BELGIAN SHEPHERD DOG (GROENENDAEL) DOG

A well built shepherd dog, completely black, medium sized, the Groenendael Belgian Shepherd.
The Groenendael Belgian Shepherd is a square dog, with a noticeably proud, agile, strong and very smart stance. Well proportionate and elegant, the male stands from 60 to 66 cm; the female, from 56 to 60 cm. The head is strong and in good proportion with the body. The eyes are medium sized, almond shaped, never bulging. The ears are triangular and erect, never dropped. The neck is round and with enough length to allow a proud head carriage. The withers are slightly more elevated, and sloping towards the back; the upper outline is leveled and straight; the chest is deep, but not wide. The abdomen is not tucked nor hanging. The rump is medium length and descending. The forelegs are strong and parallel; the hinds are also parallel and with good substance, with oval bone structure more than round. The feet, usually round. The coat is straight and abundant, not silky or hard; the texture is somewhat rough. The undercoat is extremely dense, and varies according to the weather. The color is always black.
 
WHO IS IT RIGHT FOR
The ideal Groenendael Belgian Shepherd puppy is extroverted and kind with people, although somewhat reserved. A well socialized litter displays personality and good health.
The Groenendael has become quite popular as a company dog, and many times passing for a completely black German Shepherd. Every Belgian Shepherd variety is outstanding in many fields, including obedience, herding, sled, agility, tracking and rescue, as a police dog, and arson detection. A fascinating breed, great company for children, which loves to play outdoors. Inside the house it is polite, but too active to live in a flat.
 
DEVELOPMENT
The puppy coat is soft and plush-like, usually completely black. Some puppies can have a white patch at the chest, which usually darkens with age. The Groenendael weighs between 6 and 7 kg after eight weeks. It doesn’t reach complete maturity until after the fourth year, and the females always before the male. Belgian Shepherd breeders are ethical and responsible in general, since the breed is usually perfectly healthy. Even so, the buyer should know the standard thoroughly, and seek a perfectly healthy puppy. Character is also important. The Belgian Shepherd is famous for its loyalty and intelligence. The puppy can be suspicious by nature, but never timid or aggressive. Adolescence stands out for the hair change, from the soft puppy fur to the thick and black adult hair. The young dog needs abundant exercise and spending plenty of time with its owner and human family. Training should begin at a very young age, Dentition change is very strong, and during this period it should be provided with adequate chewing objects.
 
HEALTH
The adult Groenendael long hair tells it apart from the black German Shepherd, with which it is often confused. 
The breed is affected by hip dysplasia, although not as generalized as other working breed of a certain size. Epilepsy cases are also reported, which can be confirmed through a EEG at early age, although it is not frequent. The breed can have reactions to vaccinations, and sensibility to anesthetics, which should be checked with the breeder as well as with the veterinarian. Hair loss during shedding is considerable, and the breed is prone to suffering dermatitis during this period. Training and plenty of exercise is vital. The Groenendael usually lives past ten years.
 
A well balanced puppy with good movement promises quality as an adult.