Belgian Tervuren (Herding Group)
The Belgian Tervuren is an active and intelligent member of the Herding Group. These dogs were bred to guard and herd livestock, with the physical appearance to prove it, showing off a proud posture and an elegantly muscular body. It combines great strength with agility and speed, and has the energy to run and herd non-stop all day.
The temperament of the Belgian Tervuren is as playful and alert as any breed, yet will turn quickly to reserved and defensive around strange people. They are natural watchdogs and fearless protectors. These dogs function best when ongoing mental stimulation and training is followed. They are well-mannered in the house and are safe around children, with the exception of minor nipping in the attempt to herd them.
A Brief History Of The Belgian Tervuren
The Belgian Tervuren has its roots in Belgium and has been around since the 1800s. This dog is actually one of four Belgian dog breeds. All four share the same origins, with the major distinction being the coat type and color patterns. They are the long, black haired Groenendael, the short haired Malinois, the wire haired Laekenois, and the non-black haired Tervuren.
All of these breeds were used as herding dogs and as guard dogs, and were interbred both before and after being officially organized into one breed, known as the Continental or the Belgian. The Tervuren was named after a small village, known as the village of Tervuren, where the dog had its earlier residences. They were not quite as popular as the other shepherd breeds but still made the official AKC registration list in the United States in 1918.
Upkeep Requirements For The Belgian Tervuren
The Belgian Tervuren, like all breeds from the Herding Group, must have lots of daily exercise. Strenuous activity in the form of running and outside games are best. They are easily trained and thrive on mental stimulation as well. They specifically enjoy herding and will even attempt to herd small children if left unsupervised.
These dogs have tolerance to moderately cool and warm temperatures, and should be given the room to roam outside during the day. Belgian Tervuren dogs absolutely cannot live in a small, closed-in space. Although they do thrive on human companionship and contact, they need plenty of time outdoors. Grooming requirements for the dog’s double coat needs a good brushing, two to three times per week.
The average lifespan of the Belgian Tervuren is between ten and twelve years. Major Health Concerns that are commonly seen in the breed are seizures. Minor health issues include PRA, hypothyroidism, allergies, CHD, and elbow dysplasia. Rarely seen is hemangiosarcoma, pannus, PPM, and cataracts. Veterinarians suggest that the Belgian Tervuren get specifically tested for eye, hip, and elbow problems.