Belgian Tervuren Dog: History, Temperament, Care, Training & more

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Belgian Tervuren Dog Breed Information

Also known as the Tervuren

Belgian Tervuren Dog
Level of Energy  
Exercise Needs  
Level of Affection   
Climate Tolerance   
Good With Children    
Tolerance of Animals    
Suitable as Watch Dog    

Belgian Tervuren Dog – Just The Facts

  • AKC Popularity:  108
  • AKC Breed Group: Herding
  • Size of Male:  65-75 lbs., 24-26 in.
  • Size of Female:  60-70 lbs., 22-24 in.
  • Color:  Fawn to Russet Mahogany with Black Overlay
  • Average Lifespan:  12-14 years
  • Breed Origin:  Belgium
  • Purpose:  Herding, Police Work

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General Description

The handsome Belgian Tervuren is one of four Belgian Sheepdogs. In the U.S. these dogs are classified as different breeds but in other countries they are viewed as different varieties of the same breed.

The Tervuren is an intensely loyal, intelligent dog who is often used in police work, search and rescue, bomb detection and other fields where intelligence and focused training are needed. Tervurens tend to form very strong bonds with their owners. They are very versatile dogs but they usually need an experienced owner.

Origin and History

The Belgian Tervuren was originally a Belgian Sheepdog, used for herding, in Belgium. They were named for the Belgian village of Tervuren. They share a common heritage with other Belgian Sheepdogs (the Belgian Groenendael, the Belgian Malinois, and the Belgian Laekenois).

In most countries, all four of these dogs are considered to be one breed but in the U.S. they are considered separate breeds. Today, the Tervuren is primarily used for police dog work, for search and rescue, for narcotics and bomb detection, and for schutzhund. They can also be used as guide dogs and to help the disabled.

Belgian Tervuren Dog Temperament

The Tervuren is a highly intelligent dog who is capable of a high degree of training. They need a job to do in order to be happy. They are extremely loyal and very devoted to their owners. They are also very high energy dogs. However, they are not for everyone.

They can be challenging dogs to own. They need a great deal of daily exercise and they need the right kind of leadership and training. Otherwise they can become high strung and nervous. They are demanding dogs and they can try to dominate people and other pets. They require a great deal of early socialization. They are not usually recommended for first-time dog owners.

Care, Grooming, Diet & Exercise

Living Environment – The Tervuren is very people-oriented and prefers to be where they are. They can do well in an apartment situation if you are dedicated to giving them plenty of daily exercise. However, they usually do best if they have at least a small yard. They generally do well in all climates but they prefer cooler temperatures.

Grooming – The Tervuren has a moderately long, straight outer coat and a dense undercoat. They require daily brushing to prevent mats from forming. They tend to shed lightly but at a constant rate. You can expect the males to shed heavily at least once a year and the females will shed heavily shortly after they have their seasons.

Diet & Exercise – The Belgian Tervuren has normal dietary needs but they do have a very high demand for exercise. They are high energy dogs and they need vigorous daily exercise.

If they do not get enough exercise they can become high strung, nervous and destructive. Make sure that you do not overfeed your Tervuren since they can be prone to becoming overweight.

Health – Tervs are a generally healthy breed but they can be susceptible to a few health problems such as epilepsy, skin allergies, eye issues and elbow and hip dysplasia.

None of these problems occurs with any frequency. However, the breed can be prone to shyness or aggressive dog behavior if they are not socialized properly. You should always talk to a breeder about health issues before getting any puppy.

Belgian Tervuren Dog Trainability

The Belgian Tervuren is extremely intelligent and they are highly trainable. This can be a very high strung and sensitive breed so make sure you do not use harsh training methods. Instead, use positive dog training methods (praise, rewards).