Belgian Tervuren Guide

Herding Dog Breeds

This breed combines elegance and strength. It is square-proportioned and of medium bone. It is noteworthy for its exceedingly proud carriage. Its movement is lively, graceful and seemingly tireless, exhibiting an easy, effortless gait rather than a hard-driving action. It has a natural tendency to move in a circle rather than a straight line. It combines a dense undercoat with an outer coat consisting of abundant guard hairs that are long, well-fitting, straight and of medium harshness. Its expression is intelligent and questioning.

Alert, watchful and energetic, the Tervuren is an active and dependable companion that functions best when given daily mental and physical exercise. It enjoys playing and running outside, and can be a well-mannered companion inside as long as it is given sufficient exercise. It is smart and obedient, but independent. It is aloof with strangers and can be aggressive toward other dogs and animals. It may nip at the heels of children in an attempt to herd them.

AKC RANKING 108

FAMILY livestock, herding

AREA OF ORIGIN Belgium

DATE OF ORIGIN 1800s

ORIGINAL FUNCTION stock herding

TODAY'S FUNCTION herding trials, schutzhund

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 24-26 Weight: 55-65

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 22-24 Weight: 40-50

OTHER NAME Tervuren, chien de berger Belge

Energy level High energy

Exercise needs High

Playfullness Very playful

Affection level Very affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly

Friendliness toward other pets Friendly

Friendliness toward strangers Shy

Ease of training Hard to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Very protective

Grooming needs Moderate maintenance

Cold tolerance Medium tolerance

Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

The Tervuren needs strenuous activity, either a long walk or jog or an invigorating play or work session every day. It especially enjoys herding, which is the ideal exercise. It can live outside in temperate to cool climates, but it does best when allowed access to both a house and yard. Its double coat needs brushing and combing twice weekly, more often when shedding.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: epilepsy, skin allergies
• Occasionally seen: CHD
• Suggested tests: none
• Life span: 10 – 12 years
The Belgian Tervuren is one of four Belgian shepherd breeds, all sharing the same origins but distinguished by different coat types and colors. They are the wire-haired Laekenois, the shorthaired Malinois, the long black-haired Groenendael and the long anything-but-black-haired Tervuren. All these herding – guard breeds were interbred before and after their recognition as one breed (the Belgian, or Continental, shepherd) in 1891. The Tervuren was named after the village of Tervuren, where one of the breed's earliest proponents lived. The Tervuren lagged behind the other shepherd breeds in popularity, perhaps hindered by its less flashy color and disagreements over exactly what colors were desirable. The first Tervuren was registered in America in 1918, but the breed's numbers remained so low that these dogs died out by the Depression. The Tervuren had to be almost re-created after World War II from longhaired offspring of Malinois parents. In 1959 the Belgian shepherd was divided into three breeds, and the Tervuren was on its own. The Tervuren has since captured the eye of many fanciers because it is the most elegant of the three breeds. It now enjoys moderate popularity. The Belgian Tervuren is a versatile dog and is used less in guard work, but more in herding, than are its Belgian shepherd counterparts.