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AKC Meet the Breeds: Belgian Sheepdog

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

Elegant and proud, the Belgian Sheepdog is strong, but not bulky. During WWI, Belgian Sheepdogs distinguished themselves on the battlefields, serving as message carriers, ambulance dogs, and even pulling machine guns. It is no wonder that today this breed performs well in sports like obedience, herding, and tracking. They are also excellent workers, and work as search and rescue dogs, guide dogs, and therapy dogs. This breed is completely black, or may be black with white, although there are limitations to their white markings.

A Look Back

The Belgian Sheepdog is known as the Groenendael, or Chien de Berger Beige in most parts of the world. The breed's origin can be traced to the late 1800s where it was listed in both stud books and at dog shows. A versatile animal, it performed a variety of functions and worked as a herder, watchdog and companion.

Right Breed for You?

The Belgian Sheepdog is happiest with an owner who can give him plenty of jobs to do. This breed gets along with gentle children, and will thrive in either country or suburban living if exercise is readily available. This is also a protective breed, and his intelligence and trainability make him an excellent watch dog. His long coat should be brushed weekly.

  • Herding Group; AKC recognized in 1912.
  • Ranging in size from 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Sheep herder; livestock guardian.

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.