The Belgian Laekenois is a light, graceful, square-built dog covered in a harsh, wiry coat that comes in shades ranging from fawn to mahogany. It has a flat-topped head with a long (but not pointed) muzzle, black nose and triangle-shaped ears that point straight up. Its dark brown eyes have a watchful expression. The Laekenois has a thick neck, level back and a low-hanging tail. Overall, the Belgian Laekenois has a handsomely shaggy look.
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.
The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois can live as long as 14 years. A relatively healthy breed, some Laekenois can develop skin allergies, eye problems and hip dysplasia. Its wiry coat needs a good, daily brushing and the occasional clipping. Also remember that this dog likes to be busy. From an early age, keep it active and socially challenged. It truly thrives when it has a job to do.
The most rare of Belgium’s four sheepdog varieties (the Groenendael, the Laekenois, the Tervuren and the Malinois), the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois was named for the Belgian city of the same name. The Laekenois’ original duty was to guard the fine linens hung in the fields of Antwerp. Like the other Belgian sheepdog breeds, it was also used as a herder and police dog.