When people say Belgium dog breeds, most of us think of only Belgian Malinois, a popular dog similar to the German Shepherd. The reality is that Belgium has much more to offer when it comes to dog breeds. Yes, Belgium is not Germany or Britain, or some other popular country for dog breeding.
But Belgium has several breeds of its own. Over the course of history, native Belgium dog breeds have been working dogs. They have been used to herd livestock, guard flocks, and protect the homestead.
Yet, some small dogs have also been rat killers and close companions. With that in mind, let’s take a look at dog breeds from Belgium.
This dog is pronounced Lak-in-Wah, and is one of the four popular Belgian shepherd dog breeds. The Belgian Laekenois is of similar size and body type to the other shepherd dogs.
He was used to herd and guard livestock. Of course, to guard people and protect property as well.
The main difference between Belgian Laekenois and other Belgian shepherd dogs is the coat type and color. This guy is the rarest of the shepherds.
He has a distinctive wiry coat, giving this herding dog a tousled appearance. He is named for the city of Laeken in the Brussels region.
The American Kennel Club also recognizes this breed, putting it under the Herding Group of dogs.
The Laekenois dog breed grows up to 26 inches in height, 65 pounds in weight, and can live up to 12 years. The coat is a medium length double coat and comes in red, fawn, or gray with traces of black colors.
This is the most popular dog breed coming from Belgium. It is a dog breed that has gained amazing popularity in recent years as a smart, intelligent, and agile police dog. Developed in the Malines region outside of Brussels, he was a sheep herder and protector of the farm.
He has a short coat and is the most recognizable Belgian shepherd breed in the US. Nowadays, he is more used as a military dog, guard dog, protection dog, and police K-9 dog.
Many people mistake this puppy for the German Shepherd Dog. They are similar in many ways, but the Malinois has a different physical appearance. He is much leaner than the GSD and he has a slightly shorter coat.
The Belgian Malinois grows up to 26 inches at the shoulder and can weigh up to 80 pounds. The short double coat in rich fawn to mahogany color makes him easily recognizable.
The Belgian Tervuren is an elegant and agile shepherd dog. He is beloved for his ability to adapt to different situations and environment. The average height of the dog can reach 26 inches. Weight, on the other hand, reaches between 45 pounds and 75 pounds.
This intelligent puppy can learn many tricks and there is not a challenge he cannot master. Add in his jolly personality, and the Belgian Tervuren is a wonderful dog.
Like other Belgian dog breeds that are in the shepherd group, he requires a firm and authoritative tone during dog training. His free spirit is hard to overcome during obedience training.
Bouvier des Flanders
This Belgian dog is a gentle giant. Unlike other shepherd dogs on this list who mostly herd sheep, Bouvier des Flanders was bred for herding cattle.
His name translates to cow herder of Flanders. The Belgian breed originated at the Ter Duinen monastery, where the monks crossbred Irish Wolfhound and Scottish deerhound with local farm dogs to get a suitable cattle dog.
When he is fully grown, this adult large dog can stand 40 inches high and weigh up to 90 pounds. Despite its large size, the Bouvier des Flanders is a gentle and docile dog with a pleasant nature.
During the First World War, they were almost wiped out due to the damage inflicted to the Flanders region. But many of them served in the Belgian army, and that is how a military veterinarian managed to resurrect the breed.
This is another popular dog breed from Belgium. You have probably seen this little fellow in some Hollywood movies. Hint: As good as it gets.
He was the Queen’s favorite toy. Brussels Griffon is a toy dog that has its origins in the ratters and stable dogs of Belgium’s cab drivers.
He was crossed with imported toy dogs like Pug and King Charles Spaniel to develop the wide-eyed, round-headed puppy we know today.
The popularity of the breed reached its peak when Queen Marie Henriette began to breed and promote the Brussels Griffon at home and abroad.
By the end of World War II, the breed was almost extinct in its native Belgium. But thanks to the vigilance of British breeders, the breed was brought back to life.
The popular name of the Belgian Sheepdog is Groenendael. He is the only one of the shepherd dogs in Belgium with a long, and solid black coat.
In the United States, the American Kennel Club has registered it as Belgian Sheepdog. But in other parts of the world, he is known as Groenendael, named for the village of the same name. There, it was originally bred to herd sheep and cattle.
The puppy also worked as a police dog and military dog. Today, it is a versatile herding dog trained for police work, search and rescue, and serves as a service dog as well.
He is part of the AKC herding group.
The name might be sunny at first glance. Schipperke is a dog that originated in the Flemish provinces of Belgium. There, the dog has a history of hundreds of years dating back to Medieval times.
Schipperke was a common sight in the dockyards as he provided a valuable service, killing disease-carrying rats on canal boats. He also worked as a guard dog and companion to boat workers.
When you translate its name from Flemish, it means little captain. These little dogs were appreciated as companions and worked as vermin killers.
He has black color, and is small but sturdily built. Charismatic and feisty, this dog has loads of energy. Think of a terrier in Belgium.
The name might sound scary, but this is a docile dog. Belgian Bloodhound loves nothing more than trekking a local trail. This puppy was originally bred for hunting deer and wild boar. Yet, he was later used to track people.
Nowadays, he loves spending time around the house and helping you get some work done. He is affectionate and easy to love. But do not ignore his stubborn streak. Any prospective dog owner needs a firm hand and patience when training a Belgian bloodhound.
Let’s finish off with a toy breed that is among the most popular dog breeds for first-time owners.
The history of the Papillon is mysterious, but many believe he originates in Belgium. This puppy with a small face, perky ears, and adorable personality is a joy to have.
He was recognized by the AKC in 1935 with the formation of the Papillon Club of America.
If you decide to own one, remember, that you need to remove excess hair as much as possible.