Belgian Tervuren Featured Image

The Belgian Tervuren dog breed, also known simply as the Tervuren, is stunningly beautiful and highly intelligent.

Originating in Belgium, Belgian Tervurens are initially bred to be working dogs.

These dogs are known for their brains, agility, and loyalty, making them best suited as working and companion dogs.

This breed is one of four types of Belgian sheepdogs, the others being the Malinois, Laekenois, and Groenendael.

The Tervuren is a medium to large-sized breed with a distinctively elegant and regal appearance. This breed is known for its high energy, intelligence, and loyalty to its family.

Belgian Tervuren

Belgian Tervuren History

Originating in the late 19th century, the Belgian Tervuren were bred to be working dogs to help in farms by herding and guarding property.

They were first recognized as a distinct breed by the American Kennel Club in 1959, and they have since become popular for being excellent working and companion dogs.

The Belgian Tervuren was originally bred by a Belgian veterinarian, M.F. Corbeel, who wanted to create a versatile herding dog that could work in various terrains and weather conditions.

M.F. Corbeel bred various dogs, including the Belgian Sheepdog. Over time, the breed evolved in appearance and became distinct breeds, each with its characteristics and traits.

The Tervuren name came after the village of Tervuren, where Corbeel lived and developed the breed.

These were general-purpose farm dogs, working to herd sheep and cattle and protect other livestock.

Belgian Turvurens were also the first dogs to be used by the Belgian police. During World War I and II, Tervurens was used as a messenger, ambulance, and search and rescue dogs.

And after the war, their popularity still rose as they became police and military dogs, as well as beloved companions and show dogs.

The Belgian Tervuren is still a highly versatile breed that excels in different activities, such as herding, obedience, agility, and search and rescue work.

Physical Characteristics 

The Belgian Tervuren is a medium to large-sized breed. They have long, lean bodies with thick, fluffy coats ranging from fawn to mahogany with black markings.

The Belgian Tervuren is a double-coated breed with a long, straight topcoat and a soft, dense undercoat.

Their undercoat gives protection from the weather, and it'll change its thickness depending on the climate where they live.

Male Belgian Tervuerns typically stand between 24 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 55 to 75 pounds.

On the other hand, females are slightly smaller, standing between 22 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 40 to 60 pounds.

The Belgian Tervuren has a wedge-shaped head with a slightly domed skull. They have medium-sized eyes that are almond-shaped and usually dark brown.

The Belgian Tervuren has triangular-shaped ears that stand erect and are placed high on their heads.

Their body build is athletic with a deep chest, level back, and slightly curved tail.

The Temperament of the Belgian Tervuren

The Belgian Tervuren is known for its high energy, intelligence, and loyalty.

They are often used as working dogs in law enforcement and search and rescue operations, working side-by-side with police officers.

The Belgian Tervuren is generally a confident and alert dog. Their high intelligence makes them easy to train, making them great dogs for obedience and agility competitions.

They are also known to protect their families, making them excellent watchdogs.

Belgian Tervurens have a strong work ethic and a high drive, so they require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

They can become bored and destructive if left alone for long periods or if they do not receive enough exercise.

The Belgian Tervuren is an energetic and smart breed. They love attention, and they need stimulation to thrive.

They are loyal and protective of their families, making them great companions for people ready to invest time and effort into their care and training.

Living with a Belgian Tervuren

Generally, Belgian Tervuren can get along well with children and other pets if properly socialized and trained.

These dogs are known to be affectionate, loyal, and protective, which can make them great family pets.

With proper socialization, Tervs can be good with children, especially if raised together. The same goes for other dogs and cats.

These pets will get along just fine when they grow up with them from puppyhood.

As pet parents, we must train children to approach, touch, or play with dogs properly. Supervise all of their interactions to help prevent unwanted biting and ear or tail pulling on both parties.

Belgian Tervuren Exercise

Training and Exercise

As an intelligent and active breed, the Belgian Tervuren requires regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

They thrive on obedience training, agility training, and search and rescue work.

Belgian Tervurens require plenty of exercises, such as daily walks, runs, or hikes.

They also enjoy activities such as agility training, flyball, and frisbee. Aim for at least 60 minutes of exercise per day.

Tervurens also need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

You wouldn't want to come home to your house in a mess. Provide puzzle toys, obedience training, and interactive games.

When it comes to training, you must be consistent. Tervurens are highly trainable due to their brain development, and they respond well to positive reinforcement training.

Consistency and patience are key to successfully training these dogs.

Like any other dog breed, early socialization is crucial for a Tervuren's development. Expose them to new people, the environment, and other pets to prevent shyness or aggression.

Health Care

The Belgian Tervuren is generally a healthy dog with a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years!

However, like other dog breeds, they are susceptible to certain health conditions you should look out for.

Adopting a Tervuren from a reputable breeder who can provide health clearances for both the parents and the puppies is best advised.

Regular veterinary check-ups, a healthy diet, and regular exercise can also help to keep the Tervuren healthy and happy.

Below, we've gathered a few health problems that Tervuren dogs are prone to.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a genetic condition wherein the socket of the joint and ball becomes distorted.

If your dog gets diagnosed with hip dysplasia, it’s important to keep their weight within the standard range and have them exercise with activities that encourage joint therapy.

Your vet can prescribe medications for anti-inflammatory, pain relievers, and supplements for this condition.

For prevention, keep them active and ensure they are getting enough exercise but not to the point that they might injure themselves.

Two Belgian Tervuren

Elbow Dysplasia

Like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is a hereditary condition. One possible cause of this condition is the different growth traits of the three bones that make up their elbow.

Dogs suffering from elbow dysplasia will suffer from painful lameness.

Your vet can recommend surgery to treat and correct the problem and will suggest your pup take medication to control the pain.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive Retinal Atrophy, or PRA, is another health condition the Belgian Tervuren is prone to.

This condition affects the rod and cone cells in the eyes, leading to blindness. Unfortunately, this disease can progress quickly from a year or two.

It is also a hereditary disease known to have no treatment yet. Having your dog's eyes frequently checked is best advised to reduce the risk of PRA.


Lastly, epilepsy is a condition that causes mild or severe seizures in dogs.

It can be genetic, caused by metabolic disorders, brain injuries, or tumors. However, the cause of idiopathic epilepsy is still unknown.

Veterinarians may administer anti-seizure, but it can only reduce the severity of the seizure.

Ensure your dog is checked immediately to provide the right medication for the disorder.

Belgian Tervuren Close Up


Like training and exercise, grooming is also essential to dog care.

The Belgian Tervuren's long, thick coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles.

Taking care of a Tervuren requires a few essential grooming needs to maintain its beautiful coat and keep them looking healthy.

The Belgian Tervuren has a thick double coat that needs regular brushing to remove tangles, mats, and loose hair.

Brush your Tervuren at least once weekly to keep their skin healthy and beautiful.

Belgian Tervurens do not need to frequently bathe as this can strip their coat of natural oils. However, if they get into something messy or smelly, it may be necessary to clean them.

For instance, if your Tervuren loves to play in the mud, use a mild dog shampoo and rinse thoroughly.

Keep their nails short by trimming them regularly. When trimming their nails, a good rule is never to let them touch the ground.

Regular teeth cleaning is important to prevent dental problems. Daily brushing is recommended to avoid tartar buildup and remove bacteria lurking inside their mouths.

Use a dog toothbrush and toothpaste to brush their teeth at least once a week.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Tervuren the same as a Malinois?

The Belgian Tervuren and the Belgian Malinois are two different dogs. They, however, both originated in Belgium and are excellent working dogs.

There are a lot of differences between the two breeds. For instance, the Belgian Malinois grows larger than the Tervuren.

Are Belgian Tervurens aggressive?

With proper socialization and training, Belgian Tervurens are loving and loyal to their people.

These dogs wouldn't show aggression without determining a threat first since they are dedicated to protecting their family.

Are Belgian Tervurens good guard dogs?

Yes, Tervs are excellent guard dogs. In addition to herding, they were originally bred to protect farmers' livestock.

These dogs are known to be highly protective of their loved ones. So if you plan to adopt a guard dog, the Belgian Tervuren is a great choice.

Belgian Tervuren Puppy

Belgian Tervuren Dog Breed Profile: Summary

The Belgian Tervuren are members of the Belgian Shepherd family. This family is stacked as the Malinois, Laekenois, and more join them.

Tervuren dogs are muscular and athletic. They are loyal, affectionate, energetic, and highly intelligent dogs.

Tervs are originally bred to be herding and guard dogs, especially with their strong work ethic and natural protective instinct.

With their brains, they are easy to train and can excel in many canine sports and activities, like obedience, agility, and tracking.

If you plan to adopt a Belgian Tervuren puppy, remember that this dog breed requires plenty of exercise, training, and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Find a reputable breeder that can provide health clearances of the puppy and its parents to ensure they are healthy.


Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.