Last Updated on October 20, 2022 by Pets Feed
Among the other 4 species of Belgian Shepherd Dogs, the Laekenois definitely stands out. He is not inferior to the rest either in physical strength or endurance, but has an amazing curly coat, which gives the dog an interesting, unusual look.
Laekenois is a shepherd dog, with all its inherent qualities, therefore, before you start such a pet, you should weigh all the pros and cons, yet we are not talking about a room, sofa dog.
|Country of origin||Belgium|
|Weight||25 – 35 kg|
|Height (at the withers)||60 – 66 cm|
|Life expectancy||12 years|
Description of the breed Belgian shepherd Laekenois
The growth of Laekenois males varies from 62 to 66 cm, they weigh 25-35 kg, bitches are slightly lower – 58-60 cm with a body weight of 20-26 kg. The standard describes dogs as follows:
- The head is elegantly set, elongated, elongated, well-defined.
- The muzzle is rectangular, wedge-shaped, with an even bridge of the nose, a smooth stop and thin lips. The jaws open well, with a full row of strong teeth forming a scissor or pincer bite.
- The nose is well developed, pigmented in a black shade.
- The eyes are slanted, elongated, small in size, with dark, stretched eyelids and a black or brown iris.
- Ears – set high, they are rather small, in the form of triangles.
- The neck is moderately elongated, with a high fit, there is an extension to the shoulder blades. The withers are poorly expressed, there is no dewlap.
- Body – square format, strong, with a good, voluminous chest and oval ribs. The back is straight, shortened, passes into a strong loin and a slightly sloping croup. The belly line is tucked up, but not too tight.
- Tail – harmoniously placed, of medium length. In a calm state, it is lowered down, the tip is slightly bent.
- Legs – Powerful, long, with strong bones, lean muscles and rounded legs.
Wool quality and possible colors
All Belgian Shepherds are designed to live in harsh climates, so they have a well-developed undercoat, and the Laekenois is no exception. In this species, the guard hair is harsh, wiry, the dog looks disheveled, sloppy. On the muzzle and extremities, it is shorter than on other parts, on the body its length does not exceed 6 cm. The tail is moderately pubescent.
Until now, experts argue about exactly what color the coat should be pigmented in Laekenois, but the standard states that only individuals with a red, warm color and a coal-black coat in the area of the muzzle and tail are allowed. Gray dogs are also popular among lovers of this type of “Belgian”, but they are not allowed to the exhibitions.
Behavior and character
Since the history of the Belgian Shepherd Dogs began not so long ago, the representatives of the breed still retain the working qualities of their ancestors. These dogs do an excellent shepherd job, and also cope with security and search activities. Of course, today they are rarely used as shepherds, but they have successfully shown themselves in other directions.
All Belgians are very sensitive pets, ready to communicate with their owner. Naturally, this requires certain conditions, the puppy must not only be trained, but socialized. The kid should be in crowded places, get acquainted with other animals and people, this will exclude the possibility that the dog will grow up timid, insecure, hysterical or overly aggressive.
Laekenois gets along well with children. The dog may not play with babies, but he tends to obey the younger members of the family. As for other pets, problems can arise here. It will be difficult for these dogs to get along with rodents, which will evoke hunting instincts in the dog and be considered a “victim”. This can also apply to cats, however, if only the shepherd is not properly raised.
- The Laekenois is a wire-haired type of shepherd, but Belgians do not recommend following the traditional procedure for such dogs – trimming, i.e. pulling out dead hair. They have a different opinion on this – dogs should naturally fade, after which their “fur coats” are renewed.
- But if such an animal lives in apartment conditions, the abundant hair loss will be a great nuisance. In this case, you can periodically treat your pet with a special brush or furminator, thereby helping the dog to get rid of old hair.
- The Laekenois coat can be completely self-cleaning, so it does not require frequent washing. Even when the dog is very dirty, it is enough for him after drying to shake the dirt so that it disappears.
- Animal teeth require special attention. It is recommended to clean them 1-2 times a week.
- Ears should be cleaned as needed using herbal products.
- It is enough to inspect the eyes regularly, but you can only wipe them if they are acidified or dirty.
Experts strongly recommend keeping any type of Belgian Shepherd in a country home. It is best if your pet has a spacious aviary.
The ancestors of the Belgian shepherd dogs had surprisingly good health, but the breeding work has made its own adjustments, and the Belgians still have diseases that are transmitted from generation to generation. Among the most common pathologies, the following can be noted:
- Large joint dysplasia is an inherited disorder in which the hip bone does not fit properly to the joint. Pathology disrupts the gait of the animal; the dog feels pain and begins to limp. Large dogs are more likely to suffer from this disease.
- Eye conditions – usually cataracts or glaucoma, are sometimes genetic abnormalities that affect older dogs.
- Volvulus of the stomach can be either hereditary or acquired. In the latter form, the development of pathology is associated with malnutrition. This disease can lead to the death of the dog. To avoid this, it is important to give your pet a rest after a meal, without burdening it with work.
- Infertility – occurs in individuals of both sexes.
- Rapid physiological aging – dogs are already aging quite intensively, but with this phenomenon this does not happen by 9-10 years, but earlier – 5-7 years, the dog develops diseases inherent in older animals.
The origin of the breed
On the territory of Belgium at the end of the 19th century, there were many dogs that did an excellent job as a shepherd. They were motley, differed in size and appearance, united by only one type of activity. This prompted dog breeders to get a single breed that would have improved working qualities and a uniform exterior.
In 1891, Mr Rel and a group of enthusiasts created the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club in Brussels. In the same year, an exhibition was held, in which more than a hundred individuals participated. Some of the participants were selected for further breeding work.
As a result, the breeders received not one, but four varieties of “Belgian” – tervuren, malinois, groenendael and Laekenois. Today, the International Cynological Association rates them according to a single standard, although in some countries they are still accepted as separate breeds.
Laekenoisis one of the rarest species of Belgian shepherd dogs, the breed was named after the Château de Laquin, a residence owned by Queen Henrietta of Belgium.