Elgian Laekenois

he Belgian Laekenois is one of, and probably the oldest of, four related varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dogs. The Laekenois originated in the mid- to late 1800s in Flandres, where the dogs herded sheep and guarded flax fields. In the early 1900s, the Brussels police force and Belgian army used these versatile dogs.

The Laekenois stands 22 to 26 inches tall and weighs between 40 and 80 pounds, with females smaller than males. The head is strong, the eyes are almond-shaped and dark brown, and the ears are upright and large. The body is as long as it is tall at the shoulder. The tail is long. The coat is wiry and can be fawn to mahogany, usually with a touch of black.

Grooming the weather-resistant wire coat is not difficult. It should be brushed twice a week.

The Laekenois is a very active, high-energy breed. Vigorous daily exercise is very important; without exercise or a job to do, this breed will get into trouble. Long walks are great, but she will also need a jog alongside a bicycle, an agility training session, or a fast game of fetch.

Early socialization is necessary, as the breed is reserved with strangers. Early training that continues into adulthood will not only teach household rules and social manners, but will give the dog mental stimulation. These alert, intelligent dogs were bred to work and will not be happy unless they have a job to do. They also excel at canine activities and sports, including agility, obedience competition, herding trials, and flyball.

The Laekenois are watchful and protective. They are affectionate with their people but tend to bond more closely with one family member. They can be good with older children but will tend to try to herd them. They can be good with smaller pets if raised with them but, again, will try to herd cats. Health concerns include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye and thyroid problems, and epilepsy.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC FSS, UKC, CKC

Occupation: Herder Size: 22 to 26 in tall; 40 to 80 lbs

Longevity: 12 to 14 years Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise

Training: Easy; needs to work Grooming: Easy

Belgian Laekenois 147

elgian Malinois

'I WHS Iwwlj UnH lif'lMiBIHIWfMMWnilllMiwil Hl he Belgian Malinois is one of four varieties of Belgian Shepherd dogs. This breed was developed in Belgium in the mid- to late 1800s as both sheep herding and guardian dogs. In the early 1900s, they were used by both the Brussels police and Belgian army.

The Malinois stands between 22 and 26 inches tall and weighs between 40 and 80 pounds, with females smaller than males. The head is strong, and the eyes are almond-shaped and dark brown. The ears are pricked and large. The body is as long as the dog is tall at the shoulder, and the legs are strong. The tail is curved and reaches the hock. The coat is short and hard and is fawn to mahogany, with black tips, mask, and ears. There is a dense undercoat.

The Malinois needs twice weekly brushing for most of the year, but during spring and fall when shedding is at its worst, the coat should be brushed more often.

The Malinois is a high-energy, active breed. Vigorous daily exercise is an absolute must. Jogging alongside a bicycle, plus a game of flying disc and a couple of walks, is the minimum. This breed excels at canine sports and does best in a home where people are active and want to play games with her every day.

The Malinois is the most driven of the four Belgain Shepherd varieties; she has an innate drive to work. Her training should begin early and continue into adulthood so that she has a focus and a job to do. She can also be very wary of strangers and quite protective, so socialization should start early, too, and continue into adulthood.

The Malinois is too much dog for a first-time dog owner; she requires an active, experienced owner who understands what she needs. She can be a good family dog but tends to bond more closely with one person in the family. She may not be good with other dogs; she wants to be in charge. She should not be trusted with small pets; she has a strong prey drive. Health concerns include hip and elbow dysplasia and eye and thyroid problems.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Herder Size: 22 to 26 in tall; 40 to 80 lbs

Longevity: 12 to 14 years Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise

Training: Easy; needs to work Grooming: Easy

Pit Bulls as Pets

Pit Bulls as Pets

Are You Under The Negative Influence Of Hyped Media Stereotypes When It Comes To Your Knowledge Of Pit Bulls? What is the image that immediately comes into your mind when you think of the words Pit Bull? I can almost guarantee that they would be somewhere close to fierce, ferouscious, vicious, killer, unstoppable, uncontrollable, or locking jawed man-eaters.

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