur: insufficient ground hair in all four varieties.
  • Groenendael y Tervueren: by the woolly, wavy or curly; hair that is not long enough Malinois: semi-long hair where it should be short; ordinary hair; hard hairs mixed with short hair; by the wavy.

    Laekenois: hair too long, silky, wavy, kinky or excessively short of fine hairs in streaks, mixed with hard hair; hairs around the eyes or those that adorn the lower part of the head that are too long; bushy tail.

  • Color: In the four varieties: white patch on the chest that forms a bib; white color on the feet that extends beyond the toes.: red sparkles in hair; Gray pants.Tervueren: color gris.

    Tervueren and Malinois: mottled color; stains that are not

    intense enough; Insufficient or excess of carbonation or distributed in the form of spots on the body; mask insufficiency.

    Tervueren, Malinois and Laekenois: too light red; A very subdued or “faded” base color is considered a

    serious fault.

    • Character: specimens that show a lack of self-confidence and are too nervous.

    • Character: Aggressiveness or extreme shyness.
    • Any dog ​​showing clear signs of physical or behavioral abnormalities.
    • General aspect: absence of racial type.
    • Teeth: Upper prognathism; lower prognathism, even without loss of contact (inverted articulation): Cross occlusion; absence of a canine (1C), of an upper incisor (1PM4) or lower (1M1), of a molar (1M1 o 1M2, except for the M3), of a premolar 3 (1PM3) plus some other teeth or in total, absence of three or more teeth (except premolars).
    • Nose, excessively depigmented lips or eyelids.
    • Ears: hanging or artificially standing.
    • Tail: absence of this or clipped tail, either from birth or ablation; very high implantation and a ring-shaped or curled tail.
    • Fur: absence of ground hair.
  • Color: all colors other than those of the varieties described; too widespread white markings on the sill, especially if they go up to the neck; white color in the feet that exceeds the middle of the metacarpals or metatarsals forming stockings; white patches elsewhere than the windowsill and fingers; in the Tervueren and the Malinois, absence of mask, including the muzzle of a lighter color than the whole coat.
    • Size: outside the prescribed limits.


Males should have two normal-appearing testicles fully descended into the scrotum..
Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with the typical conformation of the breed, should be used for parenting.

Mating between varieties is prohibited, except in very special cases, through derogations granted by the

competent national breeding commissions (text of 1974,

produced in Paris).

Source: F.C.I - International Cynological Federation

Alternative names:

1. Belgian Sheepdog (English).
2. Berger belge (French).
3. Belsche Schéiferhond, Chien de Berger Belge (German).
4. (em francês: chien de berger belge) (Portuguese).
5. Ovejero belga, Perro pastor belga (español).

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