Without looking at last week’s Breed of the Week post, can you guess which one is the Tervuren?
Is it this one?
Or perhaps this one?
How about this one?
Maybe this last one?
If you picked number 2 …
… you’re correct 🙂
The Tervuren (pronouced Ter-v-yur-en), also known as the Belgian Shepherd Tervuren and Terv, is one of the four Belgian Shepherd Dogs to which the Belgian Sheepdog (Groenendael), our last Breed of the Week, belongs.
Much like the Belgian Sheepdog, the Tervuren is a high energy dog with a quick and intelligent mind. As such, they are often used in competition and as police and guard dogs. Their highly protective nature makes them wary of strangers and they will need to be socialized early to prevent unwanted aggressive behavior toward those outside their immediate family, including animals.
This breed of dog is a working dog. That means they need a job. If they don’t have a job, or at least enough exercise and mental stimulation, they will become bored and may take that boredom out on their owner’s decor, furniture, closet contents, garbage, or eardrums. Nor is this a dog that likes being left on its own all day long. The Tervuren is demanding of their owner’s time and attention and is not shy about letting them know if they’re not getting enough of either one. Be prepared to include the Terv in the majority of family activities!
Due to their temperament and high energy level, the Tervuren is not recommended for first-time dog owners as they can become overwhelmed by the breed’s physical and mental exercise requirements if they’ve not had experience with working breeds before. The Tervuren also tend to be sensitive to harsh corrections and heavy-handedness; either can cause irreparable damage to their confidence. They learn best with gentle but firm corrections, consistent rules, and plenty of rewards and positive reinforcement.
As a herding dog, the Tervuren is hard-wired to chase things that move, whether that be a child, a cat, a bike, a car, or a leaf on the wind! For this reason, a large backyard and secure fence are strongly recommended.
The coat of the Tervuren should be a rich fawn to russet mahogany color with a black overlay. The chest should be black or black and gray, while the face should have a black mask with black ears, and the tail should have a dark or black tip. The coat may darken with age, especially in males. Like the Belgian Sheepdog, the Tervuren boasts a double coat and sheds year-round. Weekly brushings of 15-20 minutes to remove dead and loose fur and remove tangles can help prevent excess fur ending up on the furniture, carpet, clothes, curtains, etc. Supplemental daily brushings of 1-2 minutes may also be beneficial. Males generally have 1 heavy shed per year, while females shed heavier between each heat cycle.
If you are interested in purchasing or adopting a Tervuren, please research the breed thoroughly to be sure they fit your lifestyle, activity level, and personality! This dog is high energy; you must have the time to exercise and play with them on a regular basis! This is also a dog that gets bored quickly and easily. You must be prepared to provide stimulating activities to keep their mind active and engaged.
Fun Fact: The breed standard states that a Tervuren when not under command is usually in motion!
Do you or have you owned a Tervuren? Tell us about him/her in the comments below! I would love to hear about your experiences!
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