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Belgian Shepherd Groenendael


At the end of the year 1800, there were a large number of herd dogs in Belgium, whose type was heterogeneous and the coat of extreme diversity.  During the following years, the leaders of the Belgian shepherd dog breed worked tenaciously to unify the type and correct the defects. It can be said that by 1910 the type and character of the Belgian Shepherd had been fixed. During the history of the Belgian Shepherd, the question of the different varieties and the colors allowed gave rise to many controversies. On the other hand, with regard to morphology, character and aptitude for work, there was never any disagreement.

Country of Origin : Belgium.


GENERAL APPEARANCE L :  It is a medium-sized dog, harmoniously proportioned, combining elegance and power, of medium size, with dry and strong muscles, inscribed in a square; rustic, used to the outdoors and built to resist the atmospheric variations so frequent in the Belgian climate. By the harmony of its forms and the haughty carriage of its head, the Belgian Shepherd must give the impression of that elegant robustness which has become an attribute of selected representatives of a working breed. The Belgian Shepherd will be judged in their natural positions, without physical contact with the presenter.

PRO IMPORTANT PORTIONS :  The Belgian Shepherd is inscribed in a square. The chest descends to the level of the elbows. The length of the muzzle is equal to or slightly longer than half the length of the head.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT :  It is a vigilant and active dog, brimming with vitality and always ready for action. To his innate aptitude as a herd keeper, he adds the precious qualities of the best guard dog; in the face of necessity, he is, without the slightest hesitation, an obstinate and ardent defender of his owner. He has all the qualities required to be a herding, guard, defense and service dog. His lively and alert temperament, his assured character, without any fear or aggression, should be visible in the attitude of his body and in the haughty and attentive expression of his bright eyes. Your “calm” and “courageous” character should be recorded in trials.

HEAD :  Carried high, long, without exaggeration, straight, well chiseled and dry. The length of the skull and that of the muzzle are at most similar, with a very slight advantage for the muzzle, which gives the ensemble an impression of fine workmanship.


Skull : Of medium width, in proportion to the length of the head; forehead more flat than arched and sagittal sulcus not very accentuated. In profile, the upper lines of the skull and muzzle are parallel. Occipital crest not very pronounced, superciliary and zygomatic arches not prominent.

Stop :  Moderate.


Truffle : Black

Muzzle :  Of medium length and well chiseled under the eyes, tapering gradually towards the nose, elongated wedge-shaped; nasal bridge straight and parallel to the extended upper line of the forehead. Mouth wide open means that: the labial commissures are pulled far back; the jaws are far apart.

lips :  Fine, well closed, and heavily pigmented.

Jaws and Teeth :  Teeth strong and white, regular and strongly set in well-developed jaws. Scissor-jointed; the pincer bite, which is preferred by herdsmen and herdsmen, is tolerated. Complete dentition, corresponding to the dental formula; the absence of 2 premolars (2PM1) is tolerated and 3 molars (M3) should not be taken into account.

eyes :  Of medium size, neither prominent nor deep; slightly almond-shaped; obliques; brown in color, preferably dark; edge of eyelids, black; direct, lively, intelligent and questioning look.

Ears :  Rather small, set high, clearly triangular in appearance, well-rounded shells, pointed ends; rigid, carried straight and vertically when the dog is attentive.

NECK :  Well developed, slightly elongated, well muscled, gradually widening to the shoulders and without dewlap. The back of the neck is slightly arched.


Top Line :  The topline of the back and loin is straight.

Withers:  accentuated.

Back:  Firm, short and well muscled.

Croup:  Well muscled; tilted very slightly; wide enough, but not too much.

chest :  Little wide, but well let down. The ribs are arched at the top. Seen from the front, the forechest is not very wide, without being narrow.

Bottom Line :  It begins below the chest and rises slightly in a harmonious curve towards the belly, which is neither drooping nor tucked up, but slightly elevated and moderately developed.

TAIL:  Well set on, strong at the base, of medium length, reaching the hock or passing it preferably. At rest, it is carried pendulous, the point bent slightly backwards at hock level. In action, higher, without exceeding the horizontal. The curve towards the tip is more accentuated, without it ever forming a hook or a detour.




PREVIOUS :  Solid bone, but not heavy. Dry and strong muscles. The forequarters are straight from all sides and perfectly parallel from the front.

Shoulders :  The scapulae are long and oblique, the shoulders well placed, forming with the humerus a sufficient and ideal angle of 110 to 115°.

Elbows :  Firm, neither loose nor tight.

Paws :  Round, cat feet, toes arched and tightly closed. Thick and elastic pads. Dark and thick nails.


HINDQUARTERS :  Powerful, but not heavy; in profile, the hindquarters are well erect and, viewed from behind, perfectly parallel.

Knees :  Approximately upright at the croup; normal knee angulation.

Metatarsals :  Solid and short. Ergoes are not wanted.

Paws :  May be slightly oval. Fingers arched and tightly closed. Thick and elastic pads. Nails are dark and thick.

DRIVE :  Live and free in all its types. The Belgian Shepherd is a good galloper, but its usual movement is the gait and especially the trot. The limbs move parallel to the median plane of the body. At high speed, the feet approach the median plane (single tracking). In the trot, the range is medium, the movement is regular and easy, with good propulsion from the hindquarters. The topline remains very tight, without the forelegs being raised too high (Hackney). Constantly on the move, the Belgian Shepherd seems tireless. His gait is fast, springy and lively. He is capable of making a sudden change of direction at full speed. Due to his exuberant temperament and his desire to guard and protect, he has a tendency to move around in circles.

SKIN:  Elastic, but well extended over the body; edge of lips and eyelids well pigmented.

  • COAT


By :  The hair is short on the head, on the outer surface of the ears and on the underside of the limbs, except on the posterior edge of the forearm which is lined from the elbow to the carpus by long hairs called fringes. The hair is long and smooth over the rest of the body. Longer and more abundant around the neck and over the chest, where it forms a collar and mane. The entrance to the ear canal is protected by thick hairs. The hairs, from the base of the ears, are raised and frame the head. The back of the thighs is provided with very long and abundant hair, forming breeches. The tail is covered with long and abundant hair forming a plume.


only black

SIZE : Males: 62 cm

            Females: 58 cm  

  • FAULTS  


Any deviation from the terms of this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well being of the dog.  


• General appearance: Too heavy, inelegant, too light or too weak, longer than tall, inscribed in a rectangle.

• Head: Heavy, very strong, lack of parallelism, without chiseling or dryness; forehead very rounded; heavily marked or unmarked stop; muzzle too short or pointed; concave nasal bridge; very prominent superciliary or zygomatic arches.

• Nose, lips and eyelids: Signs of depigmentation.

• Dentition: Poorly implanted incisors.




• Lack of 1 incisor, 1 PM3, 3 PM1, 1PM2 or 3PM1.

• Eyes: Clear, round.

• Ears: Large, long, very wide at the base, set low, diverging or converging.

• Neck: Weak; short or buried between the shoulders.

• Body: Very elongated; chest sides too wide (cylindrical).

• Withers: Unlit or low.

• Topline: Back and/or loin long, weak, saddled or ruffled.

• Croup: Very sloping or high.

• Bottom line: Too much or too little descent; excess belly.

• Tail: Set on too low; carried too high; forming hook; deviated.

• Limbs: Very light or very heavy bone; seen in profile, ill-adjusted (eg very oblique forelegs or weak carpus). Viewed from the front, legs turning out or in, elbows dislocated, etc. Or, viewed from behind, hindquarters close together, wide apart or barrel-shaped, hock open or closed, etc.; too little or exaggeratedly angled.

• Paws: Open.

• Movement: Closed, very short steps, little propulsion, bad transmission through the back, hackney.

• Hair: insufficient undercoat.​  Wooly, wavy or curly hair. Hair not long enough.  

Red highlights in the fur, gray breeches.




• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.

• Character: Aggressive or fearful specimens.

• General appearance: Atypical.

• Dentition: Upper or lower prognathism, even without loss of contact (inverted scissors); cross occlusion; absence of 1 canine (1C), 1 upper premolar (1 PM4) or lower (1M1), 1 molar (1M1 or 1M2, M3 is not taken into account), 1 premolar 3 (1PM3) plus any other tooth, or a total of 3 teeth (excluding premolars) or more.

• Nose, lips, eyelids: Strongly depigmented.

• Ears: Dropped or held artificially erect.

• Tail: Absence of tail (from birth or by docking); carried very high and ring-shaped or curled.

• Hair: Absence of undercoat.

• Colors: All colors that do not correspond to the colors of the described varieties. Large spots on the chest, especially if they go to the withers. White on the feet, exceeding half of the metacarpals or metatarsals, forming stockings.

• Size: Outside the allowed limits.



• Males must present both testicles, of normal appearance, well let down and accommodated in the scrotum.

• Only clinically and functionally healthy dogs with typical breed conformation should be used for breeding.

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