The history and origin of this breed is surrounded by mystery and there is not enough historical information about them. These dogs were most likely developed from a common type of a herding dog, that was bred for working in Western Europe. For centuries, these dogs were used for herding in Belgium, but it was not until the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, when the breed was standardized and recognized.
2) Belgium Shepherd
There are four Belgium Shepherds – the Belgian Laekenois, Malinois, Tervuren and Groenendael. Some countries only recognize Belgium Shepherd as a breed with 4 different varieties, while some other kennel clubs, such as AKC recognize all four varieties as separate breeds. Most people agree, that the only big difference between those 4 dogs is the length of the coat and its color. Some people also say, there are some slight differences in the temperament, but even they agree that the differences are small.
Speaking of temperament, the Belgian Laekenois is often times describe as very very energetic and lively dog breed, which is extremely intelligent, hard working and alert, but also affectionate, playful and loyal to its people. These dogs are typically highly trainable and they can be trained to do almost any task. The Belgian Laekenois is also pretty protective breed and they tend to be suspicious towards strangers. These dogs will love to spend time with their people, play with older kids or other dogs in the family and just be part of the pack.
4) War Heroes
For most of the time, these dogs were used as herders, farmdogs and protectors, but they found utilization in other purposes as well. The Belgian Laekenois was for example used in both wolrd wars as exceptional messanger dog. They were known to fearlessly scamper through the most ferocious of battles, just to finish their task. These dogs made perfect soldiers and war heroes. Later they also find utilization as police dogs and they do serve as police dogs to this day.
As you can probably expect from a dog, that was for centuries use for hard work, this is very energetic dog with high exercise needs. It is important for them, to have some kind of a job in their life. It can be some dog sport such as agility or obedience trials. You can also occupy their mind and body by daily outdoor long walks accompanied with fun training or task oriented playtimes. These dogs are incredible problem solvers and they will love different puzzle games. This dog is perfect fit for active people who will keep them busy. If their exercise needs are not met, it is very likely they will find another way how to deal with their energy and than they can develop some unwanted behaviour, such as destruction.
This is very athletic and well proportioned breed with sturdy body and average height between 56-66 cm, which is 22-26 inch and weight is typically between 20-30 kg, which is 44-66 pounds. The females tend to be slightly smaller then males.
You already know, that the main difference between the four varieties of Belgian Shepherd is the coat. Well, the Belgian Laekenois is the rough haired variety. Their wiry and tousled coat can be up to two inches long and it comes in shades of red or fawn or in grayish tones.
As i already mentioned earlier in the video, this is extremely intelligent dog breed capable of learning all the different trick and commands very quickly. With patience and consistency, you can teach them absolutely anything. Its also important to mention, that these dogs have incredible memory, so it is important to teach them properly from the puppyhood, because once you teach them how to behave, it is quite hard to change it later.
This breed has a very descriptive name. They are named Laekenois after a city of Laeken in Belgium, where they were often times found working by guarding and tending flocks.
The Belgian Laekenois is usually very healthy and hardy dog breed with average lifespan 12-14 years. Of course, just like all dogs, even they can suffer from some health issues. The major health concerns associated with this breed are hip and elbow dysplasia, skin allergies and hypothyroidism.