Belgian Shepherd Laekenois

  • 22/11/2010

Breed group: Herding

Weight: Male: 65-75, female: 60-70 lbs

Height: Male: 24-26, female: 22-24 inches

Overview

From the four Belgian Sheepdogs, the Belgian Laekenois is the rarest. This breed was developed to be a watchmen and to guard the fields in Antwerp as they bleached fine linens in the sun and rain here. These dogs were also the favoured sheep tender during the reign of Queen Marie Henriette. At present, this dog is the least popular of the four Belgian Sheepdogs. All of the Belgian Sheepdogs were developed with the intentions of being tough working dogs - this ensures that the modern breeds are very gifted in the field. The Belgian Laekenois is a very uncommon, but highly gifted and caring Belgian Sheepdog that has the ability of being used in herding, and also in law enforcement, drug detection, search and rescue, tracking, obedience, sledding, agility and assistance to disabled.

Temperament

This is not the dog for someone with no previous dog ownership experience. It is well known that these dogs are very devoted to their owners, alert and also very caring. They will flourish on human camaraderie, and will not do very well if left alone for too long. This might lead to destructive behaviour. The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois will naturally bond to with one particular family member, and will also get along well with children they have been bought up with. It is vital that this breed is never involved in chasing games, tug-of-war, or rough play in and around the house. This is also not the ideal pet for homes with pets other than dogs. They will get along well with dogs they have been with raised with from puppy hood. The Belgian Laekenois are wary of strangers, and will always guard and protect their families, property and territories.

Care

The Belgian Sheepdog Laekenois has a coarse coat, and it requires quite a lot of maintenance. These coats should be trimmed about two times during the year. Dead and excessive hair can be removed by regular brushings. Their coats can also be groomed using a coarse-toothed comb once in a while. This breed should only be bathed when it is really necessary, as it will remove the oil layer on the coat. The Belgian Sheepdog Laekenois sheds very little hair.

Training

It is important for this breed to be socialised from a very early age onwards, and also to be trained in obedience. These dogs are very dominant and challenging, and should therefore be trained by an experienced handler. The Belgian Laekenois will also not perform very well if harsh and negative training methods are used. The training environment for these dogs should be one that is fair, firm and patient - with the relevant rewards in place.

Health problems

This is a very tough and healthy breed with no serious health concerns.
Some minor concerns that have been reported are skin allergies, eye problems, and occasional hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.

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