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Groenendael Breed Summary

Energetic, Intelligent, Affectionate, Loyal and Active

These dogs are a variant of the Belgian Shepherd however, they are sometimes treated as a distinct breed however, here in the UK, they are considered a variant.

They are fairly difficult to live with, especially for first-time owners, as they have high energy requirement. For this reason, they probably need to be placed with 'hoomans' who have experience and knowledge of handling the breed.

Fun Fact: There are three other varieties of the Belgian Shepherd, alongside the Groenendael!

Lifespan 13 – 14 Years
Height (at the withers) Males 60cm – 66cm, Females 56cm – 62cm
Weight Males 25–30 kg, Females 20–25 kg,
Coat Coats are Long, with an Outer and Undercoat.
Colour Black
Eye colour Brown
Common health issues Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Hip and elbow dysplasia, Cancer, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Retained testicular disease, Skin allergies
Other Names Belgian Shepherd Groenendael, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Groenendael, Chien de Berger Belge, Groenendaeler

These dogs love having a job to complete and because of their energy levels, will need a family who undertakes lots of physical activities that these pooches can join in with. They are not suitable for ‘hoomans’ who enjoy spending a weekend staying in and relaxing and also quite difficult for first-time owners due to the maintenance and time needed to look after them. They are very intelligent, which makes them relatively easy to train, however, please remember that intelligent dogs will pick up quickly on habits that they think they can get away with – so it’s important you watch what they pick up from you and their environment!

The Groenendael is a variety of the Belgian Shepherd dog and can be traced back to the Middle Ages! The breed was then re-developed in the late 1800s in Belgium to create four different varieties and it’s thought that the Groenendael was developed by a restaurant owner. It was in 1891 that they received their breed standard and they have since become increasingly popular. They were used during WW1 and 2 as messenger dogs as well as being used to pull ambulance and machine-gun carts! These dogs are now well known across the world and all four varieties are recognised as one breed by the Kennel Club.