As their name suggests, the Belgian shepherd dog was bred in Belgium, where his main use was as a herding dog. While members of this breed were originally used as working dogs, the Belgian shepherd also makes a good pet. Four different types of this breed are recognized by The American Kennel Club, with each type’s name coming from the locality from which they came.
1. The Tervuren
The Tervuren originally came from the village of Tervuren, which is where this dog gets his name. He is probably the most common and the most easily recognized out of the different types of Belgian shepherd. His long and thick fur can be anywhere from fawn to russet in color, with some black parts overlaying it. This long-coated dog requires daily brushing to remain free from tangles.
2. The Groenendael
Much like the Tervuren, the Groenendael has a long coat. However, this type has far more harshl;y textured fur, which has a long, straight outer coat, and a dense undercoat. While the Groenendael’s coat is long, it differs greatly from that of the Tervuren inasmuch as it is always pure black in color. Once again, this type needs to be brushed regularly, particularly when he goes through twice-yearly periods of heavy shedding.
3. The Malinois
Although his fawn or russet coat, with black overlaying fur, is similar in color to that of the Turvuren, the Malinois is a short-haired dog that has a coat with a firm texture. This type of Belgian shepherd is named for the small city of Malines, in which this dog was first bred.
4. The Laekenois
Probably the least common of all the types of Belgian shepherd is the Laekenois. Despite his apparent unpopularity today, this kind was favored by Queen Marie Henriette. As such, he was named after the Château de Laeken, which was her royal residence. His wiry hair, give him a shaggy appearance, thus making him look quite distinct from other kinds of Belgian shepherd. However, his coat has similar coloration to both the Tervuren and the Malinois.