Belgian Tervuren is one of four varieties of the Belgian Shepherd. All four varieties originated in Belgium as herding and guardian dogs and became recognised in the late 1800s. In Europe, all four varieties form one breed with different coat types; only in the U.S. are they separated into four breeds. The Belgian Tervuren is the most elegant of the four varieties. Although the size and body type are very much the same, the Tervuren’s wonderful coat and proud head carriage set her apart.
The Belgian Tervuren stands between 22 and 26 inches tall and weighs between 40 and 80 pounds, with females smaller than males. The eyes are dark brown and expressive; the ears are upright. The body is strong, and the tail reaches the hock.
The Belgian Tervuren coat is elegant. The outer coat is long with a thick undercoat. The coat can be fawn to mahogany, with black tips and a black mask and ears. The coat needs regular brushing, especially during the spring and fall when shedding is at its heaviest.
The Belgian Tervuren is amongst the active dog breeds that need vigorous daily exercise. She can take a couple of long walks every day but also needs to train on the agility course, chase tennis balls, or run alongside your bicycle. Without enough exercise she will get into trouble. The Belgian Tervuren is the most sensitive of the four varieties of Belgian Shepherd and should begin puppy socialisation classes early so that she meets many different people. Training should begin early, too, to challenge the Tervuren’s mind and to give her a job to do. The training should be structured yet fun.
The Belgian Tervuren dog breed excels at many canine sports. The Tervuren should have an active, experienced owner who knows what she needs. She can be a good family dog but tends to bond more closely with one family member. She is usually good with other dogs but may not be good with dogs of the same sex. She will try to herd the family cat. Health concerns include eye and thyroid problems.