Like all Belgian Shepherds, the Groenendael is a medium-sized working dog breed of the sheepdog family. The Groenendael, recognized by its distinctive black coat is currently acceptedby all major kennel clubs. In the United States it is recognized under the name Belgian Sheepdog.
Please see the main Belgian Shepherd Dog page for information on the history of the breed.
The Groenendael variety of the Belgian Sheepdog has a lustrous and thick coat. Known as the “beauty dogs”, the Groenendaels are all black, with patches of white allowed only in moderate amounts on the chest, tips of hind toes, and between the pads of the feet. The Groenendael has a double coat, the undercoat being extremely thick and dense, with an outer-coat that is abundant, straight, and long. The coat texture is moderately smooth and soft. Short hair is present on the head and also can be seen on the ears and on the front of the legs. The coat of the Groenendael is somewhat rough and extremely abundant around the neck, especially in male dogs. The front legs have some fringe on the back and the hind legs and tail is long and full. The coat is never curly or wavy.
The Groenendael is an extremely intelligent breed of dog, that is also active, loyal and highly affectionate to those it considers to be its family. The high energy and high exercise requirements of this breed make it an excellent choice for those owners willing to dedicate a large portion of their lives to keeping this breed active and occupied. The Groenendael is naturally wary of strangers and protective of the home. The breed is also notorious for forming a strong bond with any children in the family (so long as the dog is introduced to them at a young age.). This is not a breed for the faint of heart, or for those lacking time, energy, and confidence. This breed is known to have issues with separation anxiety and as such typically does poorly in a kennel situation or when forced to live outdoors and away from the family. For more information on the temperament of the breed please see the main Belgian Shepherd Dog page.