Groenendael | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures


A beautiful dog in a saturated black color is the Groenendael. It is his color that is the hallmark of the breed. Thanks to the black luxurious coat, Groenendael can not be confused with any other look.

The original purpose of the Belgian Shepherd was a shepherd’s work. Now this smart dog is considered universal, it can be an alert watch dog, a guard of the owner’s property and a true friend for all members of the household.

The Groenendael is one of the four varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dogs. The distinctive features of the breed are called deep black color, as well as the exceptional intelligence and ingenuity of its representatives.

Dog sheet Groenendael

Groenendael photos

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Physical characteristics

Groenendael refers to medium-sized rocks. He has a proportionate, harmonious physique. This dog perfectly combines strength and elegance. The weight of adults is 25-35 kg. With a growth of about 56-66 cm.


Distinctive features

  • Head: Graceful, elongated. The cheeks are flat. The transition to the muzzle is pronounced. It is the same length as the vault of the skull.
  • Jaws: Powerful with a level or scissor bite.
  • Ears: Triangular, set high.
  • Eyes: Almond shaped, medium size. Dark brown color.
  • Torso: They have an athletic build with well-developed muscles. The chest is deep. The back is horizontal. The croup is sloping and developed.
  • Legs: Long and muscular. The forelimbs are rounded, the hind limbs are oval. The fingers are arched with black claws. The pads are thick.
  • Coat: Long, straight. There is a thick undercoat. A little short on the muzzle and under the legs.
  • Black color, may have white markings.

Character and behavior

The main character traits of the Belgian Shepherd – Groenendael: independence, love of freedom, courage, activity, endurance, playfulness, fidelity.

The independence of the Groenendael is manifested in its ability to make decisions independently, if the situation requires it. These seemingly quite peaceful dogs turn into fearless defenders when it is necessary to defend the property of the owner or himself.

The dog is infinitely devoted to his master. With proper education, he obeys implicitly not only him, but also all members of the family. It refers to strangers without much aggression, but wary. At any moment, Groenendael is ready to respond to the provocation of a stranger and show in all its glory its security and watchdog qualities.

Specimens of the breed easily find a common language with children. Tolerate children’s pranks, for example, pulling on the ears or the tail … but not for long.

As a herding dog, the Groenendael constantly strives to raise children, reacting to their disobedience with a loud bark. This does not mean that he is capable of harming the child, on the contrary, he will protect him.

With other pets, especially small dogs, this Belgian Shepherd does well.


Dogs need early socialization and proper training, which is best done under strict professional guidance.


The owner of the Groenendael must be aware of the main diseases that the pet is predisposed to:

  • Epilepsy – accompanied by convulsions, involuntary bowel movements.
  • Joint dysplasia – at the initial stage it is accompanied by pain, with further development of the disease lameness appears, pain becomes unbearable, immobilization occurs at the last stage.
  • Obesity – occurs due to improperly composed diet, overfeeding.
  • Eye diseases – most often the eyes of the Groenendael suffer from inflammatory processes, conjunctivitis.
  • Allergy – may occur from improperly selected detergents, allergic reactions to products also occur, therefore, it is necessary to introduce new ingredients into the Belgian diet very carefully, gradually.
  • Depression – a prolonged depressive state with subsequent disruption of the body can occur due to isolation of the Groenendael from people, this is a very sociable dog, loneliness is destructive for this dog.

Life expectancy

Belgian Shepherd Groenendael is a naturally strong and healthy dog. With proper care, representatives of the breed can live up to 12-14 years.


Regarding the maintenance of health and beauty, the owner should accustom the dog from puppyhood to the following procedures:

  • Constant and long walks with games are necessary in which the dog will be able to express himself and show his skills.
  • Early socialization is mandatory.
  • The dog’s coat deserves special care. It is combed twice a week to avoid tangles. During the moulting period, this procedure is carried out 3-4 times in 7 days.
  • The bath – 4-5 times a year.
  • Periodically wipe the coat with a damp towel and clean it with a dry brush.
  • Eyes and ears are checked daily. Remove any contamination as needed.


Representatives of the breed are famous for their mobility, so they need regular active walks for at least an hour a day.

Fun facts

  • The Belgian Shepherd is characterized by an excessive sense of ownership. If this dog has already determined a place, food or thing of its own, it will zealously protect its property even from an adversary that is superior in strength and size.
  • Groenendael refers to long-lived dogs. There are cases when representatives of this species crossed the life line at 18 years old.
  • The frost and snow are not terrible for the Groenendals. On the contrary, the favorite winter entertainment of such a dog is to find a larger snowdrift and dig into it with his head, as if swimming in the snow.

History of the breed

The first information about Belgian shepherds is dated 1650. A variety of this breed called “Groenendael” appeared in 1879. The ancestor of these dogs is Nicholas Rose. It was in his possessions “Chateau Groenendael” that was born the first litter of a new breed. Parents of puppies differed from other Belgian shepherds in long black hair. This feature has become a hallmark of all Groenendals.

The main function of the Belgian Shepherd Dog is the protection and supervision of a herd of livestock. Over time, extraordinary mental abilities, industriousness, endurance allowed the Groenendael to be not only an ideal shepherd, but also a watch dog, guard, search dog and just a pet. Belgian shepherds were especially noted in the police and customs. These smart animals take part in various competitions, often coming out of them as winners.

In 1912, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Belgian breed Groenendael.


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