Meet Jinx the Groenendael Belgian Shepherd and her owner Astrud!
Age: 20 months
About the Breed
The Belgian Shepherd originates from Belgium, with the Belgian Shepherd Dog club being started in 1891. Belgian Shepherds are the only breed with 4 varieties, the Groenendael (long haired Black coat), the Tervuren (long haired fawn/mahogany coat), Malanois (short haired fawn/mahogany coat and the Laekenois (rough haired fawn coat). The difference between them is their coat, not their build.
Belgian Shepherds are a medium sized dog, bred originally to herd (herding is instinctive), however they are extremely versatile and also make excellent agility, tracking and obedience dogs. They are extremely loyal and are a great family dog, well raised they are a very friendly dog, but can be wary of strangers if not socialised from puppy age.
As show dogs, they fall into the working dog category.
Why did you choose this particular breed?
I saw a photo in a book as a child, and managed to convince my parents to look for a breeder (this was in the 80’s, and they weren’t many in Australia). When we went to see these dogs, it was love at first sight for all of us – beautiful looks, with elegant movement and so intelligent. Since then I have always had Groenendaels in my life, with Jinx being the 6th one.
As a breed they suit me perfectly, I’m an active person and love having a dog that has a go all day attitude and that always wants to be with me.
Is their personality/behaviour in line with what people associated with the breed?
Belgian Shepherds are a high energy, alert & athletic breed of dog. They are extremely loving and loyal to their families, and are very protective of their home. They thrive on being with you, and having an active life.
Any tips for someone considering getting this breed?
Belgians have many excellent characteristics, they are loving, loyal, and energetic, but can also be shy, sensitive, and strong-willed. They require consistent socialisation and training from a very young age, with plenty of exercise, playtime and tasks to keep them mentally & physically stimulated.
They are a breed that need to be a major part of your life, and want to be involved in everything you do.
Belgians are not suited to people who don’t have the time/interest to invest in their training, or plan to leave them alone regularly for long periods of time. If you want a dog that will literally be your shadow and you are prepared to put the time into them, they are ideal.
How interested/good at training or obedience?
Jinx is highly intelligent and very trainable. She loves learning new things, is very adventurous, and will try anything I ask of her. She is very food orientated, so her enthusiasm for a food reward makes her very easy to teach.
Any tricks, community work?
Jinx knows how to speak (bark) and sing (howl) on command. She knows basic obedience – sit, stay, drop, heel. She loves to play fetch and has dozens of squeaker toys and kong toys to keep her entertained. She is learning how to work the sheep & cattle on command and absolutely loves it.
You can catch Jinx’s adventures on Instagram: @jinx_belgiangroenendael