It is one of the four types of Belgian shepherd dogs, considered to be one breed with four different varieties in all countries, except the U.S.A where each variety is considered a separate breed. Its ancestor is the Persian Shepherd dog, from which, through many crossbreedings, today's specimens resulted. In the Middle Ages there were many types of Belgian Shepherd dogs. In 1891 a committee of experts decided that the Belgium Shepherd dogs have the same size and shape, the difference being the length, texture and colour of the fur. The names of the four varieties were given according to the region in which each of them was developed.
It is a medium-sized dog, with a well-built, harmonious, muscular body that gives it an elegant look. The head is medium-sized, with the muzzle equal in length to the skull and narrowed at the tip. The eyes are almond-shaped and dark. The ears are medium-sized, triangular, stiff and erect. The tail is medium-sized, kept low, with a slightly curved and long, thick hair. The fur is double layered, with a black, long, smooth, glossy and thick outer layer. The hair is shorter on the head, ears, and on the lower part of the legs, but longer and thicker on the neck and chest where it forms a collar.
It is a rustic dog, used to outdoor life, very resistant to weather changes. It is active, dynamic, intelligent, eager to work, cheerful and obedient. It is very devoted to its master. Fast in actions and with an impulsive character, it answers to any challenge. It is reserved with strangers and loves children if treated accordingly. It gets along well with other dogs and other household animals if socialized from an early age.
It is used to getting a lot of outdoor exercise. It likes long walks and any other activity that burns its energy. It needs an active master with experience in raising dogs. It needs socialization, training and exercise.
It is not hard to train because it is an obedient dog that learns pretty fast. It is an independent breed with a strong character, that is why they need training from an early age and they must get accustomed to new things, people and animals. They must not be hit and a gentle but firm tone must be used. Most of these dogs enjoy ball games, swimming, running by a bike and long walks. They perform well in agility contests and flyball.
Nowadays it is used more as a companion dog but also as a watchdog.