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Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervueren)

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Origin / History The Tervueren Belgian Shepherd Dog (which is sometimes also called as the "Tervuren") gets its name from the village of Tervuren in Belgium. The Tervueren is one among the four varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dogs, the rest of which are the Groenendael, Malinois, and Laekenois. In most parts of the world, these four breeds are considered as one. In 1959, though, the American Kennel Club bestowed recognition upon the Tervueren, Malinois, and Groenendael as separate breeds, while the Laekenois is left unrecognized. The United Kennel Club, though, recognizes all four as separate breeds.

The founder of the Tervueren breed is Brewer Corbeel, who bred a black longhaired dog to his own fawn dog. The result of this has become the prototype for the standards of Tervuerens.

These dogs have been used for various purposes such as heading, law enforcement, bomb/drug/gas detection, tracking, search and rescue missions, sledding, protection, and agility. Aside from that, this breed has also been used to assist ill, elderly, and disabled people.

Appearance Dogs of this breed are slender, elegant-looking, and muscular, though not bulky. They have small, almond-shaped eyes that are dark in color and have questioning and alert expressions. They have ears that are shaped as equilateral triangles, which are positioned erect and in good proportion on their head. These dogs have tight lips and black noses. They sport round feet that bear similarity to cats' paws. Females of this breed are lighter and smaller than male ones.

Colours These dogs have thick double coats which are usually mahogany in color and can have overlays of black, as well as black masks. They can have small patches of white on their chests or on the tips of their toes. These dogs can also be gray or sable, but this will have to depend on the standards of various registries.

Temperament As for their temperament, these dogs are very energetic, which means that they should always be given tasks to keep them occupied. These dogs can also be shy or aggressive, which is why they should be trained at such a young age. They may be wary of strangers, but they get along just fine with children. These dogs should be socialized with other animals while still young. As companions, Tervuerens are loyal and are able to create strong bonds with family members.

Height and Weight They are 56 - 66 cm in height and 25 - 32 Kg in weight.

Common Health Problems Owners of these dogs must be careful not to overfeed them because these dogs are susceptible to becoming lazy and obese. Although these dogs are considered as hardy and healthy, they are still prone to some health problems such as skin allergies, epilepsy, eye problems, elbow dysplasia, and hip dysplasia. They may also develop excessive aggressiveness and excessive shyness.

Living Conditions Since dogs of this breed can be moderately active even when kept indoors, they can live inside apartments just as long as they are being given enough exercise. They will also do well with average-sized yards. These dogs can also be left to sleep outside, although they prefer being with their family.

Exercise Requirements Like other Belgian Shepherd Dogs, the Tervueren needs both physical and mental stimulation. They should be taken out for their long walks or jogs on a daily basis. Owners should also take the time to play with their dogs and have them undergo sports training sessions and complex games.

Training Requirements Dogs of this breed are highly intelligent and should be trained gently. They should not be treated harshly as doing this will only bode for negative effects. Overly repetitive training methods are discouraged, as these dogs need mental stimulation. Owners should definitely try awards-based methods as this will be good for their dogs. These dogs must also be socialized with various people and animals at a young age.

Life Expectancy Dogs of this breed have life spans that typically range from 11 to 13 years.

Grooming Coats of these dogs need to be brushed and combed daily. Owners have to clip out the mats that have formed, especially those on the legs and on the ruff of the dogs. Hairs in between the dogs’ toes and on the outer parts of their ears also have to be clipped. More attention should be given to grooming the dogs once they start shedding. Owners should also keep in mind that they should not brush or com their dogs' coats excessively as doing so may create damage.

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