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Belgian Tervurens are considered the rarest and most elegant breed of Belgian shepherd dogs. They stand 1 foot, 9 inches tall to 2 feet, 2 inches tall and they are characterized by their strikingly beautiful, richly colored long coats, their piercing expressions and their reputations for never standing still. Belgian Tervurens are energetic dogs who are lively and loveable with their owners. They are more than happy to be put to work and will make themselves busy no matter what, so they make loyal companions for owners who are just as happy to spend plenty of time grooming, exercising and training their quick-moving, intelligent Belgian Tervuren.
The alert Belgian Tervuren is a dependable family companion who can be counted on to constantly watch over his family like a "flock." They should be consistently observant to the point of appearing vigilant in protection of their family, but they should never be apprehensive or anxious. These are confident, intelligent dogs who are proud in their instinctive watchfulness. Their tendency to stand their ground in front of new faces makes them possessive of their family and their territory if they are not properly socialized and taught to be comfortable in front of strangers and other dogs.
Belgian Tervurens require quite a bit of exercise to burn of all of their natural herding dog energy. They will appreciate active outdoor play and challenging tasks that let them exercise their bodies and their minds. They are not content to be cooped up alone in the house. In fact, they are zealous for attention and long to spend time amusing their owners, so plan to spend most of your time in your dog's company. They are lively.
The Belgian Tervuren's striking appearance is punctuated by their richly colored, longhaired coats. They are often mistaken as long-haired German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois, but they have a squarer profile and a much lighter bone structure, which makes them light on their feet. Their gently flowing, long coat gives them the appearance of being constantly in the middle of fluid motion. Like the Belgian Malinois, Belgian Tervurens have dark piercing eyes and black masks, but Belgian Tervurens have longer snouts and more elongated faces.
Their coats are made up of a dense under coat and a thick, harsh and straight over coat. The over coat is a richly colored shade of fawn, mahogany, russet or golden tan with black tips. It becomes darker as Belgian Tervurens age. Their coat is often lighter along their underbelly and chest. The hair on the head around their characteristic black mask and ears is short and soft. Their coat is feathered around their bottom, the backs of their legs, and the ruff of their neck, which is less pronounced on females. They have long, feathered tails.
These beautiful, abundant coats do not come without a price. Plan to spend about 20 minutes a week brushing your Belgian Tervuren. They shed consistently throughout the year, but if you spend time brushing your dog with a slicker brush and a metal comb to remove dead hair, untangle hair and prevent mats, you will be able to cut back on the amount of hair left lying around your house. You'll also make your dog much more comfortable, especially during the yearly periods when they shed even more profusely.
Bathing Tervurens need not be frequent, but during periods when they shed most heavily, a hot bath will help remove dead hair and cut back on the amount of hair they drop naturally.
Trim the long hair around your dog's paws and hocks to give them more freedom of movement.
Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.
Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience. As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.
You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.
Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.
It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Corgis, Alaskan Malamutes, Akitas and Collies have sensitive ears that need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If your dog is prone to developing tear stains around the eyes, clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.
Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.
Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.