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Belgian Tervuren… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Okay, before you read this article, just have a look at the picture of the Belgian Tervuren. Look very closely. Isn’t he such a marvelous looking creature?  We here at IndulgeYourPet certainly think so!

But being…

A handsome devil, is only a small part of why this particular dog, among all the dog breeds of the world, has been as popular as it has over the centuries and why it has been able to emerge from a small town in Belgium to now exist worldwide!

But that doesn’t…

Mean that they’ll be the “right” dog for everyone.  This is why in this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss some of the pros and cons of owning a Belgian Tervuren, so that if you do decide to purchase a Tervuren puppy, or better yet adopt a Belgian Tervuren rescue dog, you won’t be disappointed by your decision 6 months from now!

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it!

Belgian Tervuren Facts

Country of Origin:  Belgium

Original Purpose: Herding Dog, Guard Dog or Watch Dog

Height:  22 to 26 inches tall

Weight:  40 to 65 pounds

Life Span: 10 to 12 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Herding Dogs

Origins of the Belgian Tervuren

Like the other 3 major Belgian shepherd dog breeds in existence today, the Belgian Tervuren picks up his name from the small Belgian village with the same name, where they were first developed.

And while…

not much is known about his ancestral origin, what is clear is that these dogs were originally bred to help shepherds manage their flock as well as provide personal protection and companionship.

First “officially” recognized in 1891…

Belgian authorities decided to separate their herding dogs into four distinct breeds, the:

Shortly after…

The Tervuren was further recognized by the Société Roayale Saint-Hubert in 1901 further solidifying itself as its own unique and separate breed.

Despite all of this…

The Belgian Tervuren didn’t become an instant sensation within the United States.  This “unpopularity” may have been due in part because, while the American Kennel Club (AKC) did officially recognize in 1918, this “official” recognition lumped the the four primary sheepherding dogs of Belgium all together under the title Belgian Sheepdog.

Which is… 

A bit silly in our opinion given just how different each of these 4 dog breeds appear.

The good news is…

That in 1959, the AKC recognized their “error of their ways” and separated all four Belgian breeds each with their own unique title and Breed standard.

This acknowledgment…

Of the breed was probably due in large part by just how important a role that the Tervuren played during the second world war where they proved the “merit” as strong, brave and extremely loyal companions on the battle field!

The Terv

Today, the Terv, as he is called, is a popular dog breed in the United States, even though many folks will commonly mistaken a purebred Trev, thinking that he or she is rather some type of “mix,” because they will look quite similar to the more commonly know German Shepherd, just not exactly the same.

Today, there’s even an American Belgian Tervuren Club in existence which provides further evidence on just how great this dog breed is!

Physical Characteristics of the Belgian Tervuren

The Belgian Tervuren is a medium sized dog that weighs between 40 and 65 pounds. He is certainly lighter than the other Belgian Shepherds, but will be very “similarly shaped” with his square build, prick ears, pointed muzzle and wedged shaped head.

He also has a proud look about him…

And is almost majestic in the way he carries himself. His eyes are dark brown, and you can see from the way he looks at you that he is very intelligent.


You can easily identify him by his fawn or mahogany coat types. He has a thick double coat, which is covered by a lot of hair across the middle of the body and unlike the Groenendale, his coat won’t be as thick on his head and legs.

What you’ll commonly notice is…

That the males of the breed will have much a much longer growth of hair around the neck than the females, which will make these guys a bit more difficult to maintain.


Is a problem with this dog. Regular brushing done every week is a must. Otherwise, you will find hair all over the house and it can get rather “unhygienic”.

The Belgian Tervuren Temperament

You can trust the Terv to protect your family…  One of the most noticeable things about the Belgian Tervuren is his remarkable coolness under pressure. He is always in control, and very brave when under attack.  This is why, the Terv has been chosen to be the “breed of choice” by many police departments and emergency rescue centers worldwide!

The Terv is a very good guard dog or watch dog.

Most Terv’s tend to be very alert and “sharp” dogs that are capable of discriminating between the good guys and the bad guys.  While at the same time refraining from being  “naturally” aggressive.

The Belgian Tervuren…

Is one of those “kinds” of dogs that’s not going to be shy or afraid, and ready to “mix it up” if it has too, while being very friendly and social all at the same time.  This is why you’ll typically find that most Terv’s will seek out the attention of his or her owner and won’t like to be left on his own for extended periods of time.  He’s almost like an energetic bunny, always up to something.

Training is very important.

…Obedience training, agility training, flyball training, herding training, search and rescue training – all of this matters.  So, it you’re thinking you’d like to get a good guard dog that will be happy sitting around the house all day, chances are a Terv isn’t going to be the right dog for you.


Because Belgian Tervuren’s tend to be rather large dogs that are naturally energetic, the idea of having one of these “kinds” of dog running all around your house “untrained” is probably not something that is going to work out all that well.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet advise any Tervuren owner to enroll their Terv puppy into obedience classes early and often.

The good news is…

That Belgian Tervuren’s make great students and are very easy dogs to train when done right.  So, if you do decide to adopt a Tervuren and six months later he is driving you crazy, chances are, you may be the problem, not him!

And probably the biggest…

Reason why someone may be  having difficulty with their Terv is because they aren’t giving him or her enough exercise.  These dog’s love to run and play, and when not given that opportunity, chances are they’re going to get bored.  And bored Terv’s like to chew!


  • dog treats,
  • dog toys,
  • shoes,
  • furniture,
  • Walls!

Or anything else they can get their jaws on.

So… Consider yourself warned!

Tervuren Health Issues

The Terv is a healthy dog and has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. But like all dogs, especially purebred dogs, he could potentially pick up a few hereditary disorders.

That’s why it is important to ask the breeder for proof of DNA testing. Also, ask him to show you the following…

  • PennHIP or OFA certification for hips
  • OFA clearance for elbows
  • Canine Eye Registry Foundation certification for eyes

These clearances are needed for CHIC certification. So be sure to only buy a Belgian Tervuren that has a CHIC certification.

Generally speaking though, the Belgian Sheepdog is known to suffer from the following diseases…

Which is why…

It’s probably also a good idea to see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy on your new puppy should you decide to get one.  Because, you just never know.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

Probably not, but until you know what they will and won’t cover and know what it might cost, it’s tough to say who “should” and who “shouldn’t” buy one.  This is why we decided to write our own Best Pet Insurance Companies article so that you can get a quick idea if getting a pet insurance policy is “right” for you.

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