Our last and final of the four Belgian Shepherds, the Laekenois (pronounced Lak-in-wah). Like many of the others, it is mostly distinguished from the others by its coat color and texture. Note the woolly texture and the intermixed brown and white fur.
The Laekenois is considered the oldest and the rarest of the four varieties of Belgian Shepherd. Much like the other varieties, the Laekenois is very athletic and quick to comprehend new commands. They need to be challenged both physically and mentally or else they may become destructive. The Laekenois should not be left alone for extended periods of time. They need to be a part of their family’s daily activities.
Loyal and extremely protective of those they consider a part of their family, Laekenois should be socialized from a young age to prevent negative aggressive behavior toward those they don’t consider part of their immediate family. Their protective behavior also means they excel as protection and guard dogs if given the right training. They also do well in competitive sports such as agility, Flyball, Frisbee, obedience, tracking, herding, and sled and cart pulling. Today, they are mostly used as police and guard dogs, though they can also be used in search and rescue, narcotics and bomb detection, and as guide and therapy dogs.
The coat should be fawn-colored intermixed with white to give it a tweed-like coloring. Black shading around the muzzle and tail is acceptable among the breed standard. The coat should be wiry, but never curled. They will need trimmed at least twice a year, however do not allow for a close shave, only a light trim as shaving will destroy the integrity of the coat for several years.
Please do your research if you’re considering purchasing or adopting this breed of dog! They are high energy and must be both physically and mentally challenged on a daily basis. These dogs are not for everyone and do best with an active family or with a family that can give them a job to do.
Fun Fact: The USA recognizes all varieties of the Belgian Shepherd except the Laekenois as separate and distinct breeds.
Do you or have you owned a Laekinois? Tell us about him/her in the comments below! I would love to hear about your experiences!
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