Belgian Laekenois

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AKC Group: Miscellaneous
Belgian Laekenois were used to herd sheep at the Royal Castle of Laeken. They are considered to be the oldest and most rare of the Belgian Shepherd dogs.
Size: 22 to 26 inches tall; 55 to 65 pounds
Color: Mahogany to fawn. Sometimes seen in brown or white.
Life span: 12 to 14 years
Health problems: Occasionally hip dysplasia, skin allergies or eye problems have been seen.
The Belgian Laekenois is not the dog if you’re inexperienced with dogs. They are an extremely loyal and protective breed. They need plenty of human interaction and will not do well if left alone for
too long, becoming destructive. They tend to bond to one person. They do well with kids they’ve been raised with. Always avoid chasing and tug-of-war games as well as roughhousing. They don’t do well with other companion animals, but do well with other canines that they’ve been raised with. They are suspicious of strangers and (again) are very protective of their family, territory and property. They love having a task and need much mental stimulation, so as much training as you can give him, the better for the both of you. They are very intelligent dogs! Always be firm, but never harsh. He will take it as a challenge. It’s so much easier to train him by using rewards instead of punishments. They tend to be shy as puppies, so this is the ideal to socialize him. The more time they spend with children or other animals, the more confidence they will develop. (Laekenois who haven’t been trained properly will later exhibit excessive aggressiveness.)
A herding dog, the Laekenois have heavily muscular hind legs. They have a fairly pointy muzzle and small ears that look out of place. (This is a common complaint with Laekenois lovers.) The Laekenois closely resembles all the other Belgian Shepherd dogs. They have shaggy and unruly hair. The teeth should meet in a scissor bite. His rough, wiry coat requires trimming twice a year. Dead (or excessive) hair should be removed with a coarse-toothed comb. If a groomer suggests a close trim, say no. You’ll ruin his coat. Bathe only when necessary, as frequent bathing will remove his natural waterproof-ness.
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