The Belgian Laekenois (pronounced Lak-in-wah) is a new member of the AKC Miscellaneous Dog Group. These beautiful dogs are not very well known in the United States but they are quite well known in places like Australia, Britain, Canada and all throughout Europe.
They are from a region very close to the home areas of other Beligian dog breeds such as the Belgian Tervuren, Malinois and the Groenendael. They are also considered to be the oldest and also the most rare of the dog breeds originating in this particular region of Belgium.
Another thing each of these Belgian dog breeds (except the Groenendael, which is solid black in color) have in common is a fawn brown coat color. As far as the hair type or length goes however, that is another thing all together. The Tervuren has a long fawn colored coat and the Malinois has a very short, close to the body fawn colored coat.
The Belgian Laekenois is well known for its rough, wiry and somewhat "wooly" looking coat - a very distinct contrast to any of the other Belgian dogs. And this is one of the first ways that you can easily differentiate among the different Belgian herding dog breeds - by their physical appearance since they are all very similar in size and shape overall.
See a Laekenois in Action
Way back when, years and years ago, the primary job for the Laekenois was as both a guardian and also as a herding dog. Because of their extreme intelligence, these dogs were used in a number of jobs - during both the World Wars they were often used as messenger dogs.
Laeken's are well known for their erect triangular ears, wooly looking coat, fawn color and body that is longer than tall. They are very intelligent dogs and can do a variety of jobs but keep in mind that they do not do well with heavy handed owners. These are working dogs so do not assume they will do well in a house type situation where they receive little to no exercise.
These dogs are typically high energy dogs, and need the proper amount of leadership to be happy. If Belgian Laekenois are not challenged with new things, or well exercised on a daily basis, chances are high that they will not be happy - and neither will you. So keep this thought in mind - these dogs are not for everyone, however they can make an excellent family pet in the right home, and with the right owners.
In Belgium right now, all four of the Belgian sheepdogs are very popular. And of the four dog breeds, you would probably see the Laekenois and Malinois used much more often as working dogs, than you might see the Groenendael and Tervuren. Irregardless, all four of these Beigian dog breeds make excellent working dogs.
Country of origin:Belgium Lifespan: 12-14 years Colors: anywhere from fawn to mahogany, often with a black overlay Known health problems: skin allergies, eye problems, excessive aggressiveness, excessive shyness, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia