There are four breeds in the group: Groenendael, Laekenois, Malinois, and Tervuren. There are similarities in body shape and temperament, but they are all separate breeds.
The Groenendael was originally used for herding, as watchdogs, and as companions, but they quickly became famous for catching smugglers for Belgian customs. It didn't take long until Groenendaels served as police dogs in both New York City and Paris, and while other dog breeds struggled during the word wars, the Groenendael did very well.
Today, this is a popular breed for search and rescue, therapy work, and guide dogs. Needless to say they do great in dog sports such as agility, tracking, and obedience.
Many who see a Malinois for the first time thinks its a German Shepherd. They look a little alike, but the breeds are quite different.
The Malinois is popular for police and military work - they are intelligent, strong, confident, and eager to work. This is also a popular breed for dog sports such as obedience, sledding, herding, and tracking.
The Laekenois is clever and alert, and can be quite protective of family and property. This breed was originally developed to tend to flocks and guard, and these properties remain in the breed.
The Tervuren is an elegant and devoted dog that often excels in obedience and agility competitions. Many who see these dogs believe they're German Shepherds with long hair, but the Tervuren is a different breed. They're outstanding herders that also do great jobs as therapy dogs and guide dogs.
~ Maria Sadowski ~