Monday, November 3, 2014

Rare Breed Monday: Belgian Sheepdog

The Belgian Sheepdog, also known as the Groenendael or Chien de Berger Belge, is an elegant, strong, and proud dog breed from Belgium that stems back to the 1800s. 

In the past, the dogs were herders, companions, and watchdogs. It didn't take long until their intelligence and trainability made them known outside of Belgium, and in the early 20th century many served as police dogs in France and even New York City. They also worked for the Belgian Customs and did an outstanding job at catching smugglers.

While many other breeds suffered during WWI, the Belgian Sheepdog thrived. They served on the battlefields and did everything from carrying messages to pulling machine guns, and in WWII they guarded military installations.

Today, the versatile breed is popular in search and rescue, as therapy dogs, and as guide dogs.

As you can imagine, this is an energetic working breed, and the dogs are happiest when they have a lot to do and get ample exercise. But, in contrast to many other working breeds these dogs have an "off" button and make wonderful, gentle, and devoted companions. They go well with (gentle) children

The dogs are intelligent and easy to train, and generally go well with (gentle) children. For those interested in dog sports, these dogs often excel in obedience and tracking.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

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