Life span: 12-14 Years
Height: 60-66cm (Male); 56-62cm (Female)
Weight: 40-70 pounds
Part of one of the four types of Belgian Sheepdogs, the Belgian Tervuren is as energetic and loving as the rest. It is highly intelligent and willing to please its owner. This dog especially loves spending time with its family and would do anything to protect them.
The body of a Belgian Tervuren is strong and medium sized. Its ears are set high atop its head and stand erect, its tail is long and hairy with a slight curve at the end. Its eyes are brown with a black nose. Their double coat is made up of a water resistant and straight haired overcoat,and a soft and dense undercoat. Their coat typically has a combination of black with either light or dark brown. The face will normally be black, including the ears, and its chest can be either black or grey or a combination of the two. It can also have a black tail tip and white tips on the toes.
Bred in the 1800s from dogs whose ancestry included the “Tom” and “Poes” breeds. Although they were registered under one breed with three other types of Belgian Shepherds in 1891, their specific breed standard was not set until 1893, when they became popular. The first male born from a female Tervuren was the first show champion in 1907. Its name comes from the home village of the breed’s creator, M. F. Corbeel, were they were originally used for herding sheep. Afterwards they were used in World War I as messengers, Red Cross assistants and to pull wagons behind them. In 1953 they were brought to America to be bred, were they began being used for military and police work and eventually, as pets.
This breed is highly intelligent and willing to please, making it easy to train. They are fantastic family dogs, loyal and protective. They adore children and are very playful with them. Due to their energetic nature, these dogs need plenty of exercise and need to be entertained, otherwise they might develop destructive nature. Since they are also family dogs, they enjoy being with their family and doing activities with them. They are loving and caring with their families, although a bit shy and wary of strangers, making them good watchdogs. The best way to train a Tervuren is through positive reinforcement and firm commands, any yelling or physical correction will cause them to fear you.
Belgian Tervurens tend to be healthy dogs, but like many breeds, can suffer from:
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Epilepsy, a neurological disorder that can produce seizures.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
During shedding season, the brushing sessions will last around 20 minutes and will have to be almost daily. Any other time of the year, however, a quick brushing once a week, or twice, will suffice. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and their ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They have a lot of energy and therefore require plenty of daily exercise, accompanied by their owners in any activity. They also need to have a task to do or will become bored and destructive. The Belgian Tervuren is a dog that enjoys completing tasks and learning new tricks, so training should be very easy. Early socialization and obedience training are vital for this breed. They respond better to positive reinforcement and to turning the training into a fun game.