We're not saying this breed defies the laws of physics—but doggone, does this breed ever get tired? Belgian Tervuren (or “Tervs”) are indefatigable working dogs and affectionate, funny companions. When you combine this much get-up-and-go with a wicked-in-the-best-way sense of humor, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to outsmart this pup. But let's face it: your Terv would have gotten you up early anyway. Isn't it time for a jog?
Originally from the town of Tervuren in Belgium (thus the name), these medium-sized, high-energy dogs can grow to between 45-75 pounds and live an average of 12-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Herding group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Herding
Breed Group: Herding
Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
Energy level A marathoner
Exercise needs An hour or more a day
Playfullness and Games All day, every day
Attachment to People Never leave my side
Behavior with Other Dogs Ok with early socialization and consistent training.
Behavior with Other Small Pets I may be ok, when socialized early and often
Behavior Toward Strangers I'm a single-family or person dog at heart
Trainability I'll probably make you work at it
Watchdog ability I know all that's going on, all the time
Protection ability I can be highly protective
Grooming needs Regular brushing, probably professional grooming
Cold tolerance I'll probably need a jacket in the cold
Heat tolerance A warm day can be fun, but not too hot please.
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A BELGIAN TERVUREN'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Belgian Tervurens are the workaholics of the canine world. This dog needs a job, and you'll be much happier if you channel her boundless canine energy in constructive directions.
This is a very intelligent, very playful, courageous, and alert breed. They are often friendly toward other dogs and pets but can be suspicious of strangers. Belgian Tervurens do best when socialized early and supervised while playing with children.
WHAT IS BELGIAN TERVUREN BEHAVIOR LIKE?
This breed is loving toward and possessive of its chosen pack. They make for self-assured, vigilant, and motivated watchdogs and can be somewhat prone to barking.
This dog needs a job or it's likely to go looking for trouble. A bored Terv can do a fair amount of damage to your home or yard. As with many smart and high energy dogs, a rigorous daily exercise routine goes a long way toward calming their busy brains and active bodies.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A BELGIAN TERVUREN?
Belgian Tervurens are bright and biddable dogs who revel in their own ability to learn and obey. Start early to discourage chasing and nipping behaviors—particularly toward children—that can be common in herding breeds. They are sensitive to your moods and tone of voice so be gentle with them. Use play, praise, and food to reward your Terv for learning new skills.
Consider enrolling your Terv in dog sports like obedience, tracking, herding, agility, or even musical freestyle. These dogs love to learn and are eager to impress you.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO BELGIAN TERVURENS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Tervs have a harsh, thick, long-haired double coat. These dogs are seasonal shedders who require weekly grooming and multiple brushings every week. Their coats slough off dirt, so your Belgian Tervuren shouldn't need frequent baths. Warm baths followed by blow outs may help manage dead hair while they're shedding, however.
Your furry friend will shed once or twice a year. Be sure to brush more frequently during sheds to manage the literal bags worth of loose hair.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BELGIAN TERVURENS HAVE?
Most Belgian Tervurens are relatively healthy. Some have been known to develop eye ailments, epilepsy, and allergies.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed’’s history. You can also read on to learn about this breed’’s ideal family situation.
ARE BELGIAN TERVURENS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club does not list Belgian Tervurens among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as large as a Belgian Tervuren! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A BELGIAN TERVUREN'S BEST DAY?
Let's go for a run. Okay, now fetch. Throw something for me to fetch. The park! When was our last trip to the park? Let's bike there! A day that lets your Belgian Tervuren stay safely moving is her best day.
SHOULD I ADOPT A BELGIAN TERVUREN?
Belgian Tervuren are funny, biddable, affectionate dogs, probably best suited to families with adults and/or older children who are constantly on the go. These dogs will bike, run, hike, or boat with you, but they're not likely to sit still for long. In fact, their breed standard claims a true Terv is “always in motion unless under command.”
Belgian Tervurens do equally well in warm and cool temperatures but are not much for alone time. Your Terv will follow you up a mountain or around the house, wherever and whenever you'll allow. If you're looking for a brilliant canine shadow who just won't know how to quit, the Belgian Tervuren might be your perfect match.
Have you decided that a Belgian Tervuren is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.