Page 1 THE BELGIAN SHEEPDOG - I .. - -".`~~*. -
THE BELGIAN SHEEPDOG
- -".' ~~*.
The Belgian Sheepdog
Club of America, Inc.
This booklet is dedicated to the memory of
three members of the Belgian Sheep:iogClub
of America whose devotion and loyalty to the
breed caused their fellow members
Board of Directors to wish to honor them for
their service inpromoting the breed by this
William B. Vestal
The picture on the cover II of the ~Belgianl
on the Skyline- (Thor C.D.X., Bonita del Rio
Carmello, Ch. HadJe de Flanderl, U.D.T.)
who were owned by Mr. and Mrs. Vestal
some years ago.
Mr. Vestal was Informed, shortly before his
death, that this lovely picture, a favorite of
the entire fancy for years, had been selected
to be the only picture included in this booklet.
OF THE BELGIAN
- andTHE OFFICIAL
of the American
OF THE BSCA
C. W. Bliss
1st V. President
2nd. V. President
Mary K. Killa'WaY
.Robert D. Krohn
Dorothea M. Kelley
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
C. W. Bliss
29025 Gates MUls Blvd., Cleveland 24, Ohio
Mary K. Dilla\\l3.Y
Old Plymouth Road, Sagamore, R F D I,
Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts
Robert D. Krohn
2454 45th St., Los Alamos, New Mexico
Dorothea M. Kelley
Drive, Avon Lake, Ohio
Myron E. Rowland
1310 HoytAvenue, Muncie, indiana
C. Gene Summers
513 Price St., Charleston 2, West Virginia
William F. Burt
R. D. I, Concord,Mass.
Dr. Frank E. Dykema,
Belgian Sheepdog Club of America
The aim of this short description
give the reader a word pIcture of the Belgian
Sheepdog and to present the find qualities and
of the breed, one
of the dogs of the Working Group. Therefore,
our first step will be to introduce the reader
to the origins and background ofthe Belgian
The Belgian Sheepdog has an ancestry
which seems to be common to many of the
herding dogs used throughout the modern
The lineage can be traced back to
Central Europe, particularly
to the Mooreland dog.
Since Europe then was thinly populated as
to modern times, domesticated
herding and protection
from attackers such as wolves. Not only was
there danger from wild life; but, also, the
climate demanded animals that
could withstand all kinds of weather:
cold, rain, snow, any combination. As people
did not move about too much in the past, a
dog could be developed over the years that
would meet the needs of and conditions
in isolated areas.
Sheepdog came into being as a result of the
rugged climate and requirements
shepherd for a bright, strong, and agile dog.
Eventually the breed, truly the dog of the
Belgian Shepherd which included several
varieties of color and coat became so promInent as to be considered the national dog of
The breed inspiredOuida's
Flanders and the more famous poet, phTIOsO:
pller, and dramatist
both indicating the wiQe:'
spreaa ana exceptioDaI interest aftha Europeans. Belgian royalty even sponsored one
type of the Belgian Sheepdog.
The first organization for the purpose of
breeding specific types of Belgian Sheepdogs
was initiated by Professor
Reul v.rl.ln 1891
under the name of the Club du Chien d~
Berger BeIge. A few years later, in 1897,
the hIstory of the Groenendael (long haired,
black) Belgian Sheepdog began. About this
time, a resident of Veda, Mr. Beernaerte,
had found 1n Feluy-Arquermes
shepherd dog with long black hair working as
a herd dog. Impressed by Us beauty, speed,
and gentle sureness in herding the flock, he
acquired It and called It "Piccardd'Uccle."
Meanwhile, N. Rose, proprietor
Restaurant du Chateau de Groenendael,
already bred several sheepdogs with long
black hair and owned a bitch named" Petite."
"Piccard d'Uccle" was bred to .Petite"and
produced "Due de Groenendael", a sheepdog
with long black hair, beautiful little ears and
good tall carriage,
but with an enormous
white "cravat" on Its chest. From the same
Utter came "Pitt", "Barotllle",
all named .of Groenendael",
and It Is thus that the kennel name became
the name of one of the types of Belgian
All our good Groenendaels descend from these ancestors,
and you have
only to trace their pedigrees back far enough
to find at the origin "Piccard d'Uccle" and
The longhaired, blackGroenendael,after
makiag Its show debut In 1898, grew rapdily
in popularity in its native land and throughout the continent.
Shortly after the turn of
the century, Belgian Sheepdogs were imported into the United States, some being
used for pollee work in New Jersey and New
credit the breed
with being the first to be used for police and
popular type breed and shown in the United
States; and, although other types were imported from time to time, the Groenendael
color and physical characteristics
had become identified almost exclusively with the
breed name In the popular mind. On July 1,
1959, the American Kennel Club separated
the three types in the United States into
breeds, naming the Groenendael
the Belgian SheePdog. The other types (now
breeds) were named Belgian Tenuren
The Belgian Sheepdog
Club of America, Inc. founded in the early
part of the 20th Century Is a breed club
of the American
Membership is open to any person favorable
to its objectives of promoting the breed and
who Is In good standIng with the American
No resume would be complete without
reference to the outstanding character ofthe
Through great good fortune, the
European and American
Belgian Sheepdog have adhered to sound
breeding patterns, unhampered by the desire
for quick profit.
leal type has been improved.
The Belgian Sheepdog, noted for its intelligence
has been widely
used for police and war work abroad and in
The rapidity with wltich the
Belgian learns and its responsiveness
every wish make it a joy to train,
be it as working
of stock, as show dog, or as the
obedient house pet, companion to children
(for whom it shows great affection) and
guardian of property.
The natural herding instinct of these dogs
pius their superior speed and agility makes
The Belgian is
wonderful companion, especially
to its master's
moods. Orie must Hve with
these dogs to understand their deep loyalty
and affection for the immediate family. With
friends they are curious and reserved; with
alert. In personality, the Belgian
is happy and gay in spirit, Inquisitive of
mind, with a delightful humor that wUl bring
no dull moments, and an originality that will
leave the new owner amazed at the dog's
The Belgian Sheepdog starts out in life as
a wonderfully soft, fuzzy, black "bear cub" in
Soon this profile will be replaced by the aristocratic
beauty and elegance of the mature animal. Stunning in his
abundant coat, the Belgian Sheepdog makes
one of the most attractive
dogdom. A distinctive characteristic
Beigian is its proud bearing.
In show pose
the dog stands naturally, squarely on all four
The topHne is straight from back of
the withers to hips, with no slope as Is char-
of some shepherd breeds.
It is a
compact dog, giving a square appearance
when viewed from the side. His movement Is
quick and agile.
He Is never heavy-footed
and makes unbelievably
fast turns. In accordance with his heritage as herder, he is
built for maneuverability
as weli as endurance. He has a deep chest, small, compact
feet, moderate bone, and high set triangular
ears, held erect when at attention.
is heavily plumed, of medium length, and
carried rather gaily as he moves but dropped
as he stands.
on forelegs and
of body, ruff framing expressive
face and eyes, culotte add to the beauty...
this beauty being left "as is" for the show
The Belgian Sheepdog has a very desirable quality in that he has no objectionable
"doggy odor". He makes an excellent companion io the home as weli as In the field.
He changes coat usually once a year. Even
in this period. the householder
shedding of the soft undercoat far less a
problem than the shedding of some of the
smooth coated dogs whose hairs stick with
tenacity to upholstery and rugs. Some Belgian owners save combings for yarn and
made of U.
Another feature of practical Interest is
simplicity of grooming. The Belgian Sheepdog's long coat responds
sheen by first combing and follow-up with
An occasional trimming of
toenails and cutting of the hair between the
toes to keep the feet small and tight. cleaning the ears and seeing that teeth are kept
free of tartar...and
there you have It...even
if you plan to show the Belgian... maximum
of usefulness with minimum of care.
Basic to all training is OBEDIENCE;
whether it be for household, herding, war,
police, guide, guard, or any other type of
work for which Belgian Sheepdogs are used.
Their superior intellect lends itself to this
training; and one needs only to turn to the
record made at obedience trials to find the
degree to which Belgians have excelled.
Even though the total number of Belgian
Sheepdogs reg i s t ere d places the breed
among the less common dogs, the number
holding obedience titles (Companion Dog,
Companion Dog Excellent,
Tracking Dog) is much greater than breeds
that have a much larger portion of the dog
Not only do they earn their
but they are also top ranking at
where they appear In competition.
They are notable in the trials as happy and
They are always eager to
please and contrite when they have made a
Their happiness at pleasing their
handlers In trials Is shown by their quick
gaily wagging tails.
Persons new to training Belgian Sheepdogs are often astonished by their following
the quietly spoken command. Sometrainers
of these dogs have, therefore,
of using mental telepathy because of the
sharp contrast to the loudly bawled command too often heard at the trials.
Now we come to the final word in this
of the Belgian Sheepdog.
This black beauty is companion, protector,
stamina can be relied upon at all times.
If you are looking for an enthusiastic
MAN WHO OWNS
FOR BELGIAN SHEEPDOGS,
ON JUNE 9, 1959
JULY 1, 1959
The Belgian Sheepdog should reflect the
qualities of intelligence, courage, alertness,
and devotion to master,
To his inherent
aptitude as guardian of flocks should be
of the person and
property of his master. He should be watchful, attentive, and always in motion when not
In his relationship with humans he should
be observant and vigilant with strangers but
He should not show fear or
He should notshowviciousnessby
or unprovoked attack.
those he knows well, he is most affectionate
and friendly, zealous of their attention, and
of the Belgian
Sheepdog is that of a well-balanced
dog, elegant in appearance,
with an exceedingly proud carriage of the head alld neck. He
is a strong, agIle, well-muscled
alert and full of life. His whole conformation gives the impression
of depth and solidity without bulkiness.
The male dog is
grand than his female counterpart.
bitch should have a distinctly feminine look.
Males should be 24-26
Size and Substance
inches in height and females 22-24 inches,
measured at the withers.
The length, measured
from point of
breast bone to point of rump, should equal
the height. Bitches may be slightly longer.
heavy in proportion
is well balanced
spindly or leggy or
should be moderately
to his height so that he
Stance _ The Belgain Sheepdog should stand
squarely on all fours.
Side view: the top
line, front legs, and back legs should closely
approximate a square.
Indicates alertness, attention,
Gaze should be intelligent and questioning.
Coat - The guard hairs of the coat must be
straight, and abundant.
They should not be silky or wiry. The texture should be a medium harslmess.
undercoat should be extremely dense, commensurate,
however, with climatic condl-
tlons. The Belgian Sheepdog is particularly
adaptable to extremes
The hair is shorter on the head, outside
of the ears, and lower part ofthelegs.
opening of the ear Is protected hy tufts of
abundant hair, like a collarette,
neck, fringe of long hair down the back of
long and ahundant
breeches; long, heavy, and abundant hair on
Color - Black. May be completely black or
may be black with white, limited as follows;
Between pads of feet.
On tips of hind toes.
On chin and muzzle
On tips of front toes
Cleancut and strong, overall
be in proportion to the body.
Skull _ Top flattened rather than rounded.
The width approximately
the same, but not
wider, than the length.
pointed, avoiding any tendency tosnipinesl'l,
equal in length to that of
the top skull. The jaws should be strong and
The lips should he tight and
black, with no pink showing on the outside.
Ears - Triangular in shape, stiff, erect, and
to the head in size. Base of
the ear should not come below the center of
Eyes - Brown, preferably
Medium size, slightly almond shaped, not
spots or discolored
A full compiement of strong, white
teeth, evenly set. Should not be overshot or
Should have either an even bite
or a scissors bit.
Round and rather outstretched,
tapered from head to body, well muscled,
with tight skin.
The withers are slightly higher
and slope into the back which must be level,
and firm from withers to hip
The loin section, viewed from
above, Is relatively short, broad and strong,
but blending smoothly into the back. The
croup is medium long, sloping gradually.
Strong at the base, bone to reach hock.
At rest the dog holds it low, the tip bent back
level with the hock. When in action he raises
It and gIves it a curl, which Is strongest
toward the tip, withoutformlngahook.
Chest - Not broad, but deep.
point sbould reach the elbow, fonning a
smooth asceDdant curve to the abdomen.
Shoulder - Long and oblique, laid flat against
the body, forming a sharp angle (approximately 900) with the upper ann.
Straight, strong. and parallel to each
Bone oval rather than round. Development (length and substance) should be
to the size of the dog.
medium length. strong, and very
Round (cat footed), toes curved close
Nalls strong 8.D.d
black except that they may be white to match
white toe tips.
Broad and heavily muscled.
upper and lower thigh bones approximately
parallel the shoulder blade and upper arm
forming a relatively
angle at stifle Joint.
Legs - Length aDd substance well proportioned to the size of the dog. Bone oval
rather than round. Legs are parallel to each
The angle at the hock is relatively
sharp, although the Belgian Sheepdog does
not have extreme angulation.
medium length. stroDg, and slightly sloped.
Dew Claws, If 8.D.y,should be removed.
Feet - Slightly elongated.
close together, well padded. Nails strong
and black except that they may be white to
match white toe tips.
Motion should be smooth, free and easy,
seemIngly never tiring, exhlbitingfacHityof
movement rather than aharddrivingaction.
He tends to single track on a fast gait; the
legs, both front and rear, converging toward
the center Une of gravity of the dog. The
backline should remain firm and level, parallel to the line of motion with no crabbing.
He shows a marked tendency to move in a
circle rather than a striaght line.
Any deviation from these specif1catlons
is a fault. In determining whether a fault Is
minor, serious, or major, these two factors
should be used as a guide:
1. The extent to which it deviates from the
2. The extent to which suchdeviationwould
actually affect the working ability of the
any color other than black, except for white In specified areas.
3. Ears - hanging (as on a hound).
4. Tall - cropped or stump.
5. Males under 22-1/2 or over 27-1/2
inches in height.
Females under 20-1/2 or over 25-1/2
Inches in height.