Belgian Shepherd Groenendael

Belgian Shepherd Groenendael
Belgian Shepherd Groenendael pictures
Belgian Shepherd Groenendael suitability

In my own words


Busy, busy, busy… that’s me! I’m always on the go and that’s just how I like it. I don’t want the life of a couch potato; I have far too much energy for that. No, I prefer to be sporty and active; I love the outdoors and running about in the fresh air. There’s nothing more satisfying for me. I’m getting excited just thinking about it. Hey, let’s go out for the day! Shall we go for a run along the beach?

Don’t go thinking I’m some kind of jock who only cares about exercise though, I’m really smart too and if I want to I can pick up training in a flash. Honestly though, you can be a bit boring in your training techniques and they don’t really appeal to me… that’s why I don’t really take much notice. I mean, come on… I need a challenge here!

When are the kids going to come home from school? They’re always great fun to play with – I never tire of their games. They’re so cuddly and giggly, I love them so much!

My ideal owner(s)


People who are active

Outdoorsy types




Experienced dog owners

What they say about me


Cuddly and affectionate



Athletic and energetic



Good natured


Please read on to find out more about me, and whether I’ll be someone you’ll be happy to live with for the next 14 years!

Is this Belgian Shepherd Groenendael for you?

Test your knowledge about the Belgian Shepherd Groenendael

Information essential about the Belgian Shepherd Groenendael


Kennel Club Group:



Medium: Weight Male 65 - 75 lb (29 - 34 kg) Female 60-70 lb (27 - 32 kg)

Height Male 24 – 26” (61 - 66 cm) Female 22 – 24” (56 - 61 cm)


The Belgian Groenendael is a popular sheepdog throughout the world, though it is most popular in Belgium where the breed originated.  The Belgian Groenendael is loved for its ability to be both a loving pet and also a working dog and it is commonly spotted as a police dog as well as a companion. It’s this versatility which makes the Groenendael so popular

Breed History:


Originating from Belgium, the Belgian Shepherd Groenendael is one of four varieties of Belgian Sheepdog that were bred to herd and protect flocks of sheep. While all four Belgian Shepherd breeds are anatomically the same, the coats are different and the Groenendael has a beautiful long, black coat. In the 1890’s a Professor of the Belgian School of Veterinary Sciences noted the similarities in the varieties of Belgian shepherding dogs and the differences between their coats and then divided them into four varieties, advising that they should be bred separately. However, it wasn’t until 1910 that the name Groenendael was chosen for the breed.

The Groenendael shares the same name as the city it originates from, where the breed was developed after a black female Belgian sheepdog being was crossed with another black herding dog. The resulting fluffy, black coated litter set the precedent for the lovable Groenendael breed.

Proving their loyalty, obedience and willingness to protect its owners, Belgian Groenendaels were used during World War I to find wounded soldiers and deliver messages at the front line. As a result, their breeding schedule suffered, but this act of canine bravery may have contributed to their popularity in the long term.



Your Belgian Groenendael is an active character who likes nothing better than keeping busy – he loves to have a job to do! Belgian Groenendaels were bred as herding dogs and would be in charge of looking over large flocks of sheep, so it’s in their genes to protect and guard. Your Groenendael is therefore naturally alert and attentive, as well as loyal and obedient. This not only makes your Groenendael an excellent guard and watch dog but also a wonderful companion, who will always take care of his human family. Your Groenendael is patient and playful with children, providing he is socialised with them when he’s still a young pup. However, your Groenendael also has an inbred herding skill which creates a natural tendency to want to herd people, other animals and children. If they aren’t trained that this behaviour is unwanted they might nip at heels, chase or circle you. In order to prevent this behaviour, you must train and socialise your Belgian Tervueren from an early age.



Looking for a highly intelligent breed which loves to be challenged? The Belgian Groenendael could well be for you. Groenendaels need a lot of mental stimulation as they are incredibly smart and are happier with work to do than they are relaxing all day. Expect to provide your Groenendael with plenty of games and fun training in order to keep him happy, as well as long daily walks to burn up some of his abundant energy. Your Groenendael is a family dog through and through – he’ll want to join in with everything you do and go everywhere you go, so make sure he’s integrated with your family life. If he doesn’t get plenty of attention your Groenendael may become destructive. Groenendaels are incredibly affectionate towards their owners and are highly protective of them. A calm, dependable watchdog, your Groenendael always has your safety in mind and will happily guard your home. This protective streak can mean that they are wary of strangers, so socialise them well from an early age in order to avoid over protectiveness, shyness or even aggression.



A medium sized, long haired dog, the Belgian Groenendael has a squarely shaped body and long, straight legs with cat like feet. The gait is light, elegant and graceful. The feathered tail is strong at the base and low hanging. From a side profile, the top line of the Groenendael’s moderately pointed muzzle should be parallel to the top line of the skull, and both the muzzle and skull should be approximately the same length. An even or scissor bite, medium sized dark brown eyes and small, triangular ears, should all be prevalent and create an alert expression. The nose should be black, as should the lips which are tight. The coat is weather resistant and moderately long, with an extra mane of fur around the neck and feathering on the legs, tail and chest.



The Belgian Groenendael’s coat colour is black. The coat may be a solid black all over the body or could have a small amount of white on the chest, chin or toes.



Your Groenendael is intelligent, which means that they can pick up training easily when it is done well by the owner. As he’s so smart, training should be kept fun and interesting or your Groenendael may become bored and disinterested. Consistent, firm, reward based training is the best way to teach your Groenendael. Never encourage your Groenendael’s guarding behaviour as it can lead to overprotectiveness and guarding in inappropriate situations.


Due to the length of your Groenendael’s double coat, the breed can be a little high maintenance when it comes to grooming. Daily brushing is necessary to prevent clumps and knots from forming, and during shedding season you might even need to brush your Groenendael more than once per day. Heavy shedding occurs twice a year, with light shedding continuing all year long. Matted areas should be gently clipped out if they can’t be brushed through – these tend to form in the ruff around the neck and on the legs. The hair should also be clipped between the toes and on the outer ears



The Belgian Groenendael is a relatively healthy breed with no major health problems, however some minor issues can occur. Epilepsy, skin allergies, eye problems, excessive shyness, excessive aggressiveness and sometimes dysplasia and elbow dysplasia have been seen in the breed. Groenendaels also have a tendency to become obese, which shortens their lives and can lead to illness, so make sure they are well exercised and not overfed. The average lifespan of a Belgian Shepherd Groenendael is 13-14 years.

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Advice on choosing your breed »

Find an animal shelter or rescue home where a Belgian Shepherd Groenendael is waiting for a new home »


The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Belgian Groenendael is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1 = strongly disagree, and 5 = strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that is suitable for going on long walks with, look down the list under ‘activities’ and you will see that Belgian Groenendaels are perfect for country living, scoring 5. If you are looking for a good gundog then look under the same heading and you’ll see a Belgian Groenendael is not a good gundog or retriever, scoring 1, and therefore may not be a suitable breed for you. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your choice.

Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion5/5
Good walking companion5/5
Likes water/swimming4/5
Likes learning new tricks4/5
Likes to hunt1/5
Likes to fetch3/5
Good gundog/retriever1/5
Barks a lot2/5
Gets easily jealous3/5
Friendly with strangers2/5
Expensive to insure4/5
Expensive to feed3/5
Happy to sleep outside1/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment3/5
Prefers temperate climate3/5
Prefers hot climate2/5
Prefers cold climate5/5
Moults a lot4/5
Requires lots of grooming5/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly2/5
Ideal for singles5/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children4/5
Good watch dog5/5
Good guard dog5/5
Good with other pets2/5
Good with other dogs3/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs3/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs4/5
Requires lots of exercise4/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners2/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall4/5
Easy to train4/5
Good jogging companion__c_joggingcompanion__/5
Good walking companion__c_walkingcompanion__/5
Likes water/swimming__c_likeswater__/5
Likes learning new tricks__c_likesnewtricks__/5
Likes to hunt__c_likestohunt__/5
Likes to fetch__c_likestofetch__/5
Good gundog/retriever__c_gundog__/5
Barks a lot__c_barksalot__/5
Gets easily jealous__c_jealouseasy__/5
Friendly with strangers__c_friendlystrangers__/5
Expensive to insure__c_expensiveinsurance__/5
Expensive to feed__c_expensivefood__/5
Happy to sleep outside__c_sleepoutside__/5
Prefers countryside__c_countryliving__/5
Suits urban environment__c_urbanliving__/5
Prefers temperate climate__c_temperateclimate__/5
Prefers hot climate__c_hotclimate__/5
Prefers cold climate__c_coldclimate__/5
Moults a lot__c_moultsalot__/5
Requires lots of grooming__c_lotsgrooming__/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly__c_olderpeople__/5
Ideal for singles__c_singles__/5
Ideal for couples with no children__c_couplenochildren__/5
Ideal for family with children__c_familychildren__/5
Good watch dog__c_watchdog__/5
Good guard dog__c_guarddog__/5
Good with other pets__c_otherpets__/5
Good with other dogs__c_otherdogs__/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs__c_leftalone4hrs__/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs__c_leftalone2hrs__/5
Requires lots of exercise__c_lotsexercise__/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners__c_firstowner__/5
Good for experienced owners__c_experienceowner__/5
Good recall__c_goodrecall__/5
Easy to train__c_easytrain__/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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