The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois may have a strong working-dog background, but it craves companionship and family time. Highly protective of its family, property and territory, the Laekenois is an effective but restrained watchdog. An alert and watchful companion to children, it really flourishes when given a steady dose of good-natured play, cuddling and training. Overall, the Laekenois is a loyal, friendly and affectionate friend.
Their coat color can come in all shades of red or fawn to grayish tones. Some traces of black can be seen appearing on the muzzle and tail.
The coat is rough and coarse texture making a tousled, unmanageable look. Shows will take it as a fault if it is silky, soft or lacking the double coat. The hair length should be at least around 2 1/2 inches over the body. Their muzzle should show a beard and the head should show hair without blocking the dog's vision.
As pets they are devoted companions and do not make ideal kennel dogs, as they become bored and destructive. The Laekenois is very affectionate and totally devoted to their families. They are not best for inexperienced owners. They will protect their home and family but it is not advisable to encourage their guarding instincts when young, as they can get confused and start guarding you in inappropriate situations. Their natural guarding instincts will kick in, if and when necessary. They can be dominant with other dogs so they must be socialized from an early age.
Their rough, wiry coat of the Laekenois needs to be trimmed about twice a year, depending upon the quality of the coat. Dead and excessive hair should be removed. Resist suggestions to have your dog close trimmed as this ruins the coat for several years. In addition to the occasional light trim, use a coarse-toothed comb for grooming. The fawn-colored coat is harsh, dry and normally slightly tangled. It should be rough-looking but never curled. Bathe only when necessary, as bathing removes the waterproofing of the coat.
The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois is a very intelligent dog that learns very quickly. A gentle but consistent approach is the best way to train this dog. They can be dominant and as adolescents will question authority so they have to know who the boss is. They should be socialized from a very early age with both children and other dogs.
The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, flyball, showmanship, tracking and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Belgian Shepherds exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.