The Belgian Laekenois is an outstanding shepherd that has a close association with other shepherds that are native to Belgium, such as the Tervuren, Groenendael, and the Malinois. However, the difference of the Laekenois among these shepherds is that it has a unique wiry and curly coat. The Belgian Laekenois is considered to be the more rare Belgian sheepdog. Despite that, they are several good reasons why you should get to know this dog breed. Aside from being outstanding protectors and affectionate companions, the Belgian Laekenois has so much more to offer. That is why in this article, we are going to know more about this dog breed, its history, characteristics, and how to take care of them.
Origins of the Belgian Laekenois
The Belgian Laekenois originated in Belgium, and it is developed centuries ago to be a part of a group of native herding breeds. The Belgian Laekenois is often used as guardians of livestock such as sheep and cattle. At the same time, this dog breed also enjoyed the cooperation and companionship with its family. That is why the Belgian Laekenois became a capable working dog and an alert guardian of people and property.
The Belgian Laekenois is distinguished by its curly and wiry coat. Its name was inspired by the town of Laeken, which is a place in a region where the breed was closely associated. As time passed, the Belgian Laekenois gained another occupation aside from guarding livestock, and this is guarding linen that is drying in the field.
Just like other European dog breeds, the Belgian Laekenois was nearly wiped out during World War I and II. But thanks to breed enthusiasts who diligently worked to keep this dog breed alive, the Belgian Laekenois slowly saw a resurgence. However, this breed still remains to be quite rare until today.
Characteristics of the Belgian Laekenois
Height: 24 to 26 inches in males and 22 to 24 inches in females
Weight: 55 to 65 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
Male Belgian Laekenois can grow as tall as 24 to 26 inches tall. In comparison, female Belgian Laekenois can grow up from 22 to 24 inches tall. They can weigh from 55 to 65 pounds. Dogs that belong in this breed are strong and sturdy, and they are distinguished from their rough and tousled coats that can sometimes come in shades of fawn, gray, or red tones. They also have a blackening around their muzzle, which points up the expression of them being keen watchers that also shines from their dark almond-shaped eyes.
The Belgian Laekenois are very protective of their property and master. They are observant towards strangers, and they can be quite affectionate when it comes to the people who know them well.
Caring for Belgian Laekenois
There are some things that you need to know when it comes to taking care of a rare and striking Belgian Laekenois. One of the most essential things that you need to realize about this breed is that they are used to having a job to do. While the Belgian Laekenois that we know today might be several generations and a thousand times removed from the original sheepfold in Belgium, but its mentality is always alert. That is why you should always give them enough attention and work, or else they might become neurotic and destructive.
Most Belgian Laekenois owner says that this dog breed is attentive, watchful, and always in motion even if they are not under any command. They can be quite sensitive and alert, which makes them hyper-aware of anything in their environment, such as people, objects, noises, and so much more.
You should give them enough attention every day and make sure that you divide it into developing them physically and mentally. Keep in mind that you should give them mental and physical exercises that can tire them.
As we mentioned, this dog breed is attached and affectionate towards its owner, including children. They aren’t quite aggressive when it comes to strangers, but they can be very wary of them. Belgian Laekenois socialize well with other animals, and they can be quite comfortable around other dogs and even cats as long as you train them to be properly socialized.
When it comes to grooming a Belgian Laekenois, you must remember to brush their coat at least once a week to prevent it from matting as well as to remove any debris. Keep in mind that you should not clip their coat because it can damage their double-layered fur, which acts as the regulator of their body temperature.