The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred Belgian Tervuren

Information and Pictures

Riot the Belgian Tervuren standing on a gravel top in front of a rock and lilac bushes

Riot the Belgian Tervuren pictured at 13 months old achieved his "Canadian Championship" so his new official name is: Can Ch. Ravenmasque Summer Riot CGN TT RNCL. He has achieved his Temperament Test title (TT), as well as his Canine Good Neighbor title (CGN) and his CARO Rally Obedience Novice title with a Cum Lade (second highest scoring) (RNCL). This picture was taken right after one of his CKC conformation shows. He took home first in his age group and Best Puppy of Breed.

Other Names
  • Belgian Shepherd Tervuren
  • Tervuren
  • Chien de Berger Belge

Belgian Ter-VER-en speaker


The Belgian Tervuren has a square shaped appearance to its body. When viewed from the side, the topline of its moderately pointed muzzle is parallel to the topline of its skull. The stop is moderate. The black lips are tight. The medium sized, almond-shaped eyes are dark brown. The erect ears are triangular in shape with their height equal to their width. The chest is deep reaching the elbows. The legs are straight, parallel and vertical to the ground. The topline is level, sloping slightly at the withers. Dewclaws are usually removed. The feet are cat-like in shape. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The tail is strong at the base with the bone reaching to the hock. The double coat is weather resistant with long, abundant, close-fitting guard hairs. The overall length of the harsh coat is medium to long with the hair on the head, legs and outer surface of the ears being shorter. The undercoat is dense and the outer coat is straight with black tips. Males have a mane of hair around the neck that is not as prominent in females. There is longer hair fringing down the back and front legs with abundant hair on the tail. Coat colors include rich fawn to russet mahogany, or shades of gray with black tips. The chest, toes and chin may have some white. The coat usually darkens as the dog gets older.


The Belgian Tervuren is one of four Belgian sheepdogs. A very bright and obedient dog, it is determined and observant with strong protective and territorial instincts. Socialize well to prevent it from becoming shy or sensitive. Belgian Tervurens need an experienced master who is firm, but not heavy handed. If you are harsh or overbearing it will become uncooperative. Owners need to display a confident, natural authority over the dog. Consistent rules must be set and made clear. This breed is instinctively protective so it should be trained and socialized very well from an early age. Puppies should be socialized right from birth. Good for working and competition obedience, these dogs make excellent police and guard dogs. This type of work is currently their main occupation. They do however, make excellent pets if they have owners who can challenge their minds with an air of leadership. They are ever watchful, alert and loyal. The Belgian Tervuren is good with children if socialized well with them. This breed needs to be part of the family and not locked up in a kennel. They need leadership, daily exercise along with training and companionship, for without it they may become destructive and hard to handle. The Belgian Tervuren is high energy, with a high mental capacity, and is quick to comprehend. They need a job to do, especially if you are dealing with working lines. Take care when introducing this dog with small non-canine pets. They can be rather dominant toward other dogs and need an owner who can communicate to the dog that dominance is an unwanted behavior. Provided they are correctly socialized with cats and other pets, they should not present any problems. Belgian Tervurens may instinctively display herding behavior such as chasing and circling, moving effortlessly for hours and nipping at people's heels. They must be taught not to do this to people. This is a very demanding dog. It needs an experienced owner for it can easily be difficult to control unless the owner knows how to handle him. The way the owner handles the dog can produce wide differences in temperament and aggressiveness. Talk to someone experienced with the breed before you buy your dog. These dogs are often impressive; don't base your purchase solely on achievement records and appearances. Only adopt this type of dog if you fully understand what it means to be alpha.

Height, Weight

Height: Males 24 - 26 inches (61 - 66 cm) Females 22 - 24 inches (56 - 61 cm)

Weight: Males 65 - 75 pounds (29 - 34 kg) Females 60 - 70 pounds (27 - 32 kg)

Health Problems

This hardy, healthy breed has no major health concerns. Some minor concerns that have been seen are epilepsy, skin allergies, eye problems, excessive shyness, excessive aggressiveness and occasionally hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. Do not overfeed this breed, for it has a tendency to become obese and lazy.

Living Conditions

The Belgian Tervuren will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is moderately active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard. This breed prefers cool climates, but adapts well to others. It can live outdoors but would much rather be with his people.


This is a working dog that is accustomed to an active outdoor life. As such it needs a lot of exercise, including a long daily walk. In addition, it will greatly benefit being off the leash as much as possible in a safe area.

Life Expectancy

About 12-14 years

Litter Size

Average 6 - 10 puppies


The Belgian Tervuren has a long, straight, medium-length, heavy outer coat and a dense undercoat that requires daily combing and brushing. Clip out mats that form, particularly in the ruff and on the legs, and clip hair from between the toes and on the outer ears. This breed is a constant light shedder, with males shedding heavily once a year and females twice a year. The coat needs a good thorough brushing once or twice a week.


The Belgian Tervuren was named for the Belgian village of Tervuren. It is one of the four varieties of the Belgian sheepdogs, the Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Groenendael, Belgian Malinois and the less popular Belgian Laekenois, which all share a common foundation. In most countries and breed clubs all four dogs are considered the same breed with different varieties in coat types. All four dogs share a breed standard in all countries except for the AKC, which since 1959 recognizes them as separate breeds and does not recognize one of the four (the Laekenois), whereas the UKC, which is also a U.S. registry does recognize all four varieties as one breed. Versatile and highly intelligent, all four varieties of the Belgian sheepdog excel at a variety of talents, including but not limited to, police work such as narcotics and bomb detection, protection and Schutzhund, search and rescue, also obedience, agility, tracking, herding, sled and cart pulling and as a guide for the blind and assistant to the disabled. These high energy, extremely intelligent dogs need leadership, to be challenged, and well exercised daily and therefore are not for everyone, but can make an excellent family companion with the right owners. The Belgian Malinois was the first of the four sheepdogs to establish type. Until the other four were established in type they were called "Berger Belge a poil court autre que Malinois," which means "Belgian short-coated Sheepdog who is not the Malinois." Today all four sheepdogs are popular in Belgium, with the Laekenois and Malinois more often used as working type dogs than the Belgian Groenendael and Tervuren but all types still making excellent workers.


Herding, AKC Herding

  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ABTC = American Belgian Tervuren Club
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club
Arrow the Belgian Tervuren standing in front of two people and a sign that says 'Clackmans Kennel Club - June 2003 - Best of Breed - Kohler Photo'

Arrow the Belgian Tervuren

Chloe the Belgian Tervuren outside in a neighborhood getting snow on its fur

"This is Chloe, our Belgian Tervuren Shepherd, last winter. As you can tell, she loves the snow. Like a typical Terv, Chloe can be a little wary of strangers at first (making her a good guard dog for the house), but she eventually warms up and asks for cuddles."

Chloe the Belgian Tervuren standing outside while big snowflakes fall on him

Chloe the Belgian Tervuren enjoying the snow

Rio the Belgian Tervuren puppy wearing a green ribbon laying outside on grass next to a table

Riot the Belgian Tervuren puppy at 5 weeks old—Can Ch. Ravenmasque Summer Riot CGN TT RNCL

See more examples of the Belgian Tervuren