Belgian Laekenois Dog: Characteristic, Health & Fun Facts!

Anyone can guess by the name Belgian Laekenois(pronounced as “Lak-in-wah”) that this breed comes from Belgium.

These are medium-sized herding dogs that resemble sheep. This sheepdog has close relations with the Groenendael, Tervuren, and Malinois- native shepherds of Belgium.

The Belgian Laeonis breeds might be closely related to these natives, but they still stand out because of their unique coats. Keep reading to know more about this breed. 

Belgian Laekenois Dog

About The Breed

The Belgian Laekenois dogs are not the happiest when left alone. This leads to destructive behavior to show their unhappiness to their owners.

They are suitable for apartment living as long as you’re not keeping them alone in your apartment.

These are herding breeds, so they will be protective by nature and will try to control everyone around them. 

They are high-maintenance dogs, as you can tell just by looking at their fur. The Belgian Laekenois dogs like to learn new things.

They are said to grow more mature mentally soon than physically because of their high intelligence levels. Obedience training is the best form of training for them. 

Belgian Laekenois Dog Breed History

Some say that the Belgian Laekenois is not a purebred; instead, in the 1880s, there were four Belgian Shepherds, and it’s a variation of one of those.

This breed got its name from the region where it was developed in Belgium. They were protectors and herders of the Royal Castle of Laeken’s sheep, so they might consider this breed as an aristocratic breed. 

The Belgian Laekenois acted as messenger dogs during both world wars around the 20th century.

They rose to popularity because of this, and their demand increased. The Belgian Shepherds were classified into four main types during the 1890s are- the Malinois, the Laekenois, the Groenendael, and the Tervuren.

All these four types were similar in nature and appearance. They were differentiated based on coat types. The Belgian Laekenois was recognized because of its curly and wiry coat. 

Belgian Laekenois Dog Breed Job Card/Overview

Breed NameBelgian Laekenois
Other NameLaekenois 
Dog Breed TypeHerding Dogs
Parent BreedsNone 
Height22-26 inches 
Weight44-66 pounds
Life Expectancy10-12 years 
Coat TypeTousled, Rough
Common ColorsFawn, Red, Grey
Grooming NeedsHigh 
TemperamentAlert, Watchful, Affectionate, Protective 
Apartment LivingSuitable for apartment living 
Health ConcernsHeart Problems, Epilepsy, Dental Problems, Skin Allergies
Overall HealthHealthy 
Intelligence LevelMedium to High
Energy LevelHigh 
Litter SizeEight puppies 
What To Know
• A Rare Breed – Discover the uniqueness of the Belgian Laekenois, one of the rare Belgian Shepherd varieties.
• Understand their strong herding instincts and how to harness them for agility and obedience.
• Learn about their unique rough, tousled coat and grooming requirements for this breed.
• Know that Belgian Laekenois dogs are active and need regular exercise and mental stimulation.
• These dogs thrive with early socialization, ensuring they grow up to be well-adjusted pets.


Belgian Laekenois Dog


This breed hails from the rolling hills of Belgium and has a versatile nature that suits various roles.

Known for their keen intelligence and quick learning, Laekenois dogs excel in obedience training, agility, and even as loyal family pets.

Their rugged coat helps them adapt to different climates, while their strong work ethic makes them valuable in search and rescue missions.

Laekenois dogs are not only adaptable but also renowned for their unwavering loyalty, making them exceptional companions for those who appreciate their versatile and devoted nature.


Adaptive to Apartment Living

Suitable for New Owners

Sensitivity Scale

Comfortable Being Alone

Comfortable with Cold Weather

Comfortable with Hot Weather


The Belgian Laekenois dog breed is renowned for its innate friendliness and loyalty.

With a warm and gentle disposition, they make wonderful companions for families and individuals alike.

Their friendly nature extends to both their human family members and other pets, fostering harmonious coexistence.

These dogs thrive on social interaction, often forming strong bonds with their owners.

Their friendliness shines through in their playfulness and affectionate behavior, making them a beloved choice for those seeking a loyal and amicable canine friend.

All About Friendliness

Lovable with Family



Frank with strangers


The Belgian Laekenois dogs are loyal and attentive and love pleasing their humans. That means this breeds a lot of your care and attention, so better not leave him alone.

They are hungry for love, and if you give it to them, they will become your companions for life. Harsh training or yelling will do no good and instead, make your pet resent you.

No pet owner wants that. Be consistent with your dog, and obedience training will be helpful. 

Socialization is a necessity for every dog to become the best version of itself. Take them to dog parks, travel with them where pets are allowed, and help them make friends.

Let them gain new experiences, and the Belgian Laekenois dogs will become your best friends. Socialization helps in controlling the negative traits of your dogs.

Especially when this breed has a history of being territorial, socialization will get rid of that and make your pet friendly towards everyone.


Friendly with Children

Belgian Laekenois dogs are known for their friendly and playful nature, making them a great choice for families with children.

These intelligent and loyal dogs are gentle and patient, often forming strong bonds with kids.

Their energetic disposition ensures hours of fun and companionship, fostering a safe and loving environment for children to thrive alongside their furry Laekenois friend.

Amicable to Other Pets

Belgian Laekenois dogs are known for their amicable nature with other pets. Their friendly and adaptable temperament makes them great companions for cats, dogs, and other animals.

They tend to establish strong bonds and thrive in a harmonious, multi-pet household.

Proper socialization and early training play a key role in ensuring a peaceful coexistence with other furry friends.

Barking Tendencies

Belgian Laekenois dogs are known for their strong guarding instincts, which can lead to occasional barking.

To manage their barking tendencies, early socialization and obedience training are essential.

Providing mental and physical stimulation can also help keep them content and less prone to excessive barking.

Remember, understanding their need for protection is key to striking a balance.

Possibilities of Staying Alone

Staying alone with a Belgian Laekenois dog opens up exciting possibilities. These intelligent and loyal canines thrive as independent companions.

Their protective instincts make them excellent watchdogs. However, they require socialization and mental stimulation to prevent boredom.

With the right training, they can excel in various activities, making them a fantastic choice for those who value solitude and a devoted four-legged friend.

Pros And Cons Of The Belgian Laekenois Dog Breed 

Male Vs. Female Attitude

The Belgian Laekenois is a friendly, alert, affectionate, and protective dog in its nature, regardless of gender.

The only difference you will notice between male and female dogs is their size. All dogs of this breed will have similar attitudes depending on the environment they grew up in.


Belgian Laekenois Dog

General Appearance

The Belgian Laekenois dog is a striking breed with a unique appearance. Known for their wiry, rough, and weather-resistant coats, they exude a rugged charm.

Their alert expression and pointed ears give them an intelligent and attentive look.

These medium-sized dogs possess a strong, athletic build, reflecting their agility and versatility as herding and working dogs.

Coat Color

You’ll notice that the Belgian Laekenois’ coat is curly and wiry. There will be a short and soft coat underneath.

This breed’s coat can be found in mahogany, red, or fawn colors. They’ll probably have a black mask too. 

Looking at their coat type, you can easily guess that they are high-maintenance dogs and require daily grooming.

Brush their fur at least once a week to get rid of debris and avoid matting. Never clip the coat, as it can damage the fur’s double layer that naturally controls its body temperature.

Regularly check their ears to avoid any possible infections. Dip a cotton ball in a cleaning solution to clean their ears. 


The Belgian Laekenois dogs might not be heavy shedders, but you still have to brush them using a brush made for coarse fur.

Doing so helps in removing knotting and dead hair. They are said to shed a little or not at all. If they do, it will happen once a year.


The Belgian Laekenois are medium to large-sized dogs. The female dogs might be a bit shorter than the male dogs.

The size of a dog can vary because of many factors, so they might grow bigger or shorter than the average size for their breed. 


The Belgian Laekenois dogs are generally a healthy breed. However, there are some health issues this breed is likely to face. 

  • Heart problems
  • Skin allergies
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Dental Problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Get your dog tested for a dentition exam, hip and elbow, ophthalmologist evaluation, cardiac exam, and thyroid exam. 

Health And Grooming Requirements

Shedding Quantity

Drooling Capability

Effortless to Groom

Overall Health

Capable of Gaining Weight


Maintenance And Care

The Belgian Laekenois dogs are prone to skin allergies, so take them on regular vet visits. Your vet can also help to make a diet and exercise schedule for your dog.

A proper care routine made with the help of your vet will keep your pet healthy and happy. These dogs can gain weight if given a lazy lifestyle.

Don’t make your dog a couch potato, and take them on long walks daily. They’ll love to spend time with their human.

Do some interesting activities to maintain your pet’s physical as well as mental health. 

Nail trimming should be done before they get long, and scratch everything with it. Take them to a professional groomer if you’re a first-time pet owner.

Brush their teeth regularly to avoid any bacteria buildup. Dog teeth are not like a human’s, so take your vet’s advice on how to brush them. 


Grooming your Belgian Laekenois dog is essential to keep their wiry, weather-resistant coat healthy.

Regular brushing with a pin brush can help remove dirt and prevent matting. Their coat may require occasional hand-stripping to maintain its texture.

Bathing should be infrequent to preserve natural oils. Pay attention to their ears, teeth, and nails, ensuring all-around cleanliness for a happy, well-groomed pup.

Food And Nutrition

All dog breeds need to be fed a nutritional diet with treats given in limited amounts. Give high-quality dog food to your Belgian Laekenois.

Treating them for every good thing they do or leaving food everywhere can impact your dog’s health in the long term.

These dogs are likely to face dental issues, so keep wet food away from them. Instead, feed them crunchy and hard kibble to avoid plaque buildup.

Your vet can tell you about your dog’s food allergies and help you make a good diet plan for them, keeping in mind their activity, size, and age.

Exercise And Activity Level 

Prepare yourself to take your Belgian Laekenois on hour-long walks to keep them happy. This breed needs a lot of activities and exercises to be healthy. 

The Belgian Laekenois dog breed is known for its high exercise and activity level. These energetic dogs thrive on physical challenges and mental stimulation.

Daily exercise is essential to keep them happy and healthy. Activities like agility training, long walks, and interactive playtime are great ways to meet their needs.

Their boundless enthusiasm makes them ideal companions for active individuals and families.

Physical Requirements

Energy range


Exercise Requirements

Capable for Playfulness


Belgian Laekenois dogs are highly trainable due to their intelligence and strong work ethic. Their natural herding instincts make them responsive to commands and eager to learn.

They thrive on positive reinforcement and enjoy tasks that engage both their minds and bodies.

Consistent training and socialization from an early age will help channel their energy and potential, making them wonderful companions and working dogs.


Effortless to Train


Capable for Mouthiness

Tendency to Attack Prey

Urge to Howl or Bark

Wanderlust Ability

Children and Other Pets

The Belgian Laekenois can become a great family dog, especially with children. They can bond well with older children more than younger children.

Being herders in the past, these dogs will try to herd kids and also nip their heels.

All you need to do is teach your kid and dog how to behave with each other and supervise their playing sessions. Doing so will make this breed the perfect family dog for you. 

As you know that these are herding dogs, so they become a bit territorial. Having other pets in the house can make them protective of their things.

However, early socialization can help them make friends with other pets without being controlling.


Apart from protecting livestock, the Belgian Laekenois had another fascinating role too. Their job was to look after linen drying out in the field.

Another interesting thing about this breed is that there are around 1,000 Belgian Laekenois alive today, making them the rarest dog breed to be owned. 

Explore More Dog Breeds…

FAQs On Belgian Laekenois Dog Breed…

Where do the Belgian Laekenois dog breeds come from?

Belgian Laekenois dogs originate from Belgium, specifically the region around Laeken. They were bred for herding and guarding purposes, known for their versatility and resilience in various tasks.

What is the best diet routine for a Belgian Laekenois dog?

A balanced diet for a Belgian Laekenois includes high-quality dog food, rich in lean protein and essential nutrients. Consult with a veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations based on their age, activity level, and health needs.

How much exercise is required for a Belgian Laekenois?

Belgian Laekenois dogs need at least 60-90 minutes of exercise daily, including walks, playtime, and mental stimulation.

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment