Breeding group : Herding
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GENERALBreed group: Herding Type: Pure Breed
PHYSICALSize: Medium Weight: 60-75 lbs Fur length: Ears: Pointy Fur type: Straight
Fur Color: Black, Black & Brown, Black & White
ATTRIBUTESLife Expectancy: 12-14 years Rarity: Uncommon Availability: Hard to find
Climate: Good for every climate
Like all Belgian Shepherds, the Groenendael is a medium-sized, hard-working, square-proportioned breed of dog in the sheepdog family. The Groenendael is recognized by its distinctive black coat. These dogs have great "work ethic" and need a job to do, such as obedience, flyball, dog agility, or livestock work in order to be happy. They have an athletic, strong, rustic, imposing and balanced appearance. Its coat should be profuse, but never look as though it would inhibit the dog's working ability in any way. When being shown, its handler should never have to force it into position, ideally the handler should not have to touch the dog at all.
They colour is always black, with small white markings being allowed in the chest.
The Groenendael has a thick, double coat. The texture should be hard and dense, never woolly, silky, frizzy, fine or wiry. The undercoat should be thick and profuse. In conformation shows, dogs without an undercoat are heavily penalized.
Groenendael is active, loyal, quietly affectionate and an intelligent dog. They are not best breeds for the faint of heart. However for those who have plenty of time, energy, confidence and love, they are wonderful friends. Training and socializing is essential. They are wary of strangers and protective. They love children as long as they are introduced to them at an early age. The Gronendael bonds deeply to its people and cannot live outdoors or in a kennel. It needs to spend time with its family every day and may experience separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.
They need thorough grooming once a week, however when shedding, which usually happens once or twice a year, they lose massive amounts of coat and need grooming every day.
They are a sensitive breed and cannot be trained using harsh training methods. Exercise should include not only a walk, but also a training session to keep the dog mentally stimulated.
Belgian Shepherds can compete in dog agility trials, showmanship, obedience, tracking and flyball, and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Groenendael exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials. The Groenendael needs a large amount of exercise as a rule. Expect to spend about two hours a day working with it.