There are several varieties of the Belgian Shepherd. And one of them is the Groenendael - a dog breed that has become famous not only in Belgium. These animals are very popular in many European countries due to their external charm, cheerful good-natured disposition and devotion.
Description of the breed
These dogs are distinguished by amazing beauty and article. Outwardly resembling a wolf, the Groenendael has a black silky and dense coat with a thick undercoat. Thicker on the neck, it resembles a chic frill, and forms beautiful fringes on the hips and tail.
Straight back, tucked up stomach, proudly planted head and developed muscles give the image a very harmonious look. The height at the withers is from 58 to 63 centimeters, weight - about 30 kg. One of the requirements for the exterior is brown eyes (the darker the better), as well as erect, rounded ears. It is considered acceptable in color to have a small white tie on the chest and the same marks on the paws.
Everyone who sees this shepherd at least once, will certainly have a desire to find out in more detail what kind of dog breed is the Groenendael. Their photographs captivate and amaze with the amazing beauty and strength of animals.
Origin of the breed
Sheepdogs have existed in Belgium since time immemorial. It is believed that they are descended from herding dogs brought from Central Europe and crossed with mastiffs and deerhounds. All of them had a different coat and color. And only in 1891, several varieties of this breed were described by a local professor of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and it was proposed to distinguish breed standards depending on the length of the coat and color.
This is how the black semi-longhaired Belgian Shepherd Dog was identified, which received the name "Grunendael" by the name of a place near Brussels, where for many years the dog breeder Nicholas Roz was engaged in breeding and improving this breed. Later, many other cities in Belgium began to breed these dogs, and only by 1910 the standards were finally formed, which the Grunendal dog breed still meets today.
Features of the breed
These dogs have an athletic, muscular build and versatile abilities that require some dog training. From a very early age, they strive to protect their territory and protect the owner. Groenendael is a human-oriented dog breed. Therefore, they need constant communication, joint walks and dailyworkouts.
These dogs are happy to play the role of a companion and become a member of the family. So putting such a shepherd dog in a kennel is not entirely prudent. Groenendael dogs easily adapt to new conditions and are very attached to their owner, being an example of canine devotion.
During the development of the breed, one of the selection criteria was intelligence, thanks to which these dogs are endowed with excellent mental abilities and excellent memory. They are very intelligent, able to quickly and easily learn any tricks. Being descendants of shepherd dogs, they strive to take under their guardianship the weakest member of the family, who is accompanied (herded) everywhere and ready to protect if necessary.
Grunendal dog breed is endowed with a high degree of activity and vigor. Photos describing the features of Belgian Shepherds and their behavior during classes and training show how mobile, graceful and swift they are. These dogs are completely unsuitable for keeping on a leash. They must receive a daily load, be constantly at work and on the move. Being idle for a long time can cause a surge of energy directed in an undesirable direction.
Grunendael is a breed of dogs distinguished by special devotion to the owner. They get along well with children and other pets. However, they can be aggressive towards other dogs and have a tendency to chase cats.
Although the breed was bred as a shepherd, today these dogs are almost never used for grazing livestock. But they show their instinct very well if they get into such conditions where they can observe the herd. When breeding these shepherd dogs, much attention was paid to the results of competitions and exhibitions, so many representatives of the Groenendael breed win prizes in such disciplines as shepherd service, ring, agility, etc.
The working qualities of these dogs are in great demand in many activities. They are used in the service of the army and the police, often preferring German shepherds. To perform the functions of a nanny and superbly monitor children, search for and detain criminals, participate in search and rescue operations and carry out guard duty - a job that the Groenendael dog breed easily copes with.
The maintenance of dogs of this breed does not cause much trouble. Animals are very unpretentious, thick long hair makes it easy to endure any weather conditions. Therefore, the dog can safely live both in the apartment and on the street. But the conditions of living in a country house are best suited for her. Long walks and daily exercise are very important for this breed.
Wool requires daily brushing to prevent tangles. This is especially true with the onset of the molting period, which happens once a year. The shed undercoat is combed very easily, which makes care forwool is completely easy for the owner. Groenendael is a breed of dog that should not be bathed unless absolutely necessary. Their wool is quite tough and silky, so if dirt sticks to it, then it crumbles very easily when it dries, leaving almost no traces.
This breed requires a variety of foods. Even meat must be combined with other components. For the full development of a shepherd dog, protein is needed (it is found in large quantities in foods such as milk, meat, eggs, fish), carbohydrates (cereals, bakery products) and fats in the form of butter and vegetable oil.
When feeding a dog with natural products, do not forget about vitamins and mineral supplements. It is unacceptable to overfeed the animal, as this threatens with serious diseases of the liver and heart. Also, do not give too many bones and fatty foods, this can cause allergic reactions.
Parenting and care
Grunendael dogs are very active, so if you do not train them, you can face a lot of trouble and complaints from neighbors. Therefore, from the first days of the appearance of a puppy in the house, it is necessary to give him enough time and attention, educating and teaching the rules of behavior. This breed, as we have already mentioned, needs maximum communication with the owner, and it can take place in a variety of forms. The Grunendael dog breed requires a wide variety of activities.
How to train your pet so that development is comprehensive? There are quite a few tricks in the form of playing, searching for various things, etc. The main thing is that the dog does this with pleasure, rudeness and cruelty towards it will only cause mistrust towards the owner. Possessing an excellent memory and a high degree of obedience, these dogs easily grasp commands and quickly understand what is required of them. Innate sensitivity and alertness allow them to be used as watchmen. Easily trained for reliable protection from uninvited guests and for formal protection in the form of giving voice, the Grunendael dog breed.
Proper care of the dog, work on its upbringing and training will allow you to get great pleasure and enjoyment from the presence of this four-legged friend in your home. Long walks in the fresh air with such a companion and active games will make life more interesting and varied.