Meet the Breed: The Belgian Laekenois

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Overview:

  • Height: 22"- 26”
  • Weight: 55-65 pounds
  • Historical function: Herding
  • Modern function: Herding, working
  • AKC classification: Miscellaneous (not yet fully recognized by the AKC)

Physical Characteristics:

The Belgian Laekenois, pronounced "Lak-in-wah" a medium-sized dog that is sturdy and well proportioned. They have a square build, being approximately the same length as the height at the withers. The ears are  triangular, erect, and set high on the head. The muzzle tapers to the black nose.  The eyes are almond shaped and medium in size.  The chest is deep. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The Laekenois's rough, woolly, brown and white coat is intermixed and may have black shading.  

History of the Breed:

The Belgian Laekenois is the most rare breed of the Belgian herding dogs which also include the Belgian Groenendael, Belgian Malinois, and the Belgian Tervuren. The Laekenois breed name derives its name from the town of Laeken, from where this wire-haired variety was found. In most countries, the four Belgian herding dogs are considered to be the same breed with different coats. All four dogs share a breed standard in all countries except for the AKC which, since 1959, recognizes them as separate breeds. The rare Laekenois in the Miscellaneous class, where the breed is on the path towards full recognition. These highly-intelligent, active dogs were relied upon to tend flocks as well as to guard linen drying in the fields. He was later called on to serve as a messenger dog during World War I and II. The breeds numbers were severely decreased with their work in the world wars. Many breeders worked very hard to restore this variety. while retaining the typical Belgian Shepherd Dog intelligence, type and structure. He is admired today for these attributes. 

Temperament:

The Belgian Laekenois an enthusiastic worker and a quick learner, which makes him a desirable choice for any task at hand. These talents include herding and guarding flocks, and protecting people and property. The Laekenois has the ability to adapt to new situations and to respond to commands. They are typically reserved with strangers. They are effective police dogs, guard dogs, herders and trackers. They excel at agility, service work and more. They are watchful, alert and loyal. The Belgian Laekenois is good with children if socialized well with them. This breed needs to be part of the family and not locked up in a kennel. They need leadership, daily exercise along with training and companionship. Without these requirements, they may become destructive and hard to handle. May behave dominantly with other dogs. Socialize well from birth.  

  • Best suited for: Active families with firm canine leadership skills, ranching, police work. 
  • Preferred living conditions: This intelligent, active dog prefers a working lifestyle.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: The coat should be lightly trimmed twice a year. Dead hair can be removed with rubber brush. Bathe rarely as this removes the waterproof component. 
  • Exercise needs: Daily long walk or jog. Does best with a job with mental exercise as well.
  • Life expectancy: 12-14 years.
  • Health concerns: This breed is hardy and healthy with no major health concerns. Some minor concerns that have been seen are skin allergies, eye problems, and hip and elbow dysplasia. Excessive aggressiveness or shyness is sometimes observed in this breed.

Breed Club Links: American Belgian Laekenois Association

BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: Zoom Groom Natural Rubber Dog Grooming Brush 

Have any stories about a Belgian Laekenois? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

This entry was posted by Mary.
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