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Introduction: Belgian dog breeds

Belgium Flag

Belgium is home to some of the world’s most amazing herding and working dogs. Today we know about fifteen (possibly more) dog breeds that originate from Belgium. This post is a celebration of beautiful native dogs in Belgium.

To understand and appreciate Belgium’s dogs, we must first briefly examine Belgium, its people, and its geography. A dog is a product of its environment, selectively bred to fulfill roles that fit its environment. 

It is the environment that shapes a country’s dogs. Belgium is a beautiful country with fertile coastal plains, a rich central plateau, and the thickly forested hills of the Ardennes. It is no surprise that most Belgian dog breeds are herding and working type dogs, ideally suited to this beautiful country.

Belgium dog breed classification

Belgian Dog Breed Classification

A Belgian dog, more often than not, is the following.

  • Herding Dog – Dog breeds such as the Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Laekenois, and the Belgian Shepherd dog are excellent herding dogs.
  • Working Dog – Belgian Malinois dog, and the Bloodhounds are used throughout the world in K-9 units. Belgian Malinois is also an excellent police dog, protection dog, and guard dog.
  • Military Dog – The now extinct Belgian Draft dog was an excellent military dog and a war dog.
  • Companion Dog – Bichon Frise, Papillon, and Phalene are an affectionate companion dog.

List of all Belgian Dog Breeds

#BreedTypeAKC ClassificationSizeActivitiesApartment LivingTemperamentHealth
1
Malinois dog

Malinois dog

ShepherdHerdingMediumDog sports; Dog AgilityNot suitedActive; Protective; IntelligentExcellent
2
Belgian Shepherd

Belgian Shepherd

ShepherdHerdingMediumDog sports; Dog AgilityNot suitedActive; Protective; IntelligentExcellent
3
Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

CompanianNon sportingSmallCompanianshipSuitedGentle;Playful;SensitiveExcellent
4
Bloodhound

Bloodhound

HuntingHoundLargeHunting;Dog sports;Not suitedGentle and TirelessOK
5
Bouvier des Flandres

Bouvier des Flandres

ShepherdHerdingMediumDog sports; Dog AgilitySuitedRational, gentle, loyal, and protectiveÿExcellent
6
Griffon Bruxellois

Griffon Bruxellois

CompanianToy breedSmallCompanianshipSuitedDesire to snuggle and be with its masterGood
7
Belgian Sheepdog

Belgian Sheepdog

ShepherdHerdingMediumDog sports; Dog AgilityNot suitedIntelligent, active, loyal and quietly affectionateÿExcellent
8
Laekenois

Laekenois

ShepherdMiscellaneousMediumDog sports; Dog AgilityNot suitedActive; Protective; IntelligentExcellent
9
Papillon

Papillon

CompanianToy breedSmallCompanianshipSuitedHappy, friendly, adventurousGood
10
Schipperke

Schipperke

ShepherdNon sportingSmallCompanianshipSuitedHappy, friendly, adventurousExcellent
11
Phalene

Phalene

CompanianToy breedSmallCompanianshipSuitedPlayful and affectionateGood
12
Tervuren

Tervuren

ShepherdHoundLargeDog sports; Dog AgilityNot suitedHighly energetic, intelligentÿExcellent
13Belgian Drafting DogGuard dogSportingLargeDog sports; Dog AgilityNot suitedHighly energetic, intelligentÿUnknown
14TalbotHuntingHoundSmallHunting;Dog sports;Not suitedHighly energetic, intelligentÿUnknown
15
Lowchen

Lowchen

CompanianNon sportingSmallCompanianshipSuitedPlayful and affectionateExcellent

Belgian Malinois Dog (Malinois Dog)

Malinois dog profile

Meet one of the world’s best guard dogs, the Malinois dog. This dog is so efficient the US Secret Service uses Malinois to protect the White House. Malinois dog excels as a human tracking dog and detection dog capable of sniffing out banned substances.

The Malinois is a medium-to-large sized dog with exceptional traits. They are intelligent, trainable, hard-working, and possess extraordinary protective instincts.

The average pet owner needs to remember, the Belgian Malinois is not your average household pet. These dogs require regular exercise and consistent leadership. It is at the hands of experienced handlers that this dog reaches its full potential.

What tasks does the Belgian Malinois Dog perform?

Malinois dog running

Several police forces across the world rely on this breed. In countries like the US, Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong police forces and fanciers use the Belgian Malinois as a guard dog and a protection dog. 

Armed forces such as the United States Navy Seals, the Indian National Security Guard, and the Royal Australian Air Force use the Malinois breed as a military dog.

If you are a dog sports enthusiast looking to compete in dog agility or fly ball or even in obedience trails, then the Malinois is the right breed for you. In 2011, the Belgian Malinois dog won 39 titles in herding trials conducted by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The temperament of the Belgian Malinois

Malinois dog in water

Any potential dog owner or a future dog breeder must learn about the dog’s temperament. Compatability of a dog’s character with people and pets in our household is a crucial decision. The American Kennel Club (AKC) describes a Malinois dog as,

The breed is confident, exhibiting neither shyness nor aggressiveness in new situations. The dog may be reserved with strangers but is affectionate with his own people.

The Malinois is a working dog that requires daily physical exercise. This dog is prone to boredom when left alone and can become destructive towards your household items. Only with regular activities, the Belgian Malinois reaches its full potential. 

When to choose a Malinois dog as your family pet

Malinois dog on a tank

The Belgian Malinois dog is a working dog. In Belgium, a shepherd uses this breed as a herding dog and a guard dog to protect his flock.

Malinois is selectively bred for its ability to work more than its appearance or size. In fact, this dog belongs to a group of dogs called the Belgian Shepherd.

Choose this dog as your family pet if any of the below is correct.

  • If you are looking for an intelligent and trainable dog to work as a guard dog.
  • Belgian Malinois excels as a personnel protection dog. They are agile, loyal, and possess natural protective instincts making them one of the best protection dogs.
  • If you into dog sports and planning to compete in flyball or herding trials or dog agility competitions.

Malinois is not your average companion dog. These dogs need experienced handlers to manage them. Remember the Belgian Malinois ranks in the top 20 of the world’s most dangerous dogs

What are the health issues that affect the Malinois dog breed?

Malinois dog fetching

The American Belgian Malinois Club (ABMC) participates in the Canine Health Information Center Program (CHIC). The CHIC certification program has specific certifications and medical tests for each breed of dog. 

For the Malinois to be certified by CHIC, the dog must have the following.

  • OFA or PennHIP certification for hips
  • OFA clearance for elbows 
  • Eye clearance from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation

Always get your purebred puppy from a reputable breeder. Run from breeders who cannot guarantee in writing about the overall health of their dogs.

Interesting facts about the Malinois breed

Malinois dog Fast
  • After the German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois is the most widely used service dog in the world.
  • The US Secret Services uses Malinois as a guard dog and protection dog in the White House service. To guard and protect the most powerful man in the world, the President of the US.
  • Malinois excels in dog sports such as dog agility, flyball, obedience trials, and herding trials.

Bichon Frise  (Tenerife)

Bichon Frise profile

The next dog in our list of Belgian dog breeds is the Bichon Frise (Officially called the Bichon à Poil Frisé). This small and cuddly dog is an excellent companion dog and a great family dog. 

The origins of the Bichon Frise is still debated. Some claim that the Bichon Frise dog is from France, while others say they are from Germany and Belgium. Despite their origins, the Bichon Frise is a wonderful family pet.

The Bichon has a Poodle ancestry, hence looks similar to a Poodle. Selective breeding diverged the modern Bichon into four distinct dog breeds.

The hallmark of this breed is their merry temperament and their beautiful coat. White is the only permitted color by the Société Centrale Canine, the national kennel club for France. The American Kennel Club and the FCI standards also allow white as the only recognized coat color.

The Belgium Kennel Club classifies this dog as a toy and a companion dog, with white being the only recognized coat color.

What tasks does the Bichon Frise breed perform?

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a lively breed of dog and enjoys human companionship. The Bichon Frise is also highly intelligent and is often ranked among the world’s top 100 smartest dogs.

Bichon has an innate ability to understand people and our emotions, which makes them an excellent companion dog. Their curly and silky hair is like ours, and this dog does not shed. They are a hypoallergenic breed of dog.

This dog also excels in tricks. Several circuses around the world use this breed to perform stunning tricks. Bichon also enjoys being water and is an excellent retriever dog.

The temperament of the Bichon Frise 

Bichon Frise Dog

The Bichon is merry, lively, and with limitless energy. They are great with kids and family and love to be around people.

The breed standard states that Bichon is “gentle mannered, sensitive, playful and affectionate.” Bichon is selectively bred for companionship and is a sociable dog.

Like all small dog breeds, the Bichon is prone to resource guarding and can also become territorial. Training your puppy while it is still young will help your puppy adapt to your lifestyle better.

When to choose a Bichon Frise dog as your family pet

Bichon Frise Happy

The Bichon is a small lap dog. They make excellent family pets and is one of the world’s best companion dog. Small size, cute looks, hypoallergenic, intelligent, and lively are the hallmarks of this breed. 

Bichon can live in an apartment and requires daily walks for a healthy lifestyle. They are compatible with other household pets and are fond of little children. 

Remember, this dog has long hair and requires daily grooming. People trim the coat so that it is easy to manage.

What are the health issues that affect the Bichon Frise dog breed? 

Bichon Frise standing

Surveys conducted in the US and UK show that the average lifespan of this breed is between 12 to 13 years. United Kennel Club (UKC) health survey found the following aliments in this breed.

Interesting facts about the Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dog
  • A Bichon Frise in the US lived to be 21 years old, making it the oldest Bichon Frise in North America.
  • Bichon Frise is a hypoallergenic breed.
  • There is no clear consensus among dog experts towards the origin of this breed. Kennel Clubs in France, Germany, and Belgium all claim to be country of origin for this breed.

Bloodhound 

Bloodhound

Meet the world’s best scent dog, the Bloodhound. Research indicates that a Bloodhound’s sense of smell is 40 times better than a human. Throughout the world, law enforcement agencies employ this dog to track escaped prisoners, detect banned substances, and lost pets. 

Bloodhound is a large and ancient dog breed. Historical records indicate that this dog has been around since the middle ages. Bloodhounds started as a hunting dog that could track down deer for the hunters. 

The Bloodhound’s sense of smell is so powerful, this dog can pick up a scent trail even after several days.

What tasks does the Bloodhound breed perform?

Bloodhound dog

Bloodhound is not your average pet, while they make excellent family pets, their true potential is as a scent hound. If you are a bowhunter, Bloodhounds can help you track down your game after it is shot. But remember, these dogs bark while on a scent trail. 

Bloodhound has the credit of keeping several neighborhoods safe by tracking down escaped convicts from prison. Border patrol officers also use this dog to track down illegal entry across the borders.

The temperament of the Bloodhound

Bloodhound alert

Bloodhounds have a gentle temperament. The Americal Kennel Club calls this dog the world’s best “Sleuth Hound” while on the job, they are relentless in tracking. Gentle and docile while not following a scent.

“In temperament, he is extremely affectionate, neither quarrelsome with companions nor with other dogs.” -AKC

As a working dog, the Bloodhound is compatible with other dogs and pets. In medieval days dogs need to work together on a hunt. Breeders did not prefer dogs that were aggressive towards other dogs. Hence, the Bloodhound is compatible with other dogs and will willingly work with different breeds on a hunt.

When to choose a Bloodhound dog as your family pet

Bloodhound sleeping

As you now know, the Bloodhound is a specialized dog. They are relentless scent trackers, at the same time, gentle and docile. This breed is also large, some dogs weighing well over 50 kgs.

While a Bloodhound can be a family dog, it is better suited for working life. Remember, these dogs are also difficult to train. You will find that your dog consistently ignores your call when it is busy on the trail of a squirrel or a rabbit.

The United Kennel Club, along with the Association of Bloodhound Breeders and The Bloodhound Club, organizes Bloodhound trails. Bloodhound trail is a dog sport where Bloodhound and its handler has to track a scent over long distances.

What are the health issues that affect the Bloodhound dog breed? 

Bloodhound
  • Bloat – Bloodhounds suffer a high rate of gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat), the most common type of gastrointestinal problem.
  • Cancer – Bloodhounds also suffer from canine cancer. A study found 27% died of cancer.
  • Enlarged heart – UKC study found that Bloodhounds also suffer from an enlarged heart.
  • Others – Other issues include Lymphoma, Peritonitis, and spinal disorders.

Interesting facts about the Bloodhound 

Bloodhounds
  • Bloodhound is the world’s best scenthound. 
  • Bloodhound’s sense of smell is 40 times more powerful than ours.
  • Knotty was one of the most awarded Bloodhounds of all time. Knotty won several best in show titles and is part of the American Kennel Club’s Stud Dog Hall of Fame.
  • Bloodhound is an excellent police dog, detection dog, scent dog, and tracking dog.

Belgian Shepherd

Belgian shepherd

The next dog (or group of dogs) in our list of native Belgian dogs is the Belgian Shepherd. Belgian Shepherd refers to a group of herding and working dogs from Belgium. There are four distinct dog breeds classified as Belgian Shepherds.

Belgian Shepherd name and breed controversy 

The obvious question is, why use one name to refer four dog breeds? The controversy is due to the differences in the classification of these dog breeds.

The Belgium Kennel Club, the authority in the breed’s originating country, classifies all four dogs as a single breed, differentiated by coat color and texture.

The American Kennel Club, on the other hand, registers Groenendael under the name “Belgian Sheepdog.” And Belgian Tervuren and Belgian Malinois are classified as separate dog breeds.

The Laekenois is registered as a distinct breed under the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service. In short, four different shepherd dog breeds from Belgium.

This difference in classification but two renowned Kennel Clubs is the reason for the controversy.

Bouvier des Flandres 

Bouvier des Flandres

Meet the Bouvier des Flandres, a versatile and multipurpose dog originating from Flandres in Belgium. Bouvier des Flandres literally means cow herders of Fladres in French. This breed is a medium-to-large sized working dog.

The history of the Bouvier des Flanders dog is an interesting one. It is said that the monks in the Ter Duinen monastery crossbred imported dogs such as  Irish wolfhounds and Scottish deerhounds with local farm dogs. The Bouvier des Flanders was the result.

What tasks does the Bouvier des Flandres breed perform?

Bouvier des Flandres Dog

The Bouvier des Flanders excels as a farm dog. Farmers in Belgium use this breed as a herding dog, droving dog, guard dog, cart pulling dog, and shepherd dog.

The Bouvier works with seemingly limitless energy and enthusiasm. They are protective of their flock and loyal to their master. Highly intelligent, trainable, and an excellent work ethic are the hallmarks of this breed.

An adult dog is powerfully built, muscular, and with dark coat color. This Belgian dog has a large and powerful head with a distinctive beard.

The temperament of the Bouvier dog 

Bouvier Dog

The United Kennel Club describes the Bouvier’s temperament as 

Even-tempered, agile, steady, resolute, and fearless; his gaze is alert and brilliant, acting as a reflection of his intelligence, daring, and vigor.

The Bouvier has a balanced temperament with a pleasant nature. Don’t be fooled by their intimidating looks, the Bouvier dog is gentle and kind. Remember, like all working dogs, this breed needs training. 

Training a Bouvier puppy is a rewarding experience for both the puppy and the master. Using positive reinforcement training methods and patience works the best for this dog breed.

When to choose a Bouvier dog as your family pet

Bouvier Dog Profile

The Bouvier dog is a working dog that enjoys living on a farm. However, due to its balanced temperament, guarding instincts, the Bouvier also makes a great family pet.

The Bouvier is patient with kids and tolerates abuse from little children. Like all large dog breeds, it is essential to supervise while they with children to prevent accidental injuries to kids.

Bouvier des Flanders also excels in dog sports such as dog agility trials, cartingobediencedog showmanshipSchutzhundtracking, and herding events.

What are the health issues that affect the Bouvier dog breed?

This Belgian dog is generally a healthy breed with an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.

  • Inherited disease – The Bouvier suffers from elbow dysplasia, canine hip dysplasia, sub-aortic stenosis, and Glaucoma.
  • Dental disease – This dog suffers from dental plaque and tartar on the dog’s teeth.

Interesting facts about the Bouvier des Flandres

Bouvier Dog Standing
  • Lucky, a Bouvier dog was owned by United States President Ronald Reagan.
  • Bouvier excels in dog sports such as dog agility and herding trials.

Griffon Bruxellois

Griffon Bruxellois

The next Belgian dog on our list, the Griffon Bruxellois dog, is a toy dog breed. This small dog is one of the best companion dogs from Belgium. Like the Belgian Shepherd, the Griffon Bruxellois is a group of dogs differentiated by coat color. 

Griffon Bruxellois, Griffon Belge, and Petit Brabançon are the three Griffon Brusellois type dogs. All these dogs share a common ancestor, Smousje, a small dog kept in stables to control rodents. The modern Griffon Bruxellois is a cross between the Pug and King Charles Spaniel.

What tasks does the Griffon Bruxellois breed perform?

Griffon Bruxellois

The temperament of the Griffon Bruxellois dog

Griffon Bruxellois Puppy

The Griffon Bruxellois is a lively dog with a large heart. They have a balanced temperament and are loyal to their master. Griffons are emotionally sensitive dogs and can sense your mood and change their behavior accordingly.

When to choose a Griffon Bruxellois dog as your family pet

Griffon Bruxellois Puppy Dressed

If you are looking for a family companion dog from Belgium, this is the dog for you. Remember, always choose a puppy from a reputable breeder. The Griffon thinks he is much bigger and will often boss around and dominate large dogs.

Training and socializing your puppy will help your puppy adapt to our world. Griffon is not a one-person dog, it will bond with all the members of your family.

What are the health issues that affect the Griffon Bruxellois dog breed? 

Griffon Puppy
  • Heart and leg problems – Griffions are prone to heart and leg problems from a young age.
  • Cleft Palate – Some puppies suffer from cleft palate, which can result in starvation and death.
  • Eye issues – The Griffon’s large round eyes are prone to several problems such as laceration, cataracts, Lens Luxations, and Glaucoma.

Interesting facts about the Griffon Bruxellois

Griffon Adult
  • There are three varieties of Griffon Bruxellois. The differences are due to coat color and coat size.
  • Small size, balanced temperament, and loyalty are the hallmarks of this breed.

Belgian Groenendael

Belgian Groenendael

Meet the Groenendael dog, also referred to as the Belgian Shepherd dog. The Belgium Kennel Club groups the Groenendael dog as a variety of Belgian Shepherd while the American Kennel Club classifies this dog as a distinct breed called the Belgian Sheepdog.

The Groenendael is a medium-sized, agile, and athletic dog. The only permitted coat color is black. Breed standards for the Groenendael recommend working traits more than the physical characteristics.

The Groenendael closely resembles a German Shepherd in appearance. The German Shepherd is bigger and heavier, but while working, both dogs are alike. Like the German Shepherd dog, the Groenendael is intelligent, trainable, and energetic.

What tasks does the Belgian Groenendael breed perform?

Belgian Groenendael

The Belgian Groenendael is a working dog, selectively bred to shepherd and herd its flock. Groenendael is exceptionally loyal, which makes this dog excel as a guard dog.

On a farm, Groenendael performs several tasks, including guarding, herding, and droving. Several farms across Belgium still use this breed. 

The Groenendael’s agility and athleticism enable this dog to excel in dog sports such as obedience, flyballSchutzhunddog agility, and herding trials.

The temperament of the Belgian Groenendael dog 

Groenendael

The Belgian Groenendael is a working dog with a temperament that matches its working lifestyle. This breed is intelligent, active, athletic, and full of life. Remember, like all working dogs, they require space, and daily exercises to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle. 

When trained, the Groenendael is affectionate, loyal, and loving towards its family. They also an excellent guard dog that can protect your home from intruders.

When to choose a Belgian Groenendael dog as your family pet 

Groenendael Dog

The Belgian Sheepdog is not your typical family pet. This dog is a high energy working dog that requires regular exercises to adapt to urban settings. 

In the hands of an experienced handler, the Groenendael reaches its full potential. They can perform in dog sports, can be a guard dog for your home, and can be a shepherd dog for your flock.

What are the health issues that affect the Belgian Groenendael dog breed?

Groenendael Dog Sleeping

The Groenendael dog is a healthy dog breed. A survey conducted by the United Kennel Club found the following ailments.

  • The leading cause of death for an adult dog was cancer.
  • 13% of the dogs in the survey died of a stroke.
  • 13% of dogs died of old age and natural causes.
  • Other surveys also found seizures as one of the leading causes of death.

Interesting facts about the Belgian Groenendael

Groenendael Dog Playing
  • Belgian Groenendael is considered as a distinct breed by AKC. In contrast, the BKC registers this as a variety of Belgian Shepherd dogs.
  • Some breeders and fanciers use this dog as a personnel protection dog, similar to the Malinois dog.

Belgian Laekenois

Laekenois

The next dog in our Belgian dog breeds lineup is the Laekenois dog. The Laekenois is the oldest and the rarest of the beautiful Belgian Shepherd dogs. 

The Belgian Laekenois originated as a herding dog in the Royal Castle of Laeken. This breed has a wooly coat that is brown with white patches in the chest and feet.

What tasks does the Belgian Laekenois breed perform?

Laekenois Dog

Like the other Belgian Shepherds, the Laekenois dog is athletic, agile, and with exceptional work ethic. This dog can be trained to be a herding dog, guard dog, protection dog, and shepherd dog. 

Besides being a herding dog, farmers also use this dog as a guard dog to guard linen, set to dry in fields. During the world wars, the Belgium military used this dog as a messenger dog.

The temperament of the Laekenois dog

Belgian Laekenois Dog

The Laekenois is a loving, loyal, and affectionate dog. This dog has a gentle disposition and a balanced temperament. Like all working dog breeds, the Laekenois need to be trained to adapt to an urban lifestyle.

Interesting facts about the Laekenois dog 

Belgian Laekenois
  • Belgian Laekenois is the oldest and the rarest among all the Belgian Shepherd dogs.
  • Laeken is the place where this dog was initially bred to be a herding dog.

Belgian Tervuren dog

Tervuren Dog

Meet the Tervuren dog, the last among the four Belgian Shepherd dogs. Tervuren or Tervueren is from Tervuren, a town in Belgium. Like the other Belgian Shepherds, there is controversy about this being a distinct breed versus a variety. 

The Candian Kennel Club, for instance, registers the Tervuren dog as a variety of Belgian Sheepdog. In contrast, the American Kennel Club registers this breed as a distinct dog breed. 

The Tervueren dog is medium in size, agile, and athletic dog. The Tervueren dog differs from the other Belgian Shepherds by its thick double coat, generally mahogany, with a black overlay. 

This dog breed has a similar temperament and performs the same tasks as the other Belgian Shepherd dogs.

Interesting facts about the Belgian Tervuren dog 

Tervuren
  • The Tervuren’s coat and its body proportions resemble a wolf. In the movie The Company of Wolves, the wolves were played by dyed Tervuren dogs.
  • FEMA Search-and-Rescue Tervuren dog was the first K9 unit to respond to Oklahoma City bombing and participated in the 9/11 SAR efforts.

Papillon dog

Papillon

Meet the Papillon, one of the smartest dogs in the world, and the most intelligent dog in Belgium. The Papillon is also called the Continental Toy Spaniel. Papillon in french translates to a butterfly. The beautiful feathering on this dog’s ears makes it appear like a butterfly, hence the name.

Papillon is an intelligent and trainable small dog that can also be taught many tricks. Like the Cocker Spaniel, this toy breed of dog also excels in dog sports such as dog agility.

Small size, highly intelligent and trainable, loving, and affectionate, the Papillon dog is an excellent companion dog and great family pet. The Papillon Club of America works with breeders and fanciers for the preservation and conformance of this beautiful little dog.

Papillon dog with dropped ears is called the Phalene, a French word which means moth. This is the butterfly and moth dog. Kennel Clubs consider the Papillon and Phalene as the same breed of dog.

What tasks does the Papillon breed perform?

Papillon dog

The Papillon is an ancient dog breed living in royal palaces as companions of kings and queens. The modern Papillon dog, due to their intelligence, can be trained to perform several tasks.

They are an excellent companion dog. Besides, this dog can also be taught to perform tricks and participate in dog obedience and dog agility competitions.

The temperament of the Papillon dog

Papillon Puppy

The Papillon is a curious and adventurous dog. You will notice them sniffing and exploring their surroundings confidently. Due to their intelligence, this breed enjoys complex routines. It gets quickly bored when the task or play isn’t mentally stimulating. 

They are affectionate towards their family but wary of strangers. Like all small dog breeds, the Papillon dog is prone to small dog syndrome. They can become overly protective and exhibit resource guarding.

When to choose a Papillon dog as your family pet

Papillon Adult

Choose a Papillon if you are looking for an intelligent, trainable, and yet adorable companion dog. This dog cherishes human companionship and loves to snuggle.

What are the health issues that affect the Papillon dog breed?

The Papillon is a healthy breed of dog with an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years.

Interesting facts about the Papillon dog

Papillon Black
  • Papillon literally means butterfly. This dog gets its name due to its long and fringed hair on the ears.
  • Papillons with drooping ears are called Phalene.
  • Due to their size, Papillons are also called Squirrel Spaniel.

Phalene dog

Phalene

The next Belgian dog breed on our list is the Phalene. The Phalene dog is a variant of the Papillon, which has dropping ears. Phalene is French translates to a moth. The name Phalene is a reference to this breeds moth-like ears. In all other aspects, the Phalene resembles the Papillon dog.

Belgian Draft Dog 

Meet the Belgian Mastiff or the Belgian Draft dog. This beautiful dog is now extinct, with the last known dog living in the 1960s. The Belgian Kennel Club (Société Royale Saint-Hubert – SRSH), is working towards the restoration of this dog. It attempts to crossbreed Mastiff-type dogs with native Belgium dog. So far, their attempts have been unsuccessful.

What tasks does the Belgian Draft Dog perform? 

During world war 1, the Belgian Mastiff was used as a drafting dog and a guard dog. This dog was used as a traction dog by the Belgian military to pull the machine guns. With the introduction of modern machinery, drafting dogs were no longer needed. This led to their decline and, ultimately, extinction.

Schipperke dog

Schipperke Dog

Meet the small Belgian Schipperke. This small dog is either a Spitz-type dog or a miniature Belgian Shepherd. There is little consensus among the experts about this dog. 

The Belgium Kennel Club considers them as a small sheepdog and registers them as a working dog. The earliest record of this dog is from the 16th century. Schipperke loosely refers to “little boatman,” it could also mean German Shepherd dog (known in Dutch as “Duitse Scheper”).

The Schipperke closely resembles the Black Indian Spitz dog. Silky black, small size, and a mischievous temperament are the hallmarks of this dog.

The Schipperke and the Black Belgian Shepherd dog, Groenendael, share a common ancestor, the Leuvenaar dog.

What tasks does the Belgian Schipperke Dog perform?

Schipperke Dog

The Schipperke is a small and agile dog. Schipperke is an excellent working dog that can be trained to a good herding dog. In Belgium, people also use them as companion dogs and household pets. 

Like the other Spitz-type dogs, this small dog can be trained to perform several tricks. The Schipperke cherishes a challenge and excels in dog sports such as dog agility and herding trials.

The temperament of the Schipperke dog

Belgian Schipperke Dog

The Schipperke is not your average companion dog. They have a headstrong personality and can be quite mischievous. Schipperke’s temperament is similar to the Lhasa Apso.

Training your puppy while they are young helps the Schipperke adapt to our lifestyle better. Schipperke is also prone to resource guarding and can be territorial. 

If you take your puppy to a dog park, ensure that you have a close eye. The Schipperke dog has a high prey drive and can chase other dogs and small animals.

When to choose a Schipperke dog as your family pet

Belgian Schipperke

The Schipperke is an excellent family dog provided they are trained and socialized from an early age. If you are looking for a lively, active, and alert companion dog, then Schipperke is the right dog for you. 

Remember, this dog is not your average household companion dog. The Schipperke needs regular grooming, exercises, and consistent leadership. At the hands of the right owner, the Belgian Schipperke reaches its full potential.

What are the health issues that affect the Schipperke dog breed?

Belgian Schipperke Puppy

The Schipperke is a healthy breed. The average lifespan for the Schipperke is 12 to 13 years.

  • Luxating Patella –  Luxating Patella is a common problem for this breed.
  •  Legg-Perthes syndrome – This dog also suffers from  Legg-Perthes syndrome, where the blood flood to the femur bone is disrupted.
  • Inherited disease – MPS IIIB, a genetic mutation that occurs in 15% of the dogs.

Interesting facts about the Schipperke

Schipperke Puppy
  • In the US, this dog was erroneously called the Belgian Barge dog and Belgian ship dog.
  • Due to its mischievous character, the Schipperke is called as the “little black fox,” “Tasmanian black devil,” or “little black devil.”

Talbot dog 

The Talbot is an extinct dog from Belgium. The exact origins of the Talbot are unknown. Some experts claim that this dog originated in England, while others say this is a Belgian dog.

We know about this dog only through art found in the Haddon Hall. This picture depicts a dog that is small to medium-sized, white, with short legs, a deep chest with a hound-like waist, long drooping ears, and a curled tail.

The Talbot also appears in many coats of arms, in later ones of the Earls of Shrewsbury. The images show that the Talbot is a hound used in medieval times for hunting.

Löwchen dog 

Lowchen

Meet the last dog in our list of Belgian dog breeds, the Lowchen dog. The Lowchen is one of the world’s rarest dogs. The American Kennel Club registers the Lowchen as a toy dog belonging to the non-sporting group.

The precise origins of this dog are still not known. Some experts believe this dog originates from France, while some others believe this has Belgium roots.

The Lowchen is also called the little lion dog. The name lion is because of their lion-like appearance. Fanciers typically trim their dog to the popular “lion cut.”

What tasks does the Lowchen Dog perform? 

Lowchen Dog

The Lowchen is a companion dog and makes an excellent house pet. Only about 100 Lowchens are registers every year throughout the world. Lowchens like being with people and don’t like being alone. This is an excellent lap dog.

The temperament of the Lowchen dog 

Belgian Lowchen Dog

The Lowchen dog has a balanced temperament. They are loving and tolerate kids. Like all dogs, kids need to be supervised when they are with dogs.

When to choose a Lowchen dog as your family pet

Belgian Lowchen

The chances of you finding a Lowchen are low to none. They are a rare breed. Choose this dog if you are looking for a companion dog with a lively personality.

What are the health issues that affect the Lowchen dog breed? 

Belgian Lowchen Dog Lion Cut

Lowchen is a healthy dog with an average lifespan of 14 to 18 years. The following are some ailments that afflict this dog. This one dog that you may not need pet health insurance.

  • Luxating Patella –  Luxating Patella is a common problem for this breed.
  • Eye issues – The Lowchen dog’s eyeball is prone to problems such as cataracts, Lens Luxations, and Glaucoma.

Interesting facts about the Lowchen

Lowchen Dog Lion Cut
  • Lowchen is one of the world’s rarest dogs. Only about 100 dogs are registered each year across the globe.
  • Due to the low number of Lowchens, this breed of dog is facing extinction.
  • Lowchen Club of America, Lowchen Club of Canada, and Lowchen Club of UK are working towards preserving this dog.

Conclusion: All 15 native Belgian dog breeds

Belgian Shepherd Dog Agility

Like the famous Belgium chocolate, Belgian dogs are a gift to the doggie world. Some like the Bichon Frise are excellent companions, and others like the Malinois dog saves and protects people across the globe.

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