Belgian Laekenois Scientific Classification
- Scientific Name
- Canis lupus
Belgian Laekenois Conservation Status
Belgian Laekenois Locations
Belgian Laekenois Facts
Belgian Laekenois as a Pet:
- General Health
- Energy Level
- Tendency to Chew
- Family and kid friendliness
- Yappiness / Barking
- Separation Anxiety
- Preferred Temperature
- Cold climate
- Exercise Needs
- Friendly With Other Dogs
- Pure bred cost to own
- Dog group
- Male weight
- 55-65 lbs
- Female weight
- 55-65 lbs
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Belgian Laekenois Introduction
The Belgian Laekenois is an intelligent, hardworking dog. One of four (and perhaps the oldest) variations of the Belgian Shepherd, this energetic dog is distinguished by its rough red coat and is named after the village of Laeken in Belgium.
Originally bred to herd livestock (and protect drying laundry), this member of the herding group is up to almost any task. Its agile mind and sturdy build have suited it for various tasks, including carrying messages for the military and serving as police or narcotics dogs. It has a lot of energy and needs to be worked or exercised intensely.
Notwithstanding its working pedigree, the dog is also capable of loyal and affectionate interactions with its owners. When properly socialized, it can be a solid family dog, though adults should always monitor interactions with small children, as it tends to chase and nip at the heels when not properly trained.
Belgian Laekenois Fun Fact
In addition to guarding flocks, this dog was responsible for protecting hanging linen drying outdoors.
3 Pros And Cons Of Owning A Belgian Laekenois
The Laekenois is a quick learner who excels at challenges and is curious, observant, and obedient. They served as military dogs in WWII because of their trainability and adaptability.
|High exercise needs|
The Belgian Laekenois is a working dog. Its high-energy nature requires more than 60 minutes a day of intense activity. It enjoys time outdoors and benefits from time off-lead in an enclosed space.
As a herding dog, it is instinctively protective and territorial. A well-trained Laekenois makes a good watchdog due to its strength and size.
|Potentially destructive when bored|
This dog needs a job to do, or it can become destructive due to its energy and intelligence. Training in obedience or agility can help with that.
|Affectionate to owners|
It forms strong bonds with one or two members of the family. Its goal is to make its owners happy, and when directed, it will be joyfully obedient.
|Reserved with strangers|
The flip side of its protective and affectionate nature is that it is wary of strangers. It will take note of anyone new in its environment. If not properly engaged and socialized, it may bite.
History Of The Breed
The Belgian Laekenois is named for the municipality of Laeken, in Brussels, where they originated in the 1880s, as a herding dog of the Laeken Castle and can be traced to the Belgian Royal Family where they were intended to protect and herd the royal sheep. Originally thought to be the same breed of sheepdog as the Malinois, the Groenendael, and the Turveren, and merely differentiated by their coat colors and textures, they were all declared separate breeds by the American Kennel Club and the Belgian Laekanois is the oldest and rarest of the Belgian shepherds
The Best Dog Food For Belgian Laekenois
The Belgian Laekenois is a larger, high-energy dog that uses much energy. That, in conjunction with the breed’s potential hip and elbow issues, leads us at A-Z Animals to pick Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Grain Free & with Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food as the best dog food for the Belgian Laekenois.
Merrick Backcountry Dog Food is a freeze-dried kibble that packs a lot of protein into a smaller package. This brand is high in protein for the dog’s energy needs and has Glucosamine and Chondroitin to maintain healthy joints.
The Belgian Laekenois is a single breed, which means there is only one type of this particular shepherd but it does come in different coat colors. This sheepdog has a rough, tousled coat that comes in three possible shades of red, fawn, or tones of gray.
Size And Weight
The Belgian Laekenois is a sturdy, medium-to-large-sized dog that maxes out at about 55-65 lbs. The male will grow to approximately 24 to 26 inches, while the female will reach 22 to 24 inches in height.
|Height (Male)||24-26 inches|
|Height (Female)||22-24 inches|
|Weight (Male)||55-65 lbs.|
|Weight (Female)||55-65 lbs.|
Common Health Issues
While the Laekenois is a sturdy, robust breed with a relatively good health record, there are some issues you should keep an eye out for. Like many larger dogs, it tends to suffer hip and elbow dysplasia. Proper dental hygiene is a necessity for all dogs. Many of these issues are common to most dogs:
- Skin allergies
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Dental issues
Belgian Laekenois are active, intelligent, and hardworking dogs. Their energetic nature and trainability make them good hiking, running, and cycling companions. They tend to bond intensely with one or two family members, and they are good with children if they acclimate to them from an early age. Though they connect well with their owners, they tend to be wary of strangers. In conjunction with their intelligence and obedience, this alert nature makes them good guard dogs.
How to Take Care of Belgian Laekenois
Potential owners of a Belgian Lakaenois, especially a puppy, should consider several factors before taking on this challenge. Regular grooming, consistent training, intense exercise, and early socialization are required to care for this dog properly.
Maintenance And Grooming
The unique, wiry coat of the Laekenois requires special care. Trim the fur about twice a year to remove dead and stray hairs. Don’t shave it short, as this mars its appearance and will take years to grow back. A light shave every once in a while will be fine.
Laekenois don’t shed excessively, but they do shed the entire year. Regular combing with a coarse comb can prevent an excess of hair during any heavy shedding season. The hair should be rough and slightly tangled without curling. Try only to wash the coat when necessary because excessive washing can damage its waterproof nature.
The nails grow fast, so they should be trimmed regularly with a nail grinder to keep them from splitting and cracking. Make sure to brush the dog’s teeth regularly to avoid potential dental issues. Also, check the ears regularly for wax buildup and debris.
The Belgian Laekenois is an intelligent, active, and protective dog, and it’s easily bored. Consequently, it is vitally important that it be trained and socialized. Its herding instincts lead it to chase and nip, which should be actively discouraged. If a Laekenois has nothing to do, it will find something to do. It can be destructive when bored.
Its energy and intelligence make it good at dog sports, like agility training. It also excels at obedience training. Laekenois are very trainable and, in addition to serving as WWII messenger dogs, they currently do various tasks for law enforcement.
This dog has nearly boundless energy and requires more exercise than the typical dog. A short walk around the block won’t cut it! Sixty minutes a day, including a vigorous walk, is the bare minimum required for the Laekenois. Some play time off-lead in a safe, enclosed space is also recommended. Obedience and agility work are also good ways to tap this dog’s energy reserves. This dog wants to move!
Because of its protective and herding tendencies, Belgian Laekenois puppies must begin socialization as soon as possible. Due to their intelligence, they can start learning as early as eight weeks. It is recommended that they begin puppy kindergarten between 10-12 weeks and begin heavy socialization rounds. Also, if they are to be around cats, it is recommended that they be introduced to them when they are puppies.
Belgian Laekenois And Children
Laekenois can be good with children, but the dogs must be socialized at the puppy stage with them. Effective, consistent training is also necessary to curtail the dog’s nipping and chasing tendencies. Ideally, the children would be older so that they can handle the dog responsibly. Small children should only play with the dogs under adult supervision.
Dogs Similar To Belgian Laekenois
If you like dogs from the herding group, you may also like these:
- Great Pyrenees: Like the Laekenois, the Great Pyrenees is affectionate with its owners and wary of strangers. These dogs have been around for thousands of years.
- Border Collie: The Border Collie shares the intelligence and high energy of the Belgian Laekenois. Like the Laekenois, the Border Collie requires activity and direction.
- Bernese Mountain Dog: Another hardworking herding dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog, shares the Laekenois affection for cooler temperatures. They are also known to become attached to just one or two people.
Popular Names For Belgian Laekenois
Here are 10 of the most popular names for the Belgian Laekenois:
Belgian Laekenois FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Do Belgian Lakenois shed?
While shedding throughout the year, the Laekenois sheds very little. When it comes to heavier shedding season, brushing will help reduce the amount of fur found throughout your house.
How do you pronounce 'Laekenois?'
The proper pronunciation for ‘Laekenois’ is LAK-in-wah. This refers to the village of Laeken in Belgium. Though it looks like a Greek word, it is actually French.
Are Laekenois hypoallergenic?
Though its coat looks poodle-like, Laekenois are not hypoallergenic.
What breeds make up the Belgian Laekenois?
The Laekenois came from a common herding dog that was bred in Western Europe from breeds including the Bouvier des Ardennes, the Dutch Shepherd, and the German Shepherd.
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- Pet ID Register, Available here: https://petidregister.com/belgian-shepherd-laekenois/popular-belgian-shepherd-laekenois-boy-names-belgian-shepherd-laekenois-girl-names/
- American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/belgian-laekenois/
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- Smart Pet Decisions / Charles Fawole, Available here: https://petcalculator.com/how-fast-can-belgian-laekenois-run/