belgian sheepherding dogs

belgian sheepherding dogs
belgian sheepherding dogs

belgian sheepherding dogs

there are four types of belgian sheepherding dogs: the Groenendael, the malinois, the tervuren, and the Laekenois. They are similar in body and temperament but differ in coat and region of origin. the malinois is alert and filled with energy. Many mistakes this breed for a German Shepherd, especially since the Malinois is often used by police and military, but it is a completely different breed. a malinois is intelligent, confident, and loves to work. Besides being great working dogs, they are popular in obedience trials, herding, sledding, and tracking.

The tervuren is an elegant and devoted dog that often excels in obedience and agility competitions.
It is an outstanding herder that also does a great job as a therapy dog or guide dog. the Laekenois is clever, alert, and can be quite protective of both family and property. they were developed to guard and tend to flocks. like all working dogs, they require ample exercise and are happiest with a job to do.


The breed as we know it emerged from diverse and relatively obscure provincial origins around the turn of the twentieth century. while the archives of the dominant breed organization, the verein für deutsche schäferhunde (SV) in augsburg, do not appear to have been used widely by outside scholars, and some important early publications are rare even in germany, the men and women who shaped the german shepherd dog were proud of their work and left ample records. (many though not all punctilious fanciers refer either to german shepherd dogs or to shepherds rather than to german shepherds; “dog” is an official part of the breed’s name.)

The shepherd was formed by a series of groups: working shepherds, elite dog fanciers and breeders, police officials, public and private guide-dog organizations, filmmakers of the silent era, and a cadre of amateur and professional organizers and journalists. 

an aphorism from the early twentieth century. Even today, many breeders and handlers of other varieties believe the Shepherd fancy follows its own rules. For example, Shepherd owners consider the diameter of the standard American Kennel Club ring inadequate for displaying the

breed’s prized fluid trotting gait. and the numbers support the breed’s popularity: between 1996 and 2016, the Shepherd moved from third to second place in American Kennel Club registrations. It remains the overwhelming choice of German police and military authorities, and a Shepherd stars in the popular German-Austrian television detective series Kommissar Rex. Indeed, in Germany, the Shepherd has become a ubiquitous living monument and export object, and the inspiration for the ongoing manufacture of national dogs, not least the canaan dog of Israel.

it is not only the fluid motion of the Shepherd that makes it unusual but also its versatility as a working dog and its potential to form strong bonds with men and women of the most diverse backgrounds. Malcolm B. Willis, a geneticist, and breeder and the leading academic student of the Shepherd has remarked, “They cannot track as well as Bloodhounds or work sheep as superbly as border collies or guard as aggressively as some dobermanns but on all-round merit  This versatile breed came into its own in only fifteen years, between the establishment of the SV in 1899 and the outbreak of the First World War, though there were centuries of dog breeding by shepherds and at least one elite breed society before rittmeister (cavalry captain) Max von Stephanitz (1864–1936) and his associates began their program. 

edition in 1921 and, known simply as world, remains a standard reference for the breed.
the successes of the movement and its paradoxes were evident, and they became even more so in the interwar years. germany’s defeat did more to spread the Shepherd internationally than the Reich’s rise had ever done. Little in the breed’s early history predicted its present ubiquity.

Well into the nineteenth century, working dogs in germany were of minor interest to genteel owners, who still used categories established in the sixteenth century, when dr. John caius in England had distinguished “generous” dogs from “rustic” ones. Rustic dogs included herding and guarding breeds, a not terribly interesting category nevertheless superior to the “degenerate” breeds performing the most 
menial tasks like turning spits in kitchens. A canine hierarchy was thus mapped to the human social order, with hounds, setters, spaniels, and other hunting breeds for men (and ornamental ones for women) at the top and tinkers’ curs and turnspits beneath.

Considering the elite background of the SV’s founders, the breed’s origins were distinctly humble. Shepherds in Europe, and especially in the German principalities, were marginal men and thus unlikely selectors of a future super breed. While some communal shepherds returned each evening, many lived outside the village and often had to remain out of touch with it for weeks. They customarily skinned not only dead sheep but also other animals and often intermarried with skinners, forming a kind of extended caste. “schäfer und schindler sind 
all kin) was a common rural proverb, reflecting prejudice against both groups. in the popular mind of early modern central europe, shepherds were healers and weather prophets, but also could be sorcerers, according to the massive folklore dictionary handwörterbuch des deutschen aberglaubens, published in the early twentieth century. in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, some of this stigma was lifted, and german sheepherders enjoyed what later

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