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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Belgian Tervuren

Belgian Tervuren

Origin: Belgium

AKC Group: Herding

Height: 22 inches (Male)

Weight: Approximately 44 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
22 inches
Male weight: 
Approximately 44 pounds
Double coat with long, abundant, well-fitting, straight guard hairs and very dense, woolly undercoat; very long and profuse hair around the neck, where it forms a collarette.
Rich fawn to russet mahogany, with black overlay.

The hardworking shepherds' dogs from Belgium have rated raves since the Middle Ages. In those days, type varied widely and breeding was based on herding ability. It wasn't until 1891 that Professor Adolphe Reul of the Belgian School of Veterinary Science cataloged and established standards for the various types of Belgian Sheepdogs. He divided them into varieties - at one time, there were as many as eight. Today, there are four: the Malinois, the Laekenois, the Tervuren, and the Groenendael (or Belgian Sheepdog, as he is known by the American Kennel Club [AKC]). The AKC recognizes these dogs as separate breeds, but other clubs around the world recognize them as varieties under the general grouping of "Belgian Shepherd Dogs" or "Belgian Sheepdogs." The Tervuren got his name from the town of Tervuren, close to where Belgian breeder Brewer M. Corbeel helped refine the breed. Corbeel owed a pair of longhaired, black-tipped fawn colored dogs whose offspring was bred to a black Groenendael. This formed the basis for the Tervuren as we know it. During World Wars I and II, the Tervuren almost became extinct, but a fine specimen named Willy de la Garde Noir revived interest in the breed.

Like the other varieties of Belgian Sheepdog, the elegant Belgian Tervuren is smart, self-assured, loyal and honest. Watchful and protective of his family, the Tervuren is happiest when he has a job to do. Tervurens are alert and form strong bonds with their owners. Intelligent and sensitive, they need socialization from puppyhood.
At home: 
Tervurens can make great companions for anyone with an active outdoor lifestyle. Although city living is probably not ideal for them, with enough exercise, this versatile breed can live just about anywhere. They also require plenty of training and attention to bring them to their full potential. They must be with their family - this is not a breed that should be relegated to the backyard or a kennel. A fenced-in yard can help the Tervuren safely work off some of his energy.
All of the Belgian Sheepdogs need lots of exercise, and the Tervuren is no exception. Highly energetic and active, this breed likes to work hard and play hard - every day. Participating in organized sports can help keep him in shape and physically and mentally stimulated.
The active Tervuren needs a nutritious, high-quality diet.
All of the Belgian Sheepdogs thrive on training. Tervurens are eager to please and quick learners, which makes training them a joy. They require positive, reward-based training - harsh methods will cause this sensitive breed to shut down. Tervurens require early socialization.
The Tervuren is an excellent dog around children and is frequently protective of his "charges." He does well in multi-pet households and is usually gentle even with smaller dogs and cats.
The average life span of the Belgian Tervuren is 10 to 14 years. Breed health concerns may include allergies; cataracts; elbow dysplasia; epilepsy; hip dysplasia; hypothyroidism; and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Fun fact: 

In 1923, a statue was erected in honor of Amsterdam's best police dog, a Tervuren named Albert.

Grooming blurb: 
The longhaired Tervuren's double coat requires regular attention. Brushing several times a week with a pin brush will take care of his grooming needs. He is a heavy seasonal shedder, and his fine fur will mat if neglected.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.