The Belgian Shepherd Dog

General Appearance: Medium sized, well proportioned, intelligent, attentive, hardy, alert

Characteristics: Fine proportions, Proud carriage of head, conveying an impression of graceful strength.

Not only a sheepdog, but a guard dog

Temperament: Wary, neither timid, nervous nor aggressive

Head and Skull: Finely chiselled, long but not excessively so, skull and muzzle roughly equal length, at most slight bias to muzzle. Balanced whole, skull of medium width in proportion to length of head. Forehead flat, centre line not very pronounced. In profile forehead parallel with imaginary line extending muzzle line. Muzzle of medium length tapering gradually to nose. Nose black with well flared nostrils. Moderate stop. Arches above eyes not prominent. Muzzle finely chiselled under eyes. Cheeks spare, quite flat but well muscled

Eyes: Medium size, neither protruding nor sunken, slightly almond shaped, preferably dark brown, black rimmed eyelids. Direct lively enquiring look

Ears: Distinctly triangular in appearance, stiff and erect, set high, moderate length. External ear well rounded at base.

Mouth: Wide, lips thin textured, very firm, strongly pigmented. Strong white teeth firmly set in well developed jaws, Scissor bite ie upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Pincer bite tolerated

Neck: Very supple, slightly elongated, well muscled, without dewlap. Broadens slightly towards shoulders. Nape very slightly arched

Forequarters: Withers distinct. Strongly boned throughout, wiry powerful muscle structure. Shoulder blades long and oblique, firmly attached, flat, forming such angle with humerus to enable elbows to work easily. Forelegs long, well muscled, parallel. Pasterns strong and short. Carpus clearly defined. Dewclaws permissible

Body: Powerful but elegant. In males, length from point of shoulder to point of buttocks approximately equal to height at withers. In females slightly longer permissible. Chest deep and well let down, ribs moderately well sprung, Upper line of body straight, broad and powerfully muscled. Belly moderately developed, neither drooping nor unduly cut up, continuing lower line of chest in a graceful curve. Rump very slightly sloping, broad but not excessively so. Skin springy but quite taut over whole body. All external mucous membranes highly pigmented.

Hindquarters: Well muscled and powerful. Good, but not excessive angulation. Hocks well let down. Viewed from behind, legs parallel. Dewclaws to be removed.

Feet: Toes arched, very close together. Soles thick and springy with large dark claws. Forefeet rounded, hindfeet slightly oval

Tail: Firmly set, strong at base, of medium length. When at rest hangs down with tip slightly bent backwards at level of hock. When moving it should lift accentuating the curve towards tip, never curled nor bent to one side. Tip may be carried slightly higher than topline

Gait/movement: Brisk, free and even

Coat – There are three distinct coat types, No variation in these types is acceptable

Groenendael/Tervueren – coat type

Outer coat long, straight and abundant, texture medium harshness, not silky or wiry, undercoat extremely dense. Hair shorter on head, outside of ears and lower part of legs. Opening of ear protected by hair. Hair especially long and abundant, ruff-like around neck, particularly in males. Fringe of long hair down back of forelegs, long and abundant hair evident on hind quarters and tail. Males longer coated than females

Laekenois – coat type

Harsh, wiry, dry and not curly. Any sprinkling of fluffy fine hair in locks in rough coats is undesirable. Length of coat about 6 cm (2.5 inches) on all parts of body. Hair round eyes but not to obscure them. Muzzle hair not so long as to make head appear square or heavy. Tail not plumed

Malinois – coat type
Hair very short on head, exterior ears and lower parts of legs, short on rest of body, thicker on tail and around neck, where it resembles a ridge or collar beginning at base of ear and extending to throat. Hindquarters fringed with longer hair. Tail thick and bushy. Coat thick, close, of good firm texture with woolly undercoat, neither silky nor wiry

Coat Colour:

Black or black with limited white as follows: small to moderate patch or strip on chest, between pads of feet and on tips of hind toes

Frosting (white or grey) on muzzle

Reddish fawn with black shading, principally in muzzle and tail

All shades of red, fawn, grey with black overlay. Characteristically double pigmented, wherein the tip of each light coloured hair is blackened. On mature males this blackening especially pronounced on on shoulders, back and rib sections, black mask on face, not extending above line of eyes, ears mostly black. Tail should have darker or black tip. Small to moderate patch or strip on chest, between pads of feet and on tips of hind toes. Frosting (white or grey) on muzzle. Beyond the age of 18 months a washed out colour or colour too black undesirable

No variation on these colours by coat type is acceptable

Ideal height: Dogs 61-66 cm (24-26 inches), Bitches 56-61 cm (22-24 inches)

Weight in proportion to size

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree

Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles, fully descended into the scrotum


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