Image credit: mark kimpel

Belgian Sheepdog - Breed Profile:

Origin: Belgium
Colors: Black
Size: Large
Type of Owner: Experienced
Exercise: Regular
Grooming: Daily
Trainability: Very easy to train
Combativeness: Can be slightly dog-aggressive
Dominance: Moderate
Noise: Average barker

Breed video: Belgian Sheepdog

Physical characteristics

The Belgian Sheepdog, also known as the Groenendael, is a graceful dog with a muscular (but not massive) built and square proportions. The head is not very wide; the muzzle is long and tapering. The ears are large and erect. The brown eyes have a very intelligent expression; the nose is black. The overall appearance resembles the Belgian Tervuren very much, but in a black coat.
The height is 22 to 26 inches, the weight is 45 to 65 pounds. Males are basically larger and heavier.


Like other shepherd dogs, Groenendaels are very smart, obedient, serious and watchful. A proper socialization is necessary at an early age to avoid behaviour problems such as excessive protectiveness, shyness, sensitiveness, and herding instincts. Training is also a must, otherwise you can lose the control over the dog. Well-trained and well-socialized Groenendaels are amazing companions that will never stop surprising you with their intelligence. They are much happier when they become a part of the family, so do not keep Belgian Sheepdogs in a kennel. The Groenendael is a pretty demanding breed. They will find a way to entertain themselves even in a kennel - do not forget they are darn smart - but you will have to blame yourself for any disastrous actions of your neglected Groenendael. Do not let the dog alone with non-canine pets and be on your guard when they are together. Good with children provided that raised with them from puppyhood.

Coat and grooming

The Groenendael has moderately long black coat with an attractive ruff around the neck and extra feathering on the tummy, legs and tail. The face and the lower part of the legs, however, are covered with shorter hair. Groenendaels have a thick and dense undercoat.
Shedding is seasonal, but regular grooming is necessary to keep this fabulous coat in a good state.


The most common health problems are hip dysplasia and eye issues.

The lifespan of Belgian Sheepdogs is 10 to 12 years.