The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois, along with the Malinois, the Groenendael, and the Tervueren, form the large family of Belgian Shepherd dogs.
It differs from these mainly by its harsh and coarse coat. Medioligne, of harmonious and powerful construction, it is a rustic and robust dog.
Its the rarest Belgian dog. It has many qualities similar to Its cousins, such as loyalty, frankness, intelligence. Its also sporty and lively, but knows how to be calm when the situation calls for it.
An excellent life companion, Its also a very good protective dog, guard dog, and working dog.
History of the breed
The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois was named in reference to the castle of Laeken. This dog was the favorite of Queen Marie-Henriette (1865-1902).
This is the oldest variety of Belgian Shepherd, but also the rarest. There are very few of them outside of Belgium and the Netherlands.
The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois is said to originate from Boom, in the province of Antwerp.
- Its hair: hard, dry, and tousled in appearance, runs over the top of the muzzle, the forehead, and the legs. The topcoat is lined with an undercoat to form a whole giving the dog very good protection.
- Its color: fawn with charred marks on the muzzle and tail.
- Its head: long, carried high, straight, lean. The skull is of medium width, the stop is moderate.
- Its ears: triangular in shape, small in size, set high, ending in a point and well erected when the dog is awake.
- Its eyes: slightly almond-shaped, brownish in color, of medium size, displaying an expression of intelligence and liveliness.
- Its body : writable in a square, powerful without being heavy. The line of the back and the kidney is straight, the withers accentuated, the back short and well-muscled, the croup well-muscled and very slightly inclined.
- Its tail: moderately long, reaching the hock or slightly exceeding it, strong at its attachment, hanging at rest with the end slightly curved backward, raised when the dog is in action.
Behavior With Others
The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois is an intelligent dog, endowed with an innate sense of protection and defense. Extremely loyal and courageous, It’s always alert, lively, and never fearful.
Like all Belgian Shepherds, the Laekenois loves work and shows Itself to Its advantage: herding herds, property custody, service. It will watch wonderfully over Its master, Its adoptive family, and the children It will have in Its care. It’s very playful with them.
This temperament goes hand in hand with Its lively, bold side. It’s always alert, sometimes calm but maybe too rambunctious.
Education of the Laekenois
Like the other varieties of Belgian Shepherd, the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois is educated with a balanced mixture of firmness and softness.
Its intelligence makes It learn easily, but Its assertive character requires, on the part of the teacher, that he shows It the limits not to cross as soon as possible. Indeed, the Laekenois, like all Belgian shepherds, is particularly sensitive.
Its intelligence will push It to obey quite easily. Its education is therefore quite simple. It should be socialized at a very young age so that It does not see the presence of a child as worry and that It can cohabit as best as possible with Its peers.
The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois is cut for work and for life outdoors (except in extremely low or high temperatures). Living in an apartment suits It much less.
It can adapt to other environments if It has the opportunity to exercise often and long enough.
Health & Maintenance
The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois is a robust and rustic dog. Its double, well-supplied hair effectively protects it against harsh weather conditions.
As for illnesses, there is not much to fear for the Belgian Shepherd Laekenois, apart from a small risk of hip dysplasia which generally threatens all large dogs.
The life expectancy of a Belgian Shepherd Laekenois is, on average, between 10 years and 12 years.
The Belgian Shepherd Laekenois loses relatively little hair. Its rustic dress is not particularly difficult to maintain, but it does require regular care to preserve its characteristics.
In addition to weekly brushing (or daily during the moult) using a flexible metal card to ensure the cleanliness of its coat, the Laekenois may need an ear and eyewash with a cotton pad. humidified. This will keep it from infections.