The Belgian Shepherd Groenendael is a light, graceful, square-built dog covered in a long, straight, solid-black coat. It has a powerful, flat-topped head with a pointed muzzle, black nose and triangle-shaped ears that point straight up. Its dark brown eyes have an alert and clever expression. The Groenendael has a thick neck, level back and a low-hanging tail. Overall, the Belgian Shepherd Groenendael exudes strength without stockiness.
Both cuddly and athletic, the Belgian Shepherd Groenendael is a loyal, friendly and affectionate pal. It may have a working-dog background, but it craves companionship and family time above everything else. Highly protective of its people, property and territory, the Groenendael is a calm but dependable watchdog. An alert playmate for children, it really flourishes when given a steady dose of good-natured play, cuddling and conversation.
The Belgian Shepherd Groenendael can live as long as 14 years. A relatively healthy breed, some Groenendaels can develop skin allergies, eye problems and hip dysplasia. Its long, straight coat needs a good, daily brushing—possibly more during shedding seasons. The Belgian Shepherd Groenendael likes to be busy. From an early age, keep it active and socially challenged. It truly thrives on love, attention, affection and tasks.
One of Belgium’s four sheepdog varieties (the Groenendael, the Laekenois, the Tervuren and the Malinois), the Belgian Shepherd Groenendael (also known as the Belgian Sheepdog) was named for the Belgian city of the same name. A popular sheepdog around the world, the Groenendael is valued for its versatility as a working dog, police dog, farm dog and companion.