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Belgian Sheepdog

Breed Summary


The Belgian Sheepdog is a breed of medium-to-large-sized herding dogs. They are well-balanced, square dog, elegant in appearance, with an exceedingly proud carriage of the head and neck. This Sheepdog is a strong, agile, well-muscled animal, alert, and full of life. Their head is clean-cut and strong and proportionate to the body. The ears are triangular in shape and eyes are almond shape with the medium in size. The guard hairs of the coat are long, well-fitting, and straight. Their whole conformation provides the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness.


Country of Origin: Belgium

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 125 of 196

AKC Classification: Herding Group

UKC Classification: Herding dog

Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day

Height: Female: 22-24 inches; Male: 24-26 inches

Weight: Female: 45-60 lbs; Male: 55-75 lbs.

Physical traits: Medium-to-large-sized, Well-balanced, Square dog

Coat: Length: Medium

Characteristics: Varies

Colors: Black, fawn, sable

Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Personality traits/Temperament: Bright, Watchful, Serious-Minded

Energy Level: Very energetic

Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: Moderate

Tendency to Dig: Low

Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years


Health


The Belgian Sheepdog has some health concerns. Their life expectancy is 12 to 14 years. Health concerns include epilepsy, elbow and hip dysplasia, eye issues such as progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts, and certain cancers. Some conditions require surgery, but the Belgians are sensitive to anaesthesia. As with all breeds, a Belgian’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed regularly. Some dogs can develop itchy skin conditions where baths with a high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner is recommended. Flea control is also essential



Nutrition


The Belgian Sheepdog depends on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared. Add a high-quality dog multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Any diet should be appropriate according to the dog’s stage (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, which requires extensive care. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Don’t give human foods that are not safe for the dog.



Training


Belgians require socialization and puppy-training classes during their early age. This develops a suitable behavior, avert unpleasant habits, and strengthens the bond between puppy and owner. Fortunately, Belgian Sheepdogs are very intelligent and want nothing more than to make their owners happy, which makes their training so easier.


Exercise


Like so many of the Herding breeds, Belgian Sheepdogs require a lot of exercises regularly. The Belgian dog is a sensitive soul who craves human companionship. It’s not enough to let him out in the backyard for a couple of hours. Owners should expect to take part in daily exercise sessions with their Belgians. Their exercise includes playing with a ball or going for a long run, or it could also mean training for and taking part in obedience, agility, tracking, or herding competitions, or canine sports such as fly ball. Use paw balm daily to protect their feet.



Fun Fact


If you are crafty, you can save a Belgian Sheepdog’s hair, have it spun into yarn, and knit it into socks, sweaters, or hats.




References


1. American Kennel Club. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://www.akc.org/

2. Dog Breeds | Hill’s Pet. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/breeds

3. List of Dog Breeds | Petfinder. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://www.petfinder.com/dog-breeds/

4. All Dog Breeds - Complete List of Dog Profiles. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/profiles

5. Dog Breeds | Types of Dogs | Purina. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://www.purina.com/dogs/dog-breeds

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