To many, it may surprise that there are four different varieties of the Belgian Shepherd. The Belgian Shepherd is a fantastic breed of dog, with four types of coats in one breed.
The dog should be completely black or be black with white limited as follows: small to moderate patch on forechest, between the pads of the feet, on tips of hind toes, and frost on the chin and muzzle. White on the tips of the front toes is allowable but is a fault. The black, long-haired variety is known as GROENENDAEL.
The dog should be either rich fawn to russet mahogany or distinctly grey, each with a black overlay. The coat is characteristically double pigmented, wherein the tip of each hair is blackened.On mature males, this blackening is especially pronounced on the shoulders, back, and rib section. The chest colour is a mixture of black and grey. The face has a black mask and the ears are mostly black. The underparts of the dog, tail, and breeches are light beige or grey. A small white patch is permitted on the chest but should not extend into the neck or breast. Frost on the chin or muzzle is normal. Too light a colour or too black a colour is a serious fault. This variety is known as the TERVUREN.
The coat should be comparatively short and straight with a dense undercoat. It is very short on the head, the ears and lower legs. The hair is somewhat longer around the neck where it forms a collarette and on the tail and back of the thighs. The colour should be from a rich fawn to mahogany with a black overlay. There should be a black mask and black ears. The underparts of the body, tail, and breeches are lighter fawn. A small white patch on the chest is permissible as is white on the tips of the toes. A washed-out fawn colour is undesirable. This variety is known as the MALINOIS.
The coat should have a rough or dry texture and appear unkempt. The undercoat is thick and woolly. The coat is of medium length on all parts of the body except the head where the hair on the skull is short while the hair on the muzzle is slightly longer forming a beard or whiskers. The coat should be light fawn to red brown in colour. Grey is acceptable as well. Blackening may appear on the muzzle, ears, and tail. The underparts of the dog, tail, and breeches are light beige or grey. The tail should not form a plume. A small amount of white is permitted on the chest and the tips of the toes. This variety is known as the LAEKENOIS.
The Purpose of Cat Feet in Dogs Cat feet are known to help dogs with endurance. Indeed, according to research conducted by Christine Zink in 2020, cat feet are seen in dogs selectively bred to move effortlessly over rocky or uneven ground.
Zink has compared cat-footed dogs with the knobby tires of an ATV meant for improving grip on uneven surfaces.
It's therefore not a coincidence that many dog breeds blessed with cat feet were selectively bred for agility in moving in all directions or over rough ground.
Being round and with short third digital bones, these paws require less energy to lift off the ground.
The perfect example of a cat-footed dog is the Afghan hound, a breed that was selectively bred to hunt prey over rocky ground.
However, not all cat feet in dogs are desirable. Depending on the breed, cat feet may be a highly desirable trait or a major fault.
General appearance The first impression of the Belgian Shepherd Dog is of a well-balanced square dog, elegant in appearance, with an exceedingly proud carriage of head and neck. He is a strong, agile, well-muscled animal, alert and full of life. His whole conformation gives the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness. The male appears unquestionably masculine; the female has a distinctively feminine look. The male and female are to be judged with equal consideration. Like many European breeds, different coat colours, textures, and lengths were preferred by the original fanciers. Today, four distinct coat types are recognized and are the distinguishing characteristics of the four varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dog. The long-haired Groenendael and Tervueren, the short-haired Malinois, and the rough-haired Laekenois variety differ in coat colour, length and texture but are unmistakably the same breed.
What is OFA certification?By David Mead • September 14, 2021
In 1996, John M. Olin founded the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) as a private not-for-profit foundation to evaluate and determine if a dog will have problem hips. Canine Hip Dysplasia is a genetic condition that primarily affects larger breeds but can be diagnosed in a few smaller breeds as well. Hip dysplasia typically develops because of an abnormally developed hip joint but can also be caused by cartilage damage from a traumatic fracture. Cartilage damage or an abnormal hip joint, over time will lose its thickness and elasticity of the existing cartilage. This will eventually result in pain with any joint movement. Radiographs taken by a licensed veterinarian (DVM) is the only way to diagnose hip dysplasia or certify the hips free of any problems. OFA maintains a database for hip dysplasia and is classified into seven different categories:
Ofa Official Database