AKC Group: Herding
The fourth variety of Belgian Shepherds, the first trace of the Tervuren was in the 1880s. The Tervuren, German Shepherd, French Shepherd and Dutch Shepherds were referred to as Continental Shepherds. The Tervurens almost disappeared after WWII. Breeding and importing into the U.S. helped the breed survive (and make a comeback). Tervurens were used as guard or sled dogs to pull the injured to safety or to deliver messages. Today, Tervurens are used for guarding and alongside law enforcement.
Size: 22 to 26 inches, 40 to 65 pounds.
Color: Black and tan, solid black, grey, silver or red.
Life span: 10 to 12 years.
Health problems: Mostly a healthy breed, Tervurens can develop hip dysplasia, epilepsy, eye or skin problems and gastric disorders including bloat or tortions.
This beautiful dog is hopelessly devoted to his family. They excel at work from obedience training, agility competitions, visiting seniors as a therapy dog, serving as a guide dog to the blind or in their original capacity as a herder. Tireless in their efforts, law enforcement agencies have fallen hard for the talented Tervuren.
The elegant Tervuren stands proud. He is alert, strong, agile and well-muscled. He is full of life and vigor. He has almond-shaped eyes, triangular ears that are stiff and erect. His tail has a slight curl and hangs low. The Tervuren feet look like they should be on a cat.
Possessing a wide array of skills, the Tervuren needs a job to exhibit their intelligence and expel some of their energy. In fact, if your Tervuren isn’t kept busy, you’ll learn to regret it. He’ll become destructive and hyperactive.
Tervurens form strong, deep bonds with their family. They tend to be reserved with strangers. Socialization is very important for your Tervuren. A wide array of experiences and different faces will help him develop self-confidence and mastery over his abilities. Easy to train, your Tervuren will provide many hours of entertainment. They even display a sense of humor! Need a workout buddy? Your Tervuren will happily accompany you.
His dense, heavy, long outercoat covers a dense undercoat that needs to be brushed daily. He may need a brushing multiple times during shedding seasons. Mats should be clipped from between toes and the outer ears. Tervurens shed heavily twice a year.
Tervurens don’t like leashes so be prepared for initial training in that area. Training (in every endeavor) should be firm, yet positive. Obedience is a great first step. If you can’t perform the obedience, it’s an absolute necessity to find a professional trainer. An untrained, unsocialized Tervuren will not last long in any home.