Belgian dog breeds are beautiful and popular; they make some of the most loving dog breeds desired by many American dog lovers. Common Belgian dog breeds available in United States include the Belgian Malinois (pronounced Ma-lin-wa), Belgian Tervuren (pronounced Tur-vur-en) and Belgian Laekenois (pronounced Lake-in-wa). Let us take a look at the popular large and small Belgian Dog breeds with pictures.
This beautiful dog breed is friendly and wonderful to look at. It is classified as a variant of the Belgian Shepherd (Schipperke as it is called in Belgium) or the Belgian Sheepdog. This breed originates from the Belgian city of Malines.
The Malinois is a working dog trained for many tasks. Many narcotic and explosive sniffing dogs employed at airports or in the military are Belgian Malinois. Many Malinois are also known to work for search and rescue organizations. Several Belgian dog breeds are trained therapy dogs helping people with seizures or diabetic shocks etc.
Characteristics of the Beligain Malinois:
- This is a medium sized dog
- Owing to its intelligent nature, he is easy to train.
- When compared to the Belgian Shepherd dog, the Belgian Malinois has subtle differences. For one, the coat of the Malinois is more mahogany and sheds a bit more. Malinois is also easier to train and has greater energy compared to the Sheepdog. In short, the Malinois is a popular version of the Belgian Shepherd and much in demand in the United State and Europe.
- This is a superb guard dog- attentive and ever alert.
This form of the Belgian shepherd has a longer coat than the Malinois. It is also black in color where most Malinois are lighter coated.
Groenendael’s temperament is gentler than that of the Malinois as it is not much of a working dog. As a result, the Groenendael is often considered an inferior dog as it does not have the strong personality as that of other similar large Belgian dog breeds. The Groenendael does not stay as active or functional as many other dogs in the similar category.
Like the Groenendael, the Tervuren has a longer coat than the Malinois. It is usually mahogany or fawn in color. This breed can be energetic or mellow; experts believe that the Tervuren is a bit unpredictable. This also makes training them unpredictable-some Tervurens are easier to train than others. The Tervuren does well in agility exercises. Many experts believe that Tervurens are more agile than Belgian Malinois, but not as driven.
Like the Tervuren, the Laekenois has a fawn coloring, but with a rougher coat. It does not shed as much as the other Belgian Sheepdogs. This breed is a trained messenger dog breed and more than search and rescue operations, this working dog functions better when it comes to delivering messages to other people.
Belgian Griffon is one of the more popular small Belgian dog breeds. Also known as the Brussels Griffon or Griffon Bruxellois, this toy Griffon breed originated in Brussels, Belgium. The name Brussels Griffon is also used as blanket term for other two breeds like Griffon Belge and Petit Brabancon. All three are similar expect for differences in coat and color. The breed suffered during the two World Wars but was kept alive by UK breeders. It was used by Belgian coachmen to keep rats away. Interesting fact-the dog in As Good As It Gets is a Griffon Bruxellois.
- These dogs have a big, affectionate heart
- They can be over sensitive.
- Belgian Griffons tend to bond with one family member.
- They are not too patient with kids but do get along with other dogs and house pets.
- Their high energy and protectiveness make them great watch/guard dogs.
St. Hubert Hound
In Belgium, the Bloodhound is known as St. Hubert Hound named after the man who molded the breed for his hunting needs. Young Hubert born in a rich family was a passionate hunter. Even after his wife died, Hubert went to live in a monastery on the border of what is now Belgium and France, he continued to hunt and breed his dogs. After his death, Hubert was declared saint. The abbot continued his practice of breeding dogs. So skilled were the St Hubert Hounds in sniffing out cold or old trails that the King of France asked for 3 pairs of these hounds from the abbey each year. Later, the fame of these hounds reached England where William the Conqueror asked for them.
The Bichon is often considered as one of the small Belgian dog breeds; however the fact is that France is equally instrumental in developing this breed. It can be said that France and Belgium together legitimatized the Bichon by accepting it in their registries. So factually speaking, both countries may not have been the countries of development of the Bichon but are still considered as the countries of origin.