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Description: The Laekenois is one of the four Belgian shepherd dogs, but is not widely recognized outside their homeland. They are the rarest of the Belgian shepherds, and in the U.S. they are the only Belgian shepherd dog not recognized by the AKC. In addition, the four Belgian breeds are only recognized as separate breeds in the U.S. and Belgium; in every other country the four breeds are considered one, with four different variations. Laekenois are identified by their rough and wiry coat, as opposed to the smooth and fluffy coats of their counterparts. They are medium sized dogs, with prick ears and are fawn to mahogany in coloring. Belgian Laekenois are almost identical to the other Belgian Shepherd Dogs, except for their curly coat. They are shaggy looking and sometimes have a black face. The Laekenois is obedient, friendly and loyal to its family. They are good watchdogs and guard dogs as well, but will not attack unless they or one of their own is directly threatened. They are somewhat domineering in attitude, and a potential owner should recognize that they need to begin training early in order to be the "top dog" in the relationship. This breed is said to snap the least out of its cousins, the Groenendael, Tervuren and Malinois.
22 - 24 inches; Males: 24 - 26 inches.
fawn to mahogany coloring with black shading, principally on muzzle and tail.
are obedient, loyal, and good watch dogs. They will alert their owners of something
unusual, and will make good guard dogs if called upon. They will only attack
if there is a true threat, however. The Laekenois is agile, versatile and can
be dominant to other pets and to its owner. Training early in life is needed.
The breed is also sturdy, very trainable, and loves the outdoors, no matter
what the weather.
Watch-dog: Very High. The
Laekenois is very alert and aware of its surroundings.
Care and Training:
Daily combing and brushing of the Laekenois' coat is important. Clip out mats
that form particularly in the ruff and on the legs. Clip hair from between their
toes and on the outer ears. Bathe only when necessary. Shedding is bi-annually.
they are a working dog and need a lot of exercise, preferably off the leash
as much as possible. Early training will prevent puppies from developing a sharp
temper. Herding games or a job to do are excellent sources of exercise.
Activity: High. Laekenois
need a lot of exercise, as they are programmed to run and herd.
Health Issues: Epilepsy, anesthesia sensitivity, cancer, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), thyroid problems, excessive shyness, eye problems, and hip and elbow dysplasia.
Life Span: 12 - 14 years.
Country of Origin:
First Registered by the AKC:
FSS (Foundation Stock Service - not yet eligible for the AKC)
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