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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Belgian Shepherd Dog Tervueren

The Tervuren is a long-haired dog, medium sized and with an athletic build. Square in appearance with a sharply intelligent face, pricked ears and alert expression. Often confused for a long-haired German Shepherd Dog, the Tervuren is a much lighter, racier build with a more refined head.

The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys more than two hours of walking a day
  • Large dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left alone with training
Generally healthy breed

All varieties of the Belgian can suffer from: 
- Hip dysplasia 
- Hereditary cataracts which is a condition where the lens in the eye becomes cloudy and this can result in blindness. 
- Progressive retinal atrophy which is an inherited disorder where part of the eye degenerates and wastes away which can result in blindness. 

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme 
- Eye screening scheme  

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Weight: 27.5 – 28.5kg
Height: Between 61 - 66cm for males, and 56 - 61ccm for females
Colours: Fawn, red or grey with black shading
Size: Medium
Kennel Club Group: Pastoral

Ratings

Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 4/5
Belgian Shepherd Tervueren standing on the road

Personality

Clever, eager, intelligent and sensitive, the Tervuren is capable of achieving high levels of training with the right handler and home. Their abilities in herding, driving and guarding remain strong, but unlike other members of the Belgian Shepherd group, they are not so intense and possess the ability to switch off and relax. They are wary around strangers, but should be quick to warm up once someone is introduced as a friend. The Terv is good with respectful children of their own family and can make a great household companion in the right home.

Belgian Shepherd Tervueren on the competition

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Belgium

One of four varieties of Belgian Shepherd (the others being the Malinois, the Groenendael and the Laekenois), the Tervuren is more closely related to the Groenendael than to the other two. Where the Groenendael is always black the Tervuren comes in a range of shades of red, fawn and grey with black shading to the hair, and is thought that at one point these were one and the same breed, with the solid blacks that became the Groenendael being split out and bred only to one another, leaving the Tervueren as its own breed. Used as sheep herding and driving dogs, with a secondary role as watch and guard dogs, they are an intelligent breed, keen to work with their people but also capable of making independent decision where there is no instruction from an owner or handler.

Although initially classified as a single breed with as many as eight coat types/sub-types, in 1905 it was decided to separate the types into their own respective breed standards, although the First World War hampered this and in 1920 with breed numbers low, careful inter-breeding of types was permitted once again. Today interbreeding is not permitted and the Belgian Tervuren is recognised as a separate member of the four Belgian Shepherd breeds in most countries including the UK.

Did you know?

Did You Know?

The Belgian Tervuren was, if you lived in the UK at least, on our screens most weeks for 14 years, as the dog who played Wellard in EastEnders was in fact a Belgian Tervuren. Wellard was played by three bitches; Zenna, her daughter Chancer and then Zenna’s granddaughter Kyte, who had the role for 7 years until Wellard’s on-screen death in 2008.