Belgian Laekenois

Belgian Laekenosis is a breed originating from Belgium, where it was bred for herding and guarding livestock. The rough and scruffy coat protects them from the harshest weather conditions and rough terrain. Dogs of the breed are active in nature, affectionate and self-confident.

General details

Dogs of the breed are of medium size and elegant appearance. The weight ranges between 25 and 29 kilograms, while the height varies between 61 and 66 centimeters in males and between 56 and 61 centimeters in females. The life expectancy of this breed is 10 to 12 years. They are not recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).

Breed history in brief

Belgian Laekenosis originated in Laeken, a town near Brussels during the 19th century. It was bred primarily for cattle herding duties. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) classification, the Belgian Laekenosis is one of four Belgian Shepherd breeds, along with the Malinois, Tervuren and Groenendael. During World War I and World War II the breed gained popularity by being used as a messenger dog and for searching for wounded soldiers. However, it was not until 1959 that the Belgian Kennel Club recognized the breed. Today, the Belgian Laekenosis is a rare breed, even in its country of origin.

Breed characteristics

The Belgian Laekenosis is characterized by a well balanced and muscular dog. The chest is not broad, but deep. The head is long and slender with dark brown, slightly almond-shaped eyes. The ears are triangular and erect, while the tail is strong, of medium length, and in repose is held low with the tip folded back. The coat is coarse and thick, with a disheveled appearance. They have a beard on the muzzle. The coloration of the coat can be of different shades of red or fawn to grayish. The breed standard accepts black spots on the muzzle and tail, as well as white spots on the chest and fingertips. Dogs of the breed are noted for qualities such as intelligence, courage, alertness and loyalty. They not only show a protective character over the flock but also over the people and property of their owners. It is an observant and possessive dog, at the same time affectionate and friendly with its family members. Regular exercise and continued training are two important aspects of keeping dogs happy and healthy.

Common health problems

Belgian Laekenosis is a robust breed that usually remains healthy. Even so, they may be predisposed to disorders or diseases such as osteogenesis imperfecta, recessive retinal dysplasia, renal cortical hypoplasia, cataracts, ectropion, microphthalmia, progressive retinal atrophy, retinal detachment, lacrimal duct atresia and hip or elbow dysplasia. As we can see, most disorders are ocular, so the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends an eye examination.

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