Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael)
Discussion in 'Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael)' started by Discussion Thread, Apr 28, 2004.
Belgian Shepherd Dog
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Here is my handsome boy Jet
Nice Dog, are the temperments pretty simalar between the Belgians and the germans?
Isnt this a Groenendael?
yes he is. There are 4 types of Belgian Shep, Groenendael, Tervueren, Malinois and Laeknois, and they differ according to their length and colour of coat.
no I find he is different to my german shep. He is much more easy going and just adapts to whatever's going on round about him. We rescued Jet after he was found tied to a trainline. He certainly didn't look this handsome when we got him but he's a fantastic dog. Mental but fantastic lol
this is his brother Ice my german Shep, they get on fab although ice was scared of him at first despite being bigger.
This was right in the beginning. Nowadays, due to different use, there is a huge difference between the 3 beauties and the beast (The ones with the long and rough coat and the shorthaired Malinois) The Mal has been considdered the ugly one and combined with the fact that working people prefer to train thier dogs than to groom them made that the emphasis for breeding has been different between the "beauties" (Groenendael, Tervuren en Laekenois) and the "beast"(Malinois). The beauties have been bred formost for thier looks and the Malinois for his capability to work in Belgian Ring. This difference in breeding goals has had its impact on build and character off the different breeds. the beauties are more homogene if you consider thier exterior but they have a softer character. On the other hand the true Malinois is not so homogene as his counterparts with other coats but has a much harder character and is more dominant then the other 3 versions.
Gast at his 4th trail (i think) this is entry level
Even at 4 months in training
Not my dogs but boy do i like it
All the Tervuren's I have met here seem to be a little "wimpy" like the lion in the wizard of oz, no courage. Apologies to anyone that has one but that is the type I have seen in agility and after speaking to a lot of belgian owners they have all agreed. The Groenendael's by contrast seem to be a much more confident dog and I quite like those although they still have too much coat for me, never seen a Laekenois over here so can't comment on their personality. I have to say that the Mal is certainly not the "beast" in my eyes, I actually prefer them. The ones I have seen are mostly show bred but there are a couple in agility that are working bred and they are completely different, harder, more attitude and loads more drive, almost like a different breed. if I had a belgian it would be a mal and it would have to be a working bred one, definitely not a beast!
heh, when i am older i'm planning on getting a Malinois
why are they all in one post though, seems as most KCs class at least 2 of them seperately?
They are 4 varieties of the one breed
At one time in the UK they were shown separately however, this was forced upon Belgian owners and was a change - at one time just a few years ago, inter-variety mating occurred and one of my first Tervueren, a male, had a Malinois grand daddy
Nowadays they are rightfully back under the "one breed" but shown as 4 varieties. I'm no show boffin (find it all hard to follow ) but believe that's right.
Belgians need ongoing socialisation - yes they can be "shy" and "wimpy" but IMO this can be due to incorrect socialisation as much as anything.
My own Belgian is not shy nor wimpy but was thoroughly socialised and worked with from a very young age
They are quite different to collies - I've known a few collie people who have had them and who have gone back to their original breed as the Belgian "but I do need a reason" and their distractedness etc can be hard to understand for someone used to the collie intensity. Of course we all love our chosen breed for their characteristics aat the end of the day! ;-)
Well I have three collies and two of them have the same "but I do need a reason" attitude. One of them would repeat the same exercise over and over in true collie style but because he is a thinker he will start to change it slightly by doing something different as obviously he is doing it wrong or I wouldn't be asking him to repeat it........... The other is my 16 month youngster and if he is asked to do something a second time he looks surprised, a third time and he often refuses as he can't see why when he has already done it.
I like this attitude in a dog, I like dogs that can think for themselves and mine are brought up to be independant and do just that, maybe not perfect for an agility dog but that's the way I like them. A lot of collie owners seem to be turning to kelpies at the moment as an alternative to a collie, if they go into it with their eyes open they will be fine but most that I have spoken to know nothing about the breed and think they are just like a collie.........
Belgian shepherds have of course different lines, working and showing, but there is a big variance also inside the lines, even inside a litter. The more they are spread as a breed, the more they are bred to be suitable to every family and every owner.
When I went to tervs almost 20 years ago, I met dogs, who didn't want to have contact to strangers, still not scared, only reluctant to be touched by someone they didn't know. After that they are bred more open and social, but also at the same time some sort of stubborness in work has gone. I prefer the old type behaviour, they can be touched freely, if owner allows it. But never so, that dog is scared or nervous.
I have to admit, that all the talk about "wimpy" BSDs has not come out of the blue, we should take more consideration in temperaments, but most of our dogs are really nice and hardworking, if given chance. In Scandinavia we are very lucky to have our special scandinavian events, tracking, search, signal and special event (kind of a triathlon for dogs) to maintain the working qualities.
But true openness I really value in workinglines. They have strong drives and any unsociality takes away part of the trust in the dog and it's work. Socially strong dog is so much more easier to handle and train. I am not too interested in bitework myself anymore, I am more into scandinavian tracking and FH, but under the circumstances I see a lot of bitework and training from KNPV to IPO. It is always a pleasure to work with open and strongminded dog. For showlines real bitework is not always possible, some qualities are missing. Of course lower levels are possible, but for real competition, I don't think so. In old lines some dogs still work, but I never sell showline for protection work.
Alltogether BSD is a nice breed with lots of possibilities, if you just choose a line that goes with your needs and activities.
At least I would never change!
Is this Malinois a beauty or a beast?
or this one:
Lovely pics. I reckon they are real beautys. Great looking dogs.
This is a bit off topic but just had to say that all the collies I know most definitely "need a reason" They are working sheepdogs, who may well end up working out of sight of the shepherd, up to 1 or 2 miles away and need to think for themselves and be able to weigh up situations and not just work robot-style
Just to get back on topic though, I remember reading a book called "Jack" about a Belgian Shepherd by the author Frank Walker. It was thoroughly enjoyable and introduced me to BSDs at an early age.
Malinois are definitely strong, 'high-energy' dogs which need a a firm hand and a strong-minded owner, to ensure that they do not 'take you over'.
Dolly's 'GSD genes' possibly temper this a bit, but my wife still has difficulty in maintaining control while walking her.... Dolly thinks she has to be the protective one.
At home she is relatively placid(except when the doorbell goes!), and not constantly needing to be 'on the go'.
The Mals I have seen at work and training for our local police force would definitely NOT be suitable for the average home or owner. They are incredibly intense dogs and very sharp - they are not known as Malligators for nothing Amazing working dogs though
I remember the Jack book too! It was partly what got me into the BSD too, and i very nearly got a Groenendael after reading it, but ended up with my lovely Tervs