theBelgian Sheepdog

Bright, Watchful, Serious-minded
Herding Group Herding Group

meet theBelgian Sheepdog

Did you know?

The Belgian Sheepdog is known as the Groenendael, or Chien de Berger Belge in most parts of the world.


Learn More

at aGlance

Energy & Size

high ENERGY &
medium size

AKC Dog Ranking

117th
Most Popular Dog Breed

Personality

  • Check Bright
  • Check Serious-minded
  • Check Watchful
Serious-minded, watchful, and very bright and trainable

Find a Puppy

Search for Belgian Sheepdog puppies here

theBreed Standard

Embed the breed standard on your site.

Download the complete breed standard or club flier PDFs.

  • General Appearance

    The first impression of the Belgian Sheepdog is that of a well balanced, square dog, elegant in appearance, with an exceedingly proud carriage of the head and neck. He is a strong, agile, well-muscled animal, alert and full of life. His whole conformation gives the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness. The male dog is usually somewhat more impressive and grand than his female counterpart. The bitch should have a distinctly feminine look. 

  • Head

    Clean-cut and strong, overall size should be in proportion to the body. Expression indicates alertness, attention, readiness for activity. Gaze should be intelligent and questioning. Eyes brown, preferably dark brown. Medium size, slightly almond shaped, not protruding. Ears triangular in shape, stiff, erect, and in proportion to the head in size. Base of the ear should not come below the center of the eye. Ears hanging (as on a hound) shall disqualify. Skull - Top flattened rather than rounded. The width approximately the same, but not wider than the length. Stop moderate. Muzzle moderately pointed, avoiding any tendency to snipiness, and approximately equal in length to that of the topskull. The jaws should be strong and powerful. Nose black without spots or discolored areas. The lips should be tight and black, with no pink showing on the outside. Teeth - A full complement of strong, white teeth, evenly set. Should not be overshot or undershot. Should have either an even bite or a scissors bite.

  • Body

    Neck round and rather outstretched, tapered from head to body, well muscled, with tight skin. Topline - The withers are slightly higher and slope into the back, which must be level, straight, and firm from withers to hip joints. Chest not broad, but deep. The lowest point should reach the elbow, forming a smooth ascendant curve to the abdomen. Abdomen - Moderate development. Neither tucked up nor paunchy. The loin section, viewed from above, is relatively short, broad and strong, but blending smoothly into the back. The croup is medium long, sloping gradually. Tail strong at the base, bone to reach hock. At rest the dog holds it low, the tip bent back level with the hock. When in action he raises it and gives it a curl, which is strongest toward the tip, without forming a hook. Cropped or stump tail shall disqualify.

  • Forequarters

    Shoulder long and oblique, laid flat against the body, forming a sharp angle (approximately 90 degrees) with the upper arm. Legs straight, strong and parallel to each other. Bone oval rather than round. Development (length and substance) should be well proportioned to the size of the dog. Pastern medium length, strong, and very slightly sloped. Feet round (cat footed), toes curved close together, well padded. Nails strong and black, except that they may be white to match white toe tips.

     

  • Coat

    The guard hairs of the coat must be long, well fitting, straight and abundant. They should not be silky or wiry. The texture should be a medium harshness. The undercoat should be extremely dense, commensurate, however, with climatic conditions. The Belgian Sheepdog is particularly adaptable to extremes of temperature or climate. The hair is shorter on the head, outside of the ears, and lower part of the legs. The opening of the ear is protected by tufts of hair. 

  • Hindquarters

    Legs - Length and substance well proportioned to the size of the dog. Bone oval rather than round. Legs are parallel to each other. Thighs broad and heavily muscled. The upper and lower thigh bones approximately parallel the shoulder blade and upper arm respectively, forming a relatively sharp angle at stifle joint. The angle at the hock is relatively sharp, although the Belgian Sheepdog does not have extreme angulation. Metatarsus medium length, strong and slightly sloped. Dewclaws, if any, should be removed. Feet slightly elongated. Toes curved close together, well padded. Nails strong and black, except that they may be white to match white toe tips.

A Belgian Sheepdog
Learn More

theBelgian Sheepdog Community

Add my DogAdd My Dog

Upload your favorite Belgian Sheepdog photos to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #akcBelgianSheepdog.

get involved inClubs & Events

National
Breed Club

theBelgian Sheepdog Club of America, Inc.

Local Club

Find the Local Clubs in your area.

Meetups

Explore meetups.com and see all of the local Belgian Sheepdogs in your area.

exploreOther Breeds