Belgian Shepherd Laekenois - Origin, Traits and Care

Belgian Shepherd Laekenois: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois is by far the least known variety...

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The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois is by far the least known and least popular variety of all Belgian Shepherds. Although many similarities are found in their genes, the physical characteristics of this breed are really not the same as those of its closest relatives, . If you are considering adopting a Belgian Shepherd Laekenois puppy, you will need to start by informing yourself appropriately to find out about the education he needs, the care or the most frequent he alth problems he may suffer from.

In this breed file on PlanèteAnimal, we tell you absolutely everything about the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois, the oldest breed of Belgian origin. Discover its history and much more!


  • Europe
  • Belgium

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group I

Physical Characteristics

  • End
  • Muscular
  • Proportional
  • Long ears


  • Average


  • 35-45

Adult Weight

  • 25-45

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Balanced
  • Very loyal
  • Smart
  • Active

Ideal for

  • Apartment
  • House
  • Walking
  • The guard
  • Sports


  • Harness

Recommended climate

  • Cold

Hair type

  • Medium
  • Curly
  • Hard
  • Big
  • Dry

Origin of the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois

In the 19th century, in Belgium, there were a large number of sheepdogs, all of which had completely different coats from each other.The cynophiles of the time, in order to organize and classify the breeds, decided to form a group led by A. Reul, member of the School of Veterinary Medicine of Cureghem, considered as the founder of the breed.

" On September 29, 1891, the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club was created and it was made up of 117 dogs that were registered and studied. Although the first standard was written in 1892, it wasn&39;t until 1897 that the breed was considered fully standardized. We were talking about a single race, with three different coats."

The Belgian Shepherd was considered a dog for more humble people and it was not until 1901 that he was entered in the Book of Origins of the Royal Saint-Hubert Society. Over the next few years, fans spent time and effort unifying the breed standard, fixing the flaws with each new generation. Finally, in 1910, the physical and temperament standard of the Belgian Shepherd that we know today is recorded.

The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois hails from Antwerp and is named after Princess Henrieta Maria Charlotte of Belgium, who used her residence, Laeken Castle, to name her favorite breed. Besides its role as a herding dog, this breed was also used to guard flax left to dry in the fields. He was also an excellent messenger dog during the First and Second World Wars.

Unlike its brothers, the Belgian Shepherd Malinois, the Belgian Shepherd Tervueren and the Belgian Shepherd Groenendael, it is the least popular and least known variety of all Belgian Shepherds. However, it is the oldest variety.

Characteristics of the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois

Until 1900, the four varieties were crossed with each other, due to the three genes that are expressed:

  • Short coat / Long coat
  • Soft Fur / Wired Fur
  • Yellow color / Black color

" Currently, we can see that some Laekenois-type puppies give birth to short-haired or dark-colored puppies. These little puppies can be registered as Belgian Malinois and are also considered purebred. For this reason, the breed is classified as mixed by the American Kennel Club and the FCI."

The Laekenois shares the same physical characteristics as the other Belgian Shepherds, it simply differs by its hard and curly coat, unique among the four varieties.

He is a medium sized dog, as tall as he is long, muscular but light and agile. It is considered elegant and powerful. It has a long, thin head, a flat forehead and two small triangular ears, positioned on the top of the head and ending in a point.

The eyes of the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois have an almond shape, without being prominent or sunken, and brown in color. He has an alert and intelligent look. the Stop of his head is moderate and his teeth close in the shape of scissors.

" The coat of the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois is hard, rough, dry and wire-like. It can reach 6 cm on the body, although it is shorter on the head, forehead and extremities. It is also seen slightly on the muzzle. The coat color is red and charcoal, the latter usually appearing on the muzzle and tail. The tail must exceed the hock and be completely covered with hair, without forming a bun."

Breed measurements are:

  • Males: 62 cm at the withers and between 25 and 30 kg.
  • Females: 58 cm at the withers and between 20 and 25 kg.

It is accepted that any of the varieties can be 2cm shorter or 4cm longer. It is also estimated that the length of the body (measured from the point of the shoulder to the end of the buttock) measures 62 cm, the length of the head is approximately 25 cm and that of the muzzle measures between 12.5 and 13cm.

Character of the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois

" The FCI defines the character of the Belgian Shepherd as vigilant, active and of great vitality. He is a very intelligent dog with innate abilities to guard herds. They are a dynamic, energetic and hard-working breed."

He is a very loyal dog who has strong and developed instincts, which means he will need a good education as well as a series of breed-specific care. The guardian who wishes to adopt a Belgian Shepherd, whatever the variety chosen, must be aware that it is a dog that enjoys above-average intelligence and has specific physical needs.

It is advised that inexperienced guardians work with the help of a dog trainer on training from an early age of the dog.

Care for the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois

It is a breed that sheds little hair, so it will not be necessary to brush it daily, however, it can be interesting to brush it once or twice a week.In this way, you will be able to remove dead hair and dirt. You should wash it every two or three months.

The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois can easily adapt to living in an apartment, although it will be essential to offer him a minimum of 3 daily walks, which include a little exercise or physical stimulation. We'll also stimulate your mind using intelligence games, food vending toys, or practicing basic and advanced obedience.

There are several ways to educate this dog. Although you can bet on the classic ball game, it is better to opt for sports that combine physical and mental stimulation, such as Agility, DogDancing or canine skills.

This dog's diet must be in line with his level of physical activity and his specific needs.

Education of the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois

The education of the Belgian Shepherd as soon as he is weaned and separated from his congeners, which happens around 3 months of life, when he will have to be taught to urinate in the street .To prevent him from developing phobias and to have a stable and happy dog, it is also at this age that he will have to be socialized with other dogs, people, environments and other animals.

From then on, we can teach the little one basic obedience orders, always in the form of a game. It is in his youth that you must heavily insist on learning the basic orders that will allow you to to live in harmony. You must teach him to sit, lie down, be still and come to heel.

The breed's most common behavior problems are aggression and destructiveness. These are behaviors that stem from punishment (traditional training, excessive fighting, etc.), loneliness, isolation, lack of physical exercise and mental stimulation.

He alth of the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois

The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois is susceptible to certain he alth issues, as are all purebred dogs. Here are the most frequent diseases of the breed:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Cataract

To prevent and detect the he alth problems of the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois, it will be essential to go to the veterinarian every 6 - 12 months, follow the vaccination schedule and the internal and external deworming of the dog.

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