Belgian Tervuren

The Belgian Tervuren is among four Belgian shepherds with the exact origin set apart by different coat types and colors. The dogs are the Short-haired Malinois, the long black-haired Groenendael, the long black-haired Tervuren, and the wire-haired Laekenois. Each of these herding and guard dog breeds was interbred before and after being recognized as a single breed in 1891, (the Continental or Belgian Shepherd).

Belgian Tervurens get their name from the village of Tervuren, where one of the dog’s earliest sponsors resided. The Tervuren is not as popular as the other shepherds, which many believe is because of its lack of flashy colors and the many disagreements over what colors were desirable in the breed.

In 1918, the Belgian Tervuren was registered in the United States. However, the dog’s numbers remained so low that by the Great Depression, they had died out. Fortunately, after World War II, the dog was recreated utilizing the long-haired offspring of the Malinois parents. Then in 1959, the Belgian Shepherd was separated into three different breeds, and the Tervuren was on its own.

Since its hazy past, the Belgian Tervuren has caught the eye of many enthusiasts because it is the most stylish looking of the three breeds. It is now considered a moderately popular breed. This dog is versatile and mainly used in herding work and less for guarding, unlike its other Belgian Shepherd cousins and the German Shepherd.

two belgian tervuren standing together on a grassy hill

Breed Standard

This dog is a combination of strength and elegance. It has a medium and square-proportioned bone. The breed is well-known for its exceptionally proud carriage. The movement is graceful, lively, and effortlessly tireless, showcasing an easy, seamless gait other than hard-driving movement. Belgian Tervurens have a natural tendency to move in a wide circle other than a straight line.

Breed Facts

Energy levelWatchdog ability
Exercise requirementsProtection ability
PlayfulnessGrooming requirements
Affection levelCold tolerance
Friendliness toward dogsHeat tolerance
Friendliness toward other petsFriendliness toward strangers
Ease of training
  1. Popularity: Uncommon
  2. Family Group: Livestock, herding
  3. Country of Origin: Belgium
  4. Date developed: 1800s
  5. Original Purpose: Stock herding
  6. Current Function: Herding trials, Schutzhund
  7. Other Names: Tervuren, Chien de Berger Belge
two belgian tervuren running in an open grass field showing off how energetic they are

Activity Level: High. These dogs require strenuous activity, including a long walk, jogging, or an intense work or play session daily. Herding is the dog’s primary love, which is the ideal exercise.

belgian tervuren sprinting in the park

Grooming: The double coat requires combing and brushing twice a week and more often during shedding season.

Coat: This dog possesses a moderately long, protective double coat of straight guard hairs and a dense undercoat. Males tend to have more abundant furnishings than females.

Color: Rich fawn, russet mahogany with a black overlay (that becomes darker as the dog matures); black ears and mask

Group: Herding

Year of Recognition by the AKC: 1959 (registered as Belgian Sheepdogs from 1911 until 1959)

Belgian Tervuren Temperament

belgian tervuren competing in agility competition

The Tervuren is energetic, watchful, and alert; these dogs are dependable and active companions that perform best when given physical and mental exercise. It loves running and playing outdoors and can be well-mannered within the household as long as it gets adequate exercise. The breed is independent, intelligent, and obedient. They can be aloof with strangers and usually very protective of their families. Because of solid herding instincts, it will nip at the heels of house guests and children in an attempt to herd them.


  • Main Problems: seizures
  • Minor Issues: CHD, elbow dysplasia, allergies, hypothyroidism, PRA
  • Rarely Seen: PPM, pannus, cataract, hemangiosarcoma
  • Recommended Tests: hip, eye, elbow
  • Life Span: 10 to 12 years
  • Weight: male – 55 to 65 pounds; female – 40 to 50 pounds
  • Height: male – 24 to 26 inches; female – 22 to 24 inches

Breeder and Buyer’s Advice

cute belgian tervuren puppy sitting on the grass

Belgian Tervurens are active dogs and are not for everyone. The ideal potential owner of this breed wants a trainable dog to do various challenging activities. Please visit the parent club’s website for more information about Belgian Tervuren puppies for sale. Or, you can find other breeders by typing “Belgian Tervuren puppies near me” into Google or your favorite search engine.

Parent club: American Belgian Tervuren Club; founded in 1960

Regional clubs: You will find info and links to 15 regional breed clubs

Rescue: Belgian Tervuren Rescue, Inc.

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