Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren)

History

The Tervuren is a Belgian breed used in sheep herding and was classed as a separate breed from other Belgian Sheepdogs in 1891. After the Second World War, the breed had almost died out, but a concentrated effort brought them back. It is now used more as a Sheep dog than any other of the Belgian Shepherding dogs.

Behaviour

The Tervuren is an alert, watchful and active breed with an independent streak, making it ideal at herding. They are intelligent and energetic, forming a close bond with their owners and thrive when out working in the field. As a working breed they need constant mental and physical stimulation and are often used as Search and Rescue dogs, in agility competitions, tracking and as farm dogs. They are very loyal and can be protective of their owners and home. They get on well with children and make good guardians, but are wary of strangers and new dogs. Early socialisation will help with this. Like most herding breeds, they might try and herd small children. Tervurens are perceptive of their surroundings and notice small changes around them. They will pick up on moods and anything out of the ordinary, making them good watch dogs. They forget their size and will happily climb on to you lap for a cuddle. Even though they are classed as working dogs, they do need human company and might have problems if left alone for too long. Tervurens need plenty of daily exercise in the form of running and playing. They make great running/jogging partners and also like a game of frisbee/fetch. Their brains work overtime and need to be tired out, so hide and seek/Flyball type games work well for them. Many owners take part in agility trials with them as they enjoy the physical act of running and jumping and seem to do well in these types of competition. A bored Tervuren will dig holes in your garden and eat your sofa. Not recommended for a first time dog owner, unless you have time that the breed needs.

The breed has a thick double coat that requires regular brushing, but suffers little in the way of health concerns. Canine Hip Dysplasia should be watched out for as well as gastric problems such as bloat.

Temperament

Belgian Tervurens possess a playful yet protective temperament. Originally bred to herd and protect sheep they have since become more popular as household pets and police dogs. They will act protectively of family and home with an independent attitude. This makes them perfect guard dogs although they will in intolerant of strangers.

Unsuitable to be kept with cats these dogs may also show aggression to other dogs. They will need lots of mental stimulation and exercise.

Health Problems

Health problems that may affect Belgian Tervurens include: canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA: degeneration of retinal tissue that can lead to blindness) and in some rare cases seizures.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 years
  • Weight: 27 - 34 kg
  • Height: 22 - 26''
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Long - Double
  • Grooming Requirements: Everyday
  • Town or Country: Either
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
  • Breed Type: Herding
  • Size: Large
  • Energy Level: High
  • Exercise Required: Over 2 hours

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