Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

9 Belgian Dog Breeds: Pictures, Facts & History

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on April 25, 2024 by Dogster Team

Belgian Shepherd Malinois dog stands in the grass in the forest

9 Belgian Dog Breeds: Pictures, Facts & History

Belgium has a long history of breeding dogs that excel in various jobs, from farm work to police and military service. They are often intelligent, versatile, and loyal, making them popular choices for a wide range of roles that can include search and rescue and dog sports. Read on if you would like to learn more about the different breeds that come from this part of the world!

dogster face divider

How Are Belgian Dogs Classified?

For a breed to be considered part of a specific country like Belgium, they need to have fully been developed there, though influences from other countries can be acceptable. Most Belgian breeds were developed for a specific purpose, including herding and hunting.

The 9 Belgian Dog Breeds

1. Belgian Malinois

Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock
Origin: Belgium
Height: 22–26 inches
Lifespan: 14–16 years

The Belgian Malinois is a versatile and confident dog that can weigh as much as 80 pounds. They are trainable and have an easy-to-maintain coat. They also get along well with family members, children, and other pets.

2. Belgian Tervuren

Image Credit: Elik Lam, Shutterstock
Origin: Belgium
Height: 22–26 inches
Lifespan: 12–14 years

The Belgian Tervuren is an affectionate dog that loves hard work and challenging play. They need a great deal of mental stimulation and physical activity to prevent boredom, but they are highly trainable and capable of completing complex tasks.

3. Belgian Sheepdog

Image Credit: icemanphotos, Shutterstock
Origin: Belgium
Height: 22–26 inches
Lifespan: 12–14 years

The Belgian Sheepdog is an attractive dog with long fur. They love to hold their head high and proud, and they have plenty of energy for work and play. They are intelligent and easy to train and form strong bonds with their family members. They are also alert and protective, making them a great choice as a watchdog.

4. Belgian Laekenois

Image Credit: Francine parent, Shutterstock
Origin: Belgium
Height: 22–26 inches
Lifespan: 10–12 years

The Belgian Laekenois is one of four native dogs of Belgium, with the others being the Malinois, Tervuren, and Sheepdog. These breeds are all closely related, but the Laekenois stand out due to their rough coat, which is often red or fawn colored. This dog is also the rarest of the four native breeds.

5. Brussels Griffon

Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock
Origin: Belgium
Height: 7–10 inches
Lifespan: 12–15 years

The Brussels Griffon is a small dog that is extremely friendly and affectionate with family members. They are extremely playful, tolerant of children, and open to strangers. They are also adaptable to almost any living environment and are highly trainable, but their barking might make them unsuitable for apartment buildings.

6. Bouvier des Flandres

Image Credit: Tatyana Kuznetsova_Shutterstock
Origin: Belgium
Height: 23.5–27.5 inches
Lifespan: 12–15 years

The Bouvier des Flandres has a rough coat that helps them stand out from other dogs, and they also have a long mustache. They are intelligent and can learn complex tasks, and they are quite protective, making fantastic watchdogs. They grew in popularity in the 1980s due to one living in the White House during the Reagan presidency.

7. Belgian Barge Dog

Belgian Barge Dog (Schipperke)
Image Credit: Welshea, Shutterstock
Origin: Belgium
Height: 10–13 inches
Lifespan: 12–16 years

The Belgian Barge Dog, or Schipperke, is Belgium’s “little captain,” standing no taller than 13 inches. They are hardworking dogs that enjoy watching over the home for intruders, and they make great ratters. They are extremely affectionate with their owners and will usually stay close by.

8. Belgian Red Cattle Dog

Origin: Belgium
Height: 23–27 inches
Lifespan: 10–12 years

The Belgian Red Cattle Dog, or Bouvier des Ardennes, is a herding dog that specializes in all types of farmwork, from pulling carts to herding cattle. They are also popular in law enforcement and as guard dogs, but their favorite role is as a pet.

9. Belgian Mastiff

Origin: Belgium
Height: 27–31 inches
Lifespan: 9–11 years

The Belgian Mastiff was a large working dog perfect for pulling carts and wagons. Unfortunately, these dogs are extremely rare now and may even be extinct.

dogster paw divider

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Most Popular Belgian Dog Breeds?

The most popular Belgian dog breeds include the Belgian Malinois, Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Sheepdog, and Belgian Laekenois. Lesser-known breeds include the Brussels Griffon, Belgian Barge Dog, and Belgian Red Cattle Dog.

What Are the Characteristics of Belgian Dog Breeds?

Belgian breeds are often intelligent and loyal, with a strong work ethic that helps them excel in herding, guarding, police work, and various dog sports.

Image Credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstocks

Do Belgian Dogs Require Frequent Grooming?

A dog’s grooming needs vary depending on the breed. Those with long coats, like the Belgian Tervuren and the Belgian Sheepdog, may require regular brushing to prevent knots and to keep their coats in good condition. Short-coated breeds like the Belgian Malinois will require much less brushing. They will also need fewer baths, though any should be done with a pet-safe shampoo.

All dogs will need their nails trimmed if you hear them clicking on the floor, and you should pay special attention to their ears to ensure that they are clean, dry, and free of wax and infection. Finally, manually brushing their teeth with pet-safe toothpaste is crucial to reduce the risk of dental disease.

Giving your pet a bath can be a difficult task, but the first step is to choose a great shampoo. We love Hepper's Shampoo Products, both of which are natural, pet-safe options specially formulated to clean your pet's skin and coat without causing irritation. Both formulas are also free of things like dyes, soaps, sulfates, and phthalates. Your pet will enjoy the soothing aloe vera and oatmeal, and you'll love the clean, fresh scents!

Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo (Aloe and Cucumber Scent) Hepper Waterless No Rinse Shampoo
Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Hepper Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo
All natural
All natural :
All natural :
Made in the US
Made in the US:
Made in the US:
Safe for cats & dogs
Safe for cats & dogs:
Safe for cats & dogs:
Hydrates dry skin
Hydrates dry skin:
Hydrates dry skin:
No rinsing required
No rinsing required:
No rinsing required:

At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool pet company!

dogster face divider


Several great breeds got their start in Belgium. The initial native breeds include the Malinois, Tervuren, Sheepdog, and Laekenois, with several others coming later, including the Brussels Griffon and Belgian Barge Dog. Common traits include high intelligence and a strong work ethic. Many of these dogs are also quite protective.

Featured Image Credit: Victoria Antonova, Shutterstock

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.