Belgian Laekenois

Belgian Laekenois

The rarest of the four types of Belgian Shepherds, the Belgian Laekenois is immediately recognizable by the harsh, tousled coat. Like the other Belgian variants, the Laekenois is an alert, hard-working dog with great loyalty and affection toward its people.

Illustration courtesy of the American Kennel Club

Quick Facts


Height

Male: 24-26in

Female: 22-24in

Weight

Male: 55-66lb

Female: 44-55lb

Fun Fact

Despite being a multitalented dog who goes to war, guards royal sheep, and excels at sports, the Belgian Laekenois was used for another special task back in the day: they were trained to guard laundry as it was out hanging to dry!

About this Breed

The Belgian Laekenois is one of a few types of Belgian Shepherd. And guess where they come from? You guessed it: Belgium. The Belgian Laekenois is different from the other Shepherds in that they have an unusual, almost tweedy, coat. They have long wiry fur and always seem to have a permanent case of bedhead.

Belgian Laekenois’ trace their history back to the Belgian Royal Family, where they were originally bred in the municipality of Laeken (in Brussels) to herd and protect the royal sheep. The Belgian Laekenois is one of a few similar Belgian shepherds- they are related to the Malinois, the Groenendael, and the Turveren, and are differentiated mostly by their different colors and coat textures.

In fact, there was some controversy as to whether or not these different coat colors and textures meant that they were all different breeds, or just different varieties of the same breed. Ultimately, they were declared separated breeds by the AKC, and Belgian Laekenois are the rarest of the Belgian shepherds.

Belgian Laekenois’ were bred to be herding and guard dogs and were relatively unknown outside of their native Belgium until the first World War, when they were used in battle (mostly as message carriers), and were frequently seen delivering small parcels and letters to and from the Red Cross. Extremely intelligent, the Belgian Laekenois’ also excel as obedience competitors and in all types of dog sports, particularly agility, tracking, and schutzhund.

As you’ve probably already guessed from this description, the Belgian Laekenois is not for the novice owner. Fiercely intelligent and loyal, they need early socialization and thorough training to make sure they don’t outsmart you (even though, honestly, they probably can). They do well with other dogs generally, especially when they are introduced to them as pups, and dote on children. Just as with any shepherd with a strong instinct to protect, Belgian Laekenois’ need to be taught to differentiate between friend and foe.

With proper training, Belgian Laekenois’ can learn to adapt to nearly any living situation. Because of their history as herding and sporting dogs and their size, they are generally not suited to apartment living, but can adapt if given enough time outside to run. They still excel as sheep dogs, so if you have sheep that need herding, this dog makes a super intelligent and loyal companion. If not, they still make a great pet for the owner who is willing to take the time to train such an intelligent animal.

Belgian Laekenois on Embark

Explore some Embark dogs that share Belgian Laekenois ancestry.

  • Ciel

    Ciel

    Purebred

    Flaxfields Soulcrusher

    Flaxfields Soulcrusher

    Purebred

Favorite Names

For Males

  1. Ciel
  2. de Rafale Rêve de Homer
  3. de Rafale Rêve de Pays du Nord
  4. de Rafale Rêver de Vol
  5. de Rafale Rêver d'une Raison d'Être
  6. Devereux
  7. Flaxfields I Got a Roughside
  8. Flaxfields Soulcrusher
  9. Foxx - Tikal's Marion Rises in the Mist
  10. Akai-san no ko Coup de Foudre a Rafale

For Females

  1. Tikal's
  2. de Rafale Rêve de Danser sur la lune pour Coswald
  3. de Rafale Rêve du Début
  4. from laeken paradis Nohkalikia
  5. From Laeken paradis Oops I did it Again
  6. From Laeken Paradis Quality of life
  7. From Laeken paradis Red Devil
  8. From Laeken Paradis Sweet Angel
  9. Izze
  10. Lilli

Common Locations

  1. Florida, United States
  2. Louisiana, United States
  3. Vlaanderen, België
  4. California, United States
  5. Virginia, United States
  6. Lisbon, Portugal
  7. Georgia, United States
  8. Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine
  9. Sweden
  10. North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

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