Belgium is a small country in Western Europe that shares borders with France, Germany, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands. There are quite a few Belgian dog breeds, several of which are often used as guard dogs and police dogs.
The Belgian Shepherd Dogs are amongst famous breeds from the area. This group is divided into the Groenendael, the Laekenois, Malinois, and the Tervuren. The breeds have similarities in looks and temperament, but they are distinct breeds.
The Groenendael is an elegant, strong, and intelligent breed. They were originally used as herders, watchdogs, and companions, but their smarts and versatility quickly made them popular outside of Belgium. Groenendaels soon served as police dogs in Paris and New York City, and were famous for catching smugglers.
Many work in search and rescue, as guide dogs, and as therapy dogs. They also do very well in dog sports such as obedience, tracking, and agility.
The Malinois is an alert breed often mistaken for German Shepherds, and the confusion becomes bigger from the Malinois being popular for police and military work. While there are physical similarities, this is a completely different breed than the German Shepherd.
An average Malinois is intelligent, confident, and loves to work. They are also popular in obedience trials, herding, sledding, and tracking.
The Laekenois is clever and alert, and can be quite protective of family and property. This breed was originally developed to tend to flocks and guard, and these properties remain in the breed.
The Tervuren is an elegant and devoted dog that often excels in obedience and agility competitions. Many who see these dogs believe they’re German Shepherds with long hair, but the Tervuren is a different breed. They’re outstanding herders that also do great jobs as therapy dogs and guide dogs.