With beautiful almond eyes and a black coat, the Groenendael is an elegant breed of dog. Here are a few other interesting facts about it.
Belgian Groenendael Appearance
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The Belgian Groenendael, also known as Belgian shepherd, is a well-balanced dog. It has stiff triangular ears and almond-shaped eyes. It has a square proportioned body. The top of its head is flat instead of rounded. The muzzle is pointed and has a moderate stop. Strong and straight legs are parallel to the body, while the feathered tail is stronger toward the base and the tailbone reaches the hock. The Belgian shepherd has cat-like feet.
Its coat is black with fur around the neck area and feathering on its tails and legs. The black coat may contain white spots on the toes, chin or chest. Its coat is water-resistant and can provide excellent protection during extreme weathers.
The male Groenendael weighs 55 to 57 pounds, whereas the female weighs about 45 to 60 pounds. The male Groenendael is more attractive and larger than the female. This breed of dog is well-muscled without being bulky.
Belgian Groenendael Grooming
The Belgian Groenendael has a double-layer coat. The upper coat has an abundance of straight, long hair that is neither too wiry nor too silky. The undercoat is dense and soft and provides protection from extreme weathers.
It can take about 15 to 20 minutes in a week to brush the coat and remove the dead hair. Regular brushing can also remove tangles and mats, keeping the coat shiny and looking clean. Constant brushing for a minute or two daily will also result in less hair lying around the house. A medium-sized pin brush can be used, while a slicker brush may be used for puppies.
For its dental hygiene, brushing teeth is required two to three times in a week to prevent tartar and plaque buildup. Daily brushing can also prevent bad breath and gum diseases.
As with any other dog breed, regular cleaning of the ears is required to keep infections at bay. Do not, however, use a cotton swab. Always use the tools prescribed by the veterinarian.
Trimming the nails will also keep its feet healthy.
Belgian Groenendael Temperament
Belgian sheepdogs are obedient and bright dogs. They should be trained from a very early age in order to inculcate obedience in them. They also require extra socialization in order to overcome their initial shyness. This breed of dog is wary of strangers and may take time to warm up to people.
It is also observed to be intelligent and extremely loyal to its owner. Once attached to its owner, the Belgian shepherd is loyal till the very end and may suffer from anxiety if left by itself for prolonged periods. The Groenendael craves the company of its family and is at its happiest when spending time with them.
Full of energy, the Groenendael needs constant exercise. It makes an impressive guard and police dog due to its energetic nature. This breed also cannot be kept in kennels as it hates being locked up. It needs daily exercise and great companionship or else it may turn destructive. It also highly competitive in herding, tracking and other sports for dogs.
Belgian Groenendael Training
Training this breed will take some effort as it has high energy levels and will need constant workouts. Plus, it is recommended to train it from the time it’s a puppy to develop obedience.
As stated before, the Groenendael takes time to open up to people and is generally shy. Socialization from an early age can help overcome these traits and help in later years.
The Belgian shepherd is always looking to make its owner happy and does not provide any resistance when being trained. However, it is important to note that physical punishment or shouting will affect the bond and may cause the dog to become fearful of you. Always use positive reinforcement to effectively train the dog. The way the dog is handled can highly affect its temperament. Scolding or shouting will aggravate the aggressive nature of the dog.
Belgian Groenendael History
The Belgian Groenendael has been named after the kennel that created it. It is one of the four types of Belgian sheepdogs. They all share the same origin. The Belgian Groenendael has been used in tracking, cart and sled pulling, herding and other sports for dogs because of its highly energetic nature. This breed of dog has been used in the police force in narcotic and bomb detection units for their agile and obedient nature. The other four Belgian sheepdogs are called Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Malinois and Belgian Laekenois.
Belgian Sheepdog, Chien de Berger Belge
Belgian Groenendael Photos