Belgian Shepherd Dog Breed Information - All About Dogs

Belgian Shepherd

Belgian Shepherd


The Belgian Shepherd (also known as the Groenendael in Europe) is a medium-to-large herding dog. The Belgian Shepherd is a muscular dog with a proportionate body, slender legs and almond-shaped eyes. Smart and affectionate, Belgian Shepherds show their best side in rural areas, but they are also suitable as pets. As these dogs have very strong guarding instincts, they make excellent watchdogs. The Belgian Shepherd was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1912.

Height: 22-26 inches  Weight: 45-75 pounds  Lifespan: 12-14 years


Elegant and graceful, this breed has a long black coat and an imposing appearance. Attentive, alert, loyal and intelligent, the Belgian Shepherd requires more extensive socialization than most breeds. They are quite suitable for the role of companion dog, provided that their owner occupies a dominant position. Comparable Breed: Belgian Malinois, Anatolian Shepherd Dog.


This is a very energetic and active breed, so it must be in constant motion. If left alone for a long time, Belgian Shepherd can become bored and destructive to the environment. The Belgian Shepherd gets along well with children, especially if raised together, but in relation to other dogs may behave aggressively. These dogs have a high prey drive and will pursue anything that moves.

Coat / Care:

The Belgian Groenendael has a long-haired double coat. The outer coat is abundant with long, straight hair that`s harsh to the touch, never wiry or silky. The soft, dense undercoat provides perfect protection from the weather. The hair on the rest of the body is longer and denser, forming a beautiful collar around the neck. The male is more ornamental than the female. The color is black, although there may be small blotches of white on the chest, chin or toes. The Belgian Shepherd’s coat requires daily combing and brushing. Bathing should be done thoroughly, until the undercoat, in order to avoid tangling. Belgian Shepherds shed more at the onset of warmer weather, and hence the care is especially important at this time.

Belgian Shepherd

Health Problems:

Belgian Shepherds are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to Hip Dysplasia, Anesthesia SensitivityElbow Dysplasia, CancerProgressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Hypothyroidism and Epilepsy. The Belgian Shepherd has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.

Weight / Height:

The male Belgian Shepherd dog breed’s height is around 24 – 26 inches and weighs around 55 and 75 pounds. Female Belgian Shepherd dogs can reach a size from 22 – 24 inches and weighs between 45 and 60 pounds. Male dogs are generally larger than females.


The Belgian Groenendael is the most popular variety of Belgian Shepherds. This is a very smart and obedient dog, with strong protective and territorial instincts. Early, consistent training and socialization are critical! You need to set clear and understandable rules, avoiding course, oppressive or brutal methods. Belgian Sheepdogs are not recommended for inexperienced dog owners, since they are sensitive, temperamental and very demanding.


Belgian Shepherd Dogs can handle apartment living, but they do better in homes with a fenced yard. Belgian Shepherd requires vigorous physical and mental stimulation, and they’re in need of constant communication their owner. This dog excels in performance activities, so consider training him to compete in obedience, tracking, or agility.

Related: Belgian Tervuren, Belgian MalinoisBelgian Laekenois

Quick Information

Other Names:Belgian Shepherd Groenendael, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Groenendael, Chien de Berger Belge, Groenendaeler
Origin:Belgium, Europe
Average size: Medium Dog Breed
Energy Level:Very Active dog breed
Trainability:This dog is easy to train
Barking Level:Low – When Necessary
Intelligence:High Intelligence
Personality:Watchful, Bright, Serious
AKC Dog Ranking:129th Not Very Popular dog
Good family dog:Yes, Very good with socialization
Good with other dogs:Yes, good with socialization
Good with children:Yes – but socialization is essential
Good with strangers:Yes –  but socialization is essential
Good apartment dog:Yes –  But better home with more space
Belgian Shepherd

Photo Credit: Marcia O’Connor/Flickr; Warchild/Flickr

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