Groenendael, All About Belgian Shepherds
Groenendael, also known Belgium Shepherd or Belgian Sheepdog, comes from the Sheepdog family which has the lifespan of 13 to 14 years. Male Groenendael can grow as big as 66 Cm and can weigh as much as 34 Kg or close to 80 pounds. Females on the other hand can only grow 62 Cm max and weigh 32 kg at most.
Identifying a Groenendael in the Crowd
Groenendael can be easily spotted especially with its moderately long black coat. The white markings scattered all around the body of the breed can be easily identified and serve as the breed’s identifier. The white markings are seen on the dog’s chest, chin and toes. Its body is proportioned on all sides covered with muscle and tight skin under its coat. The flat head lies proportioned on top of its body adorned with its tight lips and brown almond-shaped eyes.
Groenandael’s Attitude Towards Work and People
The best thing about Groenandael is that it has great work ethics which makes it easier to train. Combined with obedience, a Groenandael can be trained as well as improved its natural canine abilities such as showmanship, flyball, tracking and herding. Being observant, watchful and alert, the dog is very capable and qualified to be a police canine especially with it being obedient and intelligent.
Besides being one of the perfect police dogs, the Groenandael is also very loyal and affectionate. This could be noticed especially with the interaction of the dog with its owner. They can also play with children considering how protective they can be and remain gentle and loving at the same time which is possible if the training is sufficient and appropriate.
How to Train and Take Care of a Groenandael
The hard part in training this breed though is that it is very dominant. It needs a more dominant authority figure to train it and to make the dog follow what the trainer wants the dog to do. With an experienced handler, it is only to be expected that these dogs will be more responsible and well-trained with whatever skill the trainer has introduced the dog with. If not trained well, it has the tendency to either be dominant or shy.
Taking care of a Groenandael is not an easy task. These dogs require large amount of exercise everyday around 2 hours daily. In addition to that, grooming is necessary once a week to take care of the medium length coat and maintain its silkiness. When the shedding period comes though, everyday grooming is a must. Lastly, socialization is also needed. This would ensure that the dog would get over its tendencies to be oversensitive and shy.