Tervuren Belgian Shepherd
There are four recognised varieties of Belgian Shepherd, all having the same confirmation but with different coat types.
With selective breeding over time the temperament of each breed has become more specialised. The Groendal has a black coat whilst the Tervuren, Malinois & Laekenois are all red to fawn with a compulsory black mask, black ears and a black overlay to body coat.
Malinois have a short coat, the Tervuern sports a medium coat and the Laekenois has a wavy to curly coat.
Our breed profile this month will be referring specifically to the Tervuren.
The Tervuren Belgian Shepherd comes from Tervuren, which is near Brussels and is one of four recognised breeds of Belgian Shepherds. They were bred for use in herding and guarding.
These gorgeous dogs can be various shades of red, fawn or grey with black ears and faces. Their coats are straight and their hair is long, in fact they shed quite heavily up to twice a year, which means that they need to be groomed daily. They can weigh in at approximately 18 to 34 kilograms and the shoulder height varies from 58 to 64 centimetres.
Tervurens are described as loyal, intelligent, reserved, lively, protective and very, very active. They need loads of exercise and stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. A job such as tracking, herding or agility is recommended to keep them busy and entertained. Strong bonds are formed with their owners which may lead to them being wary around strangers. Tervurens are very good watch dogs as they are observant and sensitive to the environment. It is advisable to socialize this breed if there are to be other pets in the house, and as with all dogs, although good with children, they should not be left unsupervised with children.
Possible Health Concerns
Generally these dogs are free from hereditary diseases. Conditions such as epilepsy, hip and elbow dysplasia, thyroid and eye problems are known to sometimes occur. The life span of this breed is estimated at 10-14 years.
If you are considering adding a Tervuren to your household, please consider that they need:
- Vigorous and regular exercise
- A “job” such as herding, tracking or participating in a challenging canine sport as an outlet for their natural tendency to chase, nip and poke.
- If not sufficiently stimulated behaviour may become destructive
- These dogs need to be well socialised in order to get along with other pets and strangers
- They require a confident and experienced owner. This is not a breed that is suitable to a novice owner.