Belgian Laekenois

Description

The Belgian Laekenois is a medium size sheepdog. Its ears are triangular in shape and set high and straight on its head with the base submerged in thick fur. The nose and mouth are black and prominent, while the eyes are dark brown, almond-shaped, and soft. Probably one of its most distinctive physical traits is its coat. It is short and coarse and typically a reddish color, usually darker on the saddle. It has an unwieldy appearance and is thicker on the chest, head, face, and tail. The tail is bushy and hangs below the torso and slightly curls upward.

Temperament

The soft wisps of a Belgian Laekenois puppy should not cause its owner to neglect train it. Without proper training when it is young, the breed reaches adulthood and lacks socialization skills and exhibits dominant behavior. The breed is lively and usually good-humored, but may prove too rough to play with small children. It has a tendency to display herding actions, such as nudging that is difficult to eradicate through training. These actions are usually carried out against smaller members of its family and other household pets. It will not attempt to herd strangers. In fact, it may show unpleasant behavior to both welcome and unwelcome guests. This behavior stems from its protective nature that seeks to defend its ownerтАЩs property. To this end it makes an effective guard dog.

Height and Weight

Male height: 22-26 inchesMale weight: 45-70 poundsFemale height: 22-24 inchesFemale weight: 45-55

Health Problems

The most common health problems associated with the Belgian Laekenois include eye and thyroid conditions, and epilepsy. Its size prediposes it to hip dysplasia and bloat.

Ideal Living Conditions

The Belgian Laekenois is capable of adapting to indoor and outdoor living. In either case it will require a significant amount of attention. If it does not obtain the attention it wants it will very likely become destructive and excitable. Placing it in a yard with a well-built fence is fine as long as there arenтАЩt any opportunities for it to dig up or destroy anything.

Exercise

The Belgian Laekenois has a lot of energy to burn. If it doesnтАЩt find an outlet for releasing its energy it can easily become destructive. At the very minimum it should obtain two hours of exercise every day.

Life Expectancy

Average of 13 years

Litter Size

An average of 6-10 puppies

Grooming

The coat of the Belgian Laekenois has a somewhat wavy appearance, but is coarse to the touch on most of its body. A comb works better on its coat than a brush and helps to remove any excess fur. The coat sheds lightly or not at all, but needs to be trimmed to keep it from becoming too bushy. Its coat is resistant to water, so bathing is only necessary occasional. The ears hang low against the head and can easily trap debris, which can cause an ear infection. Special care should be taken to check the ears and clean them on a regular basis.

Origin

The Belgian Laekenois is one of four shepherd dogs that originated in Belgium

Group

Herding

Color

The color of the coat is rarely solid, but a combination of red, fawn, and gray. Some types may have a black mask and small white patches.