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Belgian Tervuren

Belgian Tervuren Breed


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Dog Size

Energy Level

Dog Energy Level


Dog Trainability

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Physical Characteristics:
Height: 22-26”
Weight: 40-65 lbs.
Energy Level: High
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Belgian Tervuren in the following colors:

  • Fawn and black
  • Mahogany and black

Health & Longevity

Average Life Span: 12-14 years
The Belgian Tervuren is a generally healthy dog with few serious health problems. They may experience common canine issues such as allergies and hip dysplasia, a genetic condition in which the thigh bone does not fit properly into the hip joint.

They may also be prone to epilepsy. Occasionally, healthy Belgian Tervurens have below average white blood cell counts, though there seems to be no major impact on the overall health of these dogs.

A variety of eye problems may occur among Belgian Tervurens as well. They are prone to progressive renal atrophy (PRA), in which retinal tissue degenerates until daytime vision fails. Unfortunately, there is no cure for PRA. In some instances, Belgian Tervurens also suffer from an eye condition known as pannus, which causes the cornea to become inflamed. Pannus may lead to scarring of the cornea and eventually result in impaired vision. Blindness occurs only in severe cases, but the Tervuren may experience discomfort. Cataracts are also known to occur in older Belgian Tervurens.

Overall, none of these health problems occur with great frequency, and your Belgian Tervuren is unlikely to suffer from any major ailments. They have an average life span of 12-14 years.

Temperament & Train-ability

The elegant Belgian Tervuren originated in the countryside of Belgium as a herding and guard dog. As a result, the Tervuren is constantly active and needs to be kept occupied. He wants to be around his family as much as possible and involved in every family activity. He is fiercely loyal and devoted to his people, protective without being overly aggressive. Some Belgian Tervurens seem to consider themselves oversized lap dogs and are extremely affectionate. This affection may manifest itself as a need for frequent attention from his master.

Belgian Tervurens make excellent farm dogs or family dogs. Some may adjust well to apartment life, but for the most part they require strenuous daily exercise and activity. Belgian Tervurens love to run and play outdoors, so a large fenced in yard would be ideal. They can behave well indoors if they are sufficiently exercised. Ideally, they prefer to be house dogs with frequent opportunity for outdoor play, exercise, and training. Belgian Tervurens do have a tendency to be aggressive with other dogs or animals and, although extremely affectionate towards their own people, they can be aloof with strangers. Belgian Tervurens are generally good with children but may attempt to herd smaller children by nipping at their heels.

Used as police dogs in Belgium, the Tervuren is an excellent guard dog. He is agile, muscular, alert, and courageous. He is also extremely protective of his family and will go to great lengths to ensure their safety. His elegant appearance, strength, and fairly large physique also make him visually intimidating to potential threats.

For the most part, Belgian Tervurens are very trainable. They are great listeners and are constantly on the alert for instruction. They are highly sensitive to cues and even minute facial expressions from their trainers. They are said to be so in tune with their trainers that you may even find them a step ahead of you. Unlike some dogs who grow bored with training, Belgian Tervurens genuinely enjoy being challenged and mastering new tasks. The best method when training a Belgian Tervuren is positive reinforcement, as discipline may result in stubbornness. It is important to be confident and consistent when training a Tervuren because they are extremely intelligent and sometimes find it humorous to outsmart humans. For this reason, Belgian Tervurens are often not recommended for first-time dog owners. Overall, Belgian Tervurens thrive in training and are often strong competitors in agility and herding competitions.

Early socialization is recommended for the Belgian Tervuren, particularly in regards to other animals and dogs. If not properly socialized, Belgian Tervurens can become rather aggressive with their fellow animals. The Tervuren needs excellent leadership and guidance, or he may become high strung and nervous.


Although Belgian Tervurens do shed year round, grooming needs for this breed are not overly demanding. During certain time periods they will have a particularly heavy shed: in the springtime for males and between heat cycles for females. They should be brushed at least fifteen to twenty minutes weekly, but brushing daily can help prevent excessive shedding. Extra brushing will be required during times of heavy shed.

Bathe your Tervuren as needed, typically every three months. During shedding season, warm baths may help remove dead hair. Brush teeth regularly to prevent tartar buildup. To prevent overgrowth and cracking of the nails, they should be trimmed at least once a month. For puppies, nail trimming should occur weekly. Ears should be checked regularly for buildup of wax or debris in order to avoid infection. A foul odor can also be a sign of an ear infection.


The extremely active Belgian Tervuren needs a high-quality diet specifically tailored to his activity level. Dry food is considered the best option in order to prevent oral health problems. The exact amount and type of food for your Tervuren will depend on factors such as his overall activity level, his size, and his age. It is important to ensure your Belgian Tervuren is not overfed, because they can be prone to becoming overweight.

Ensure that clean, fresh water is available at all times. This is particularly important for the Belgian Tervuren because they are constantly in motion.

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A Belgian Tervuren can cost anywhere from $1200 to $2000. Some breeders will charge more for dogs considered show prospects, while others will charge the same for show prospects and pets. Other factors influencing price will include the breeding history and show records of the puppy’s parents, the prominence of the breeder, and breeder location. High cost is not necessarily an indicator of high quality.

Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking

Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.

Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The Belgian Tervuren ranks a 3. They are loyal, affectionate, hardworking, and generally obedient. They are typically very healthy, do not require a great deal of grooming, and make excellent guard dogs. They do, however, require attention and a highly active lifestyle that may not be suited for everyone, and they need excellent leadership and training to ensure they do not become aggressive, anxious, or overly willful.


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