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Belgian Tervuren Dog

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Belgian Tervuren Dog

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Belgian Tervuren Dog

The Belgian Tervuren is one of four varieties of shepherd dogs that were developed in Belgium in the late 1800s. The four varieties are the Malinois (fawn-mahogany, short coat with black mask), Tervuren (fawn-mahogany, long coat with black mask) the Laekenois (fawn, rough coat), and the Groenendael (black, long coat). The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes all but the Laekenois as separate breeds in the U.S., while the United Kennel Club recognizes all four types as one.

The Club du Chien de Berger Belge (Belgian Shepherd Dog Club) was formed in September 1891 to determine which of the many different types of dogs was representative only of the shepherd dogs developed in Belgium. In November of that same year, breeders and fanciers met on the outskirts of Brussels to examine shepherd dogs from that area. After much deliberation, veterinary professor Adolphe Reul and a panel of judges concluded that the native shepherd dog of that province were square, medium-size dogs with well-set triangular ears and very dark brown eyes and differed only in the texture, color, and length of hair. Subsequent examinations of dogs in other Belgian provinces resulted in similar findings.

In 1892, Professor Reul wrote the first Belgian Shepherd Dog standard, which recognized three varieties: dogs with long coats, dogs with short coats, and dogs with rough coats. That same year, the first show for Belgian Shepherd dogs took place in Cureghem, Belgium, and the winner was a Tervuren named Duc II. The Club du Chien de Berger Belge asked the Societe Royale Saint-Hubert (Belgium’s equivalent to the American Kennel Club) for breed status, but was denied. By 1901, however, the Belgian Shepherd Dog, encompassing the four varieties, was finally recognized as a breed.

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