The Belgian Tervuren was named for the Belgium village of Tervuren. This is the breed known in France and Belgium as the "Chien de Berger Belge".
This breed is a stunningly handsome version of the Black Belgian Sheepdog, different only in color.
Before the 1800's, when dog shows became popular and tended to direct attention to a dog's appearance, European shepherds were not concerned with conformation. They were looking for dependability and durability, and they had that in their "Chiens de Berger" no matter what they looked like.
However, by the 1800s fencing and corralling were commonplace and the wolves were gone. It was time to start dressing up the working breeds in dependable finery. the Belgian tervuren, like his very close cousins, the Belgian Malinois and the Belgian Sheepdog, is an elegant-looking dog with a lively and graceful way of moving. Their whole attitude is one of willingness, eager to work, to please to be part of his 'pack'.
The Tervuren is one of the four varieties of the Belgian sheepdogs including his cousins the Belgian Groenendael, the Belgian Malinois and the less popular Belgian Laekenois, which all share a common foundation.
In most countries and breed clubs all four dogs are considered the same breed with different varieties in coat types.
All four dogs share a breed standard in all countries except for the AKC, which since 1959 recognizes them as separate breeds and does not recognize one of the four (the Laekenois), whereas the UKC, which is also a U.S. registry does recognize all four varieties as one breed.
Versatile and highly intelligent, all four varieties of the Belgian sheepdog excel at a variety of talents, including but not limited to, police work such as narcotics and bomb detection, protection and Schutzhund, search and rescue, also obedience, agility, tracking, herding, sled and cart pulling and as a guide for the blind and assistant to the disabled.
These high energy, extremely intelligent dogs need leadership, to be challenged, and well exercised daily and therefore are not for everyone, but can make an excellent family companion with the right owners.
Belgian Shepherds were also used as guard dogs and draught dogs. This breed were the 1st dogs to be used by the Belgian Police forces. Before World War II, international police dog trials became very popular in Europe and Belgian dogs often earned top honors at these Trials.
Today all four sheepdogs are popular in Belgium, with the Laekenois and Malinois topping the list & continues to be used in field competitions as working dogs.
• Very intelligent ~ considered brilliant. • One of the top choices today for police work in numerous departments including scenting, tracking, scenting, protection. • This breed also has ‘herding’ instincts in the DNA. Will chase bikers, joggers, tings that move. • Not suited for apartments/condos. • Shyness can be a problem in this breed. • Require lots of mental and physical stimulation. • Heavy shedders. • Can get along well with other dogs & cats if raised with them, but will chase smaller animals they are not familiar with. • Very people-oriented, and love being part of the family. • Not recommended for inexperienced dog owners.
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.
Tervurens 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.
Health Problems The Belgian Tervuren doesn't have any real major Health concerns out of the ordinary for dogs of this breed or type.
Grooming is important to all dogs for a couple reasons. One reason is to make him look good and it's a way to possibly alert you to any unusual health problems in or on the skin. Another reason is this is a time for you and your dog to bond-just the two of you. It's important that you start grooming your dog when he is still a young pup so he gets used to the feeling and doesn't consider it a chore or something to fear.
The Belgian has a long, straight heavy outer coat of medium length and another dense coat underneath that needs to be brushed and combed daily, if possible.
This dog is a heavy shedder and will require regular brushing with a thorough brushing at least once a week.
The beautiful Belgian Tervuren is a very active energetic dog and because of this, they require lots of exercise. It is used to being in the outdoors working and needs space to run and play off the leash. The kind of exercise a dog gets walking on a leash won't satisfy his desire for releasing energy. If you live near a tennis court or ball park, this would be a perfect place to take him and run with him or play catch. The Tervuren love to retrieve things and this is a great source of exercise. To avoid your Tervuren being bored at home and resorting to destructive behavior, you need to give him enough exercise to tire him out.
Because of their tendency to get obese and lazy if overfed, it is imperative that they get proper exercise to avoid that. Most dogs, like humans, slow down with age so it's up to the master to see that the dog is exercised regularly and vigorously especially if he's indoors all day while you work.
Training of the Belgian Tervuren is very important, as they are an energetic, active, intelligent dog that requires constant activity and need to be doing things. It is also important to begin the training at a young age when the dog is the easiest to work with. The Tervuren thrives on pleasing his master and will respond well to positive reinforcement. Because they are very sensitive to any change in the environment, the training should be consistent.
The Belgian Tervuren is too energetic to be allowed to run around untrained, not to mention letting all that intelligence and loyalty go to waste. Lure coursing is a great sport for the Belgian Tervuren that teaches them control and how to retrieve and they love participating. Agility is another sport that the Tervuren excels in and has placed in at AKC competitions.
Basic Obedience and Schutzund training go in steps from beginning to advanced and each step is consistent with the dog's age. It is very important for this dog to be given as much training as possible. With their background and personality traits, they are meant to serve and help people. Due to their sense of loyalty, they make excellent guard dogs, police dogs, therapy dogs and search and rescue just to name some of their accomplishments.