BELGIAN SHEPHERD DOG (LAEKENOIS) DOG

The Laekenois Belgian Shepherd is known for its fawn reddish color and its hard and rough coat. For the rest, it is identical to the rest of the Belgian Shepherds.
 
The Laekenois Belgian Shepherd is a square dog with a very proud stance, agile, strong and very smart. Well proportionate and elegant, the male stands from 61 to 66 cm; the female, from 56 to 61 cm. The weight is proportional to the size. The head is strong and in good proportion to the body. The eyes are medium sized, almond shaped, never bulging. The ears are triangular and erect, never dropping. The neck is round and with enough length to allow a proud head carriage. The withers are slightly more elevated, and descend toward the back; the upper outline is leveled and straight; the chest is deep, but not wide. The abdomen is not tucked nor seems hanging. The rump is medium length and descending. The forelegs are strong and parallel; the hinds, also parallel, and well substance, with oval bones rather than round. The feet, usually rounded. The tail is strong, not too short, never docked. The coat is hard, rough, without curly or fuzzy areas. The hair is about 6 cm in length; the eyes are not covered by the hair; the muzzle hair should not give a square appearance to the head; there are no bristles at the tail. The color is reddish fawn with black shadowing, especially at the muzzle and tail. A little white at the chest and fingers is tolerated.
 
WHO IS IT RIGHT FOR     
The Laekenois Belgian Shepherd is rare. It is a small dog, also in character, and it can really be considered the “black sheep” of its shepherd dog family. Its wiry coat is quite exceptional for a shepherd dog, and it is the only one of the Belgian Shepherds that is not confused with a German Shepherd. As the other Belgian Shepherds, it is a good child guardian, and with its gaze it is able to send the most rebellious child to sleep at bedtime. (This breed employs a “stare” method for sheep herding).
 
DEVELOPMENT
Newborn puppies of about 500 g grow quickly until they weigh 4.5 to 6 kg after eight weeks. The puppy is born with a soft, fuzzy fur which gradually will be replaced by the correct hard coat, which develops slowly and is not shown completely until after 18 months (slower in some specimens, even to three years). The color lightens with the years. The ears are erect at three months. The young dog with attempt to impose its authority. It should be treated with respect, but be firm and consistent in its education.
 
HEALTH
Clear eyes, the expression alert. Although as a puppy the Laekenois hair is soft and unruly, the adult hair should not have a trace of curls or plush. 
The four Belgium Shepherd varieties are closely related and share a very uniform morphology (except for the coat and the color). We should watch for hip dysplasia, as well as epilepsy. There is evidence of reactions to vaccines or anesthetics, and this risk should be consulted with the breeder and the veterinarian. The Laekenois hard coat requires little care, despite its peculiar appearance. As every Belgian Shepherd, it needs plenty of exercise.
 
Although it’s an independent and inventive working dog, the Laekenois is one of the best dogs for training. It is not stubborn and it loves to please its master. This is the least known of Belgian Shepherds in the US, although in England it has a certain number of breeders.