Belgian Shepherd Laekenois
Laekenois is considered the oldest of the 4 varieties of Belgian Shepherd recognised by it's wiry coat which ranges in colour from fawn to mahogany with a black overlay. Dogs can trace their pedigree back to the fawn wire haired sheepdog Vos I de Laeken born in 1885.
Originally the Laekenois were used to guard the flax fields in the valley of Rupel in Flandres.
The name Laekenois came of the castle Laeken where they were believed to be the favourite dog of Queen Marie Henriette of Belgium who was impressed with their working skills.
The Laekenois is a bright and obedient dog, determined and observant with strong protective and territorial instincts. High energy with a high mental capacity, very quick to comprehend. A square shaped dog with erect ears.
They need to be socialised from a very early age, in fact from birth. They need firm but not heavy handed training to realise their full potential. If well socialised they make excellent all round companions. If not properly socialised it could lead to very shy or aggressive dogs. These dogs need regular exercise and or mental stimulation. They are not couch potatoes and if they do not receive sufficient stimulation could become destructive. They are very family orientated and do best in this type of environment. They do not cope well in kennels.
Their average life expectancy 12-14 years.
The Laekenois is a hardy breed with no major health problems.
Hip and elbow dysplasia can be a problem but careful breeding has greatly lessened this problem, although both parents should still be hip scored prior to breeding.