Belgian Tervuren Dog Breed
Aliases: Belgian Shepherd Dog and Chien de Berger Belge
|Life Span:||12-14 years|
|Litter Size:||6 to 10 puppies|
|Group:||Herding and AKC Herding and part of the Sheepdog family.|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
|Color:||The colors of the Belgian Tervuren vary slightly with the norm being a rich shade of red (often described as mahogany) with black highlights and a black mask. Occasionally, you will see a small spot of white on the chest or the tip of the toes.|
|Hair Length:||Long, Medium|
|Male Height:||24-26 inches (61-66 cm)|
|Male Weight:||65-75 pounds (29-34 kg)|
|Female Height:||22-24 (56-61)|
|Female Weight:||60-70 pounds (27-32 kg)|
|General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||The Belgian Tervuren is comfortable and will adapt to any kind of temperature as long as he has protection from the extreme cold and extreme heat. Depending on where you live, some of these extremes can be dangerous without protection. They are happiest when indoors with the family and loving bonding with them.|
The Belgian Tervuren is a breed of dog that is often classified as a Belgian Shepherd dog. In the United States, the American Kennel Club (AKC) calls them Belgian Tervuren, however in Canada, they are recognized as a member of the Belgian Shepherd dog.
The Belgian Tervuren, one of four Belgian Sheepdogs, is a medium-sized, slender, square proportioned dog in the sheepdog family. He has a strong look to him with a solid muscular body with hind legs that are also muscular. The entire body is solid and muscular without looking bulky, but rather elegant. The front legs are straight and perfectly proportioned to the body with round catlike feet. It has light and graceful gait, which has the appearance of floating.
The Belgian Tervuren is a lively and happy dog known for their loyalty and protectiveness. They are happiest when they are doing something, specifically with their owner. They were originally bred as a herding dog and his herding instincts will still surface from time to time such as circle and nipping at heels. The Tervuren has a very high intelligence, is easy to train, and is known for having a great sense of humor. If you could hear them laughing, you would. He is very gentle dog with this family members and people he knows well, but more guarded with strangers. They are very playful and always alert with their eyes erect constantly paying close attention to what is happening around them. When you are talking to them, you can tell they are listening.
They thrive on attention and praise and need lots of attention. They are extremely energetic dogs that love to play. Failure to give them all the attention and exercise they require may result in the Tervuren turning to destructive behavior regardless of how well behaved they are. They participate in many AKC events revolving around tracking, herding, agility and obedience. Due to their intelligence, trainability and loyalty, they are used for search and rescue, guard and protection dogs for the military and police, therapy dogs, pulling sleds and fly ball competitions. The Belgian Tervuren is still very rare in the United States.
Because they are such energetic dogs, they do need a yard that they can run around in and play. If they are going to spend any measurable amount of time outdoors, they will need some running room. Due to the heavy shedding, you may not want them spending every minute of the day in the house.
The Belgian Tervuren has a very harsh coat of medium to long length that consists of a straight black-tipped overcoat and then a dense under coat. Together they give an overlay appearance. There is thicker coat of hair on the rump and back of the legs. There is also a thicker pile of hair around the neck that looks like a collar. This shows up more on the male than the female.
They coat sheds daily and needs to be brushed regularly and they have an annual big shedding where they loose one coating and develop another. The texture of the hair is very course and straight and not at all wavy. This makes it easier to keep brushed and clean, as there is less chance for matting.
Although mahogany is the basic color, there have been some Tervuren that are sable or grey with white on the chin and muzzle. With the thick coat of hair and coloring, they sometimes resemble the longhaired German shepherd and are a beautiful dog.
The history of the Belgian Tervuren traces back to the 1880s when the Tervuren, German shepherd, French shepherds and Dutch shepherds were all called Continental Shepherd Dogs. In a 1891 a club called the Club du Chein de Berger Belge (aka Belgian Shepherd Dog Club) was started to determine if there was one true shepherd dog belonging to Belgium. Veterinary professor Adolphe Reul, in charge of the research, determined that there was one consistent type of native shepherd dog, a square medium-sized dog that differed only by the length and color of hair. A year later, the CCBB (Belgium\'s version of the AKC) began petitioning for a breed status for this dog.
After a long process and into the beginning of the twentieth century, the dogs were finally acknowledged and broke down into divisions of Tervuren, Malinois and Laekenois. For awhile the breed dwindled out until after the war when they began importing and breeding first the Malinois and then the Tervuren into the United States. The first Tervuren was imported in the US in 1953 and finally acknowledged by the AKC in 1959. Today they are finally registered as a breed of their own.
The Belgian Tervuren was used during as guard dogs and sled dogs pulling the injured on carts as well as deliver messages. Today they are still used as police and guard dogs.
The Belgian Tervuren is an alert, intelligent loving dog that makes a wonderful pet. He wants to be entertained by his family or he will look for his own ways to have fun. He is very protective of his family and home. He will protect his home when his family is gone. When he meets strangers, he will be alert and on guard, but does not act aggressive. If you become his friend, you are his friend for life.
It is very important the Tervuren be socialized around other dogs and other people at a very young age. Proper socializing from a young age will help to prevent over aggressiveness or over shyness. If raised around young children, he makes a great playmate and watchdog. Because of his large size and energetic personality, he shouldn\'t be left alone with small children. Although, they are very protective and watchful of young children in the family and will not let outside harm come to them. The training should be firm, but not too harsh. They do need to know from the start what is expected of them.
If they are properly socialized with cats and other animals, they seem to get along great, although they have a tendency to be dominant with other dogs. Although, by nature they are very loving, loyal and intelligent, they are demanding dogs and need a firm hand or they can be very hard to control. It is important to realize, however, that dogs are like people in that they each have their own personalities and much of how they turn out as adults is a result of the training and socialization they had as pups.
Tervuren dogs are very loyal, bond to their family members, and are always watchful of them. They are quick to pick up on any strange situations in their surroundings. They are not quick to make friends with strangers, preferring their family and friends they know. They are not a recommended dog for first time dog owners because of their demanding personality. Those that own them say that you can tell the females from the males just from their behavior as the females act very feminine and the males act masculine.
Thyroid Disease - Low Risk
The Belgian Tervuren ranks #105 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it).
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here
Other Health Problems
The Belgian Tervuren doesn't have any real major health concerns out of the ordinary for dogs of this breed or type. Some problems that have been seen are:
- Skin allergies
- Eye problems ( progressive retinal atrophy )
- Hip Dysplasia and elbow dysplasia .
- Excessive aggressiveness and excessive shyness has been reported in dogs that were not socialized properly.
If planning on breeding, pay close attention to the parents you intend to breed for signs of either type of excessive behavior. This breed has a tendency to become obese and lazy, which is not healthy for dog, so be sure to not overfeed them.