Tell me about Belgain Sheepdogs and Turvurens

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

Thor CGC

God of Thunder
Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 11:53am PST 
I am wondering if anybody has had experience with these guys. I have been researching them, specifically the Sheepdogs, and am wondering what experiences people have had with them.

Ava & Nix

Suburban Farm- Dogs
Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 1:44pm PST 
I've heard from people that they're pretty wild, highly reactive, very intense dogs that are not for beginners, and a lot of people have said "consider a GSD instead."

I've only met two Groenendaels. Both belong to a gal I used to work with. But they're nothing like what others describe the breed as. Granted, this lady knows dogs and gives them outlets for their mind and bodies, so maybe the wild beasts people speak of just haven't got the right kind of stimulation in their lives? I don't know. I haven't met enough to say. Maybe hers are just abnormally calm. (note: calm doesn't mean lazy though and I agree that it doesn't seem like a good breed for beginners who aren't used to working with drivey dogs) smile

And the only Tervurens I've met were a pair at a dog park, and I didn't know who their owner was, so I had no chance to ask about their temperaments.

I really would like to someday have a Groenendael though. The two I know are really amazing. They're aloof with strangers but not aggressive in the slightest. Tightly bonded to their person, and very, very smart.

Edited by author Sun Feb 3, '13 1:49pm PST

Star BN RN- RA

Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 3:04pm PST 
I have meet a couple sheepdogs in my training class and know a girl who shows Turvs...they are very intense dogs from what I have seen, they need a job...i dont wanna compare them to a border collie because they are not that bad but they are very close from what I have witnessed.

The only thing I can do is to compare them to my border collie/jack russel/greyhound mix, Josie. Josie is VERY active and needs at least 4 hours of walks (2 hours am, 2 hours pm) daily along with a game in the yard. The Belgians I have met have a slightly lower energy level then Josie, the person I know with Turvs walks them for at least 3 hours daily (broken into 2 walks). They have the same intensity when it comes to needing a job and wanting to do something...just like my Josie when they get bored they go crazy and start jumping and barking and carrying on like a wild dog.

They are not right for a first time dog owner...however you have Thor who does have some BC in him....i think it depends on the breeder and your experience with Thor, is he more like a BC in his intensity or like a Golden. I would suggest going to a show and meeting some people in the breed who can give you more info on living with them.


Spooky Mulder
Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 5:08pm PST 
Agree that meeting some in person and getting a better idea of what they are like is your best bet.

Very sensitive, not very tolerant of handler error, can be sharp and can be reactive if not handled correctly.

Witty, charming, classy dogs. They are fun to watch work and as with anything, do good with the people who know how to work them.

What is it about a Belgian that interests you, personally? I mean, what traits are you looking for, and what about them specifically appeals?

Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 5:09pm PST 
Very intelligent and driven but not on the same level as a malinois. They can be very sensitive and can't handle harsh training. I know a breeder that uses them as therapy dogs but she says her's are the exception in terms of temperment for that. If you're ready for them you have a brilliant sports dog if not they can be a mess.
Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 5:18am PST 
We had two when I was a kid and I used to walk and train the younger one when I was a teenager.

My mother took them to agility classes but she stopped when they were still pretty young. Thereafter they were just family pets. I would have loved to continue with them but my mom didn't allow. I was pretty bitter about that. I wish I could have had classes with Netta.

Especially the younger one... Netta was very active. She pulled on leash, barked when left alone, chased everything that moved and chewed a lot of stuff. Belinda was a bit calmer when she was young. Like the ate our sofa, some other furniture, countless shoes, books, and plush toys. I can tell we kids learned to pick up our things and close the doors of our rooms. Then Netta turned 3 and it stopped. No more pulling on leash, less barking and less destruction. And she didn't chase even rabbits any more. I don't remember if she had any training for that (for barking they had citronella collars). But anyway, the rest of her life she was a dog I want to own again.

They were guarders. Anyone who came into our home they barked at. If the postman changed they knew it and then we knew it too. But they learned who was a regular passbyer and did not bark them.

Netta was a bit suspicious towards unfamiliar people. If people were familiar with dogs she went well along but if someone was scared of her she tend to scare them even more. Not to mention, if someone behaved suspiciously... No way she should have been allowed to meet unknown little kids. If people ignored her, she ignored them too. So she wasn't lunging at anyone.

But why I liked her so much, was that she was very trainable. She knew many tricks I had taught her and learned quickly. She was easy to reward because she accepted food and toys and I never had any problems with her focus. And she was very obedient when she was older. I could easily let her off-leash. She ran fast and I think she would have done well in agility courses of that time. And she loved that sport too. But she was show line and was not as intense as a dog of working lines.

And a Belgian is very quick in their actions. You must stay one or two steps ahead of them. My current dog is a rough collie and after the Tervs she feels like she is half-asleep.

Belinda was Netta's aunt and her temperament was calmer. I don't remember her so well because I was so fond of Netta. She was dog aggressive (Netta liked to play with others) and she had mild epilepsy.

My next dog is maybe going to be a groenendael. There are other options too, but a groenendael is a strong candidate. I live in a country where Tervuerens, Groenendaels, Malinois and Laekenois are considered as varieties of one breed and lately crosses have been more allowed. So the gap between the varieties temperament isn't that big but then there is the difference between working line and non-working line. I don't want a Terv because I fear I'd compare it too much with Netta and that would be unfair to the puppy. Another reason is that I don't like how they look nowadays and the breeders I have in mind breed more for sports than show.

Edited by author Mon Feb 4, '13 5:23am PST

Maci & Harley & Jigar

Golden butts
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 8:28am PST 
There is a wide range of personalities between dogs/breeders --so meet lots. My mom used to breed Turvs. For obedience and show but did place some pups with working ranchs. Thinking back...they all needed the same level of consistent training and exercise that golden or lab teenagers need to not be destructive. But Belgians need it their own lives smile Do watch for health testing, they are a breed high on the list for epilpsy.

I know of a Groenendael breeder here that does therapy work and a reading program with kids and her dogs. But these dogs still need and get a high level of exercise as well.

Very smart dogs, we never had any issues with any kind of aggression. But I can see how it can occur...they always look happy and can move so darn quickly and light make them seem to be flighty, I wonder if people do not take them seriously. They can be bullies quickly. LOL they seem to do everything quickly.

Other than some oldies, every Belgian I know is in dog sports or gets high volumes of exercise some other way. None are couch potatoes.

They are a herding breed who cirles. So that makes walks interesting. Oh- and like other herders....they nip and love doing it when irritated, happy, being silly, whenever.

Spreading Smiles- As A Tribute For- Lexi
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 11:55am PST 
Please research the breed as much as you can as they are a breed that is not for everyone. Daughter has a Malinois and it has a high prey drive and needs to be kept exercised or they become destructive altho no fault of their own. The Belgian Breeds need jobs and be kept active. The Belgian breeds are very loyal, intelliegent and protective so need to be socoalized a lot as well. Godd Luck and please post a picture when you find the pup you're looking for. She worked on the Bomb Squad when in the military and the Belgian Breeds trained extremely fast as they are intelligent like I said and always so eagar to please.