The Groenendeal is one of four varieties of Belgain Sheepdogs. Each these varieties were named after the town where they orginated. Groenendeals were named after the village of Groenendael in Belgium. In the USA, the groenendeal are refeared to as belgian sheepdogs. Belgian sheepdogs are hardy working dogs with strong natural herding instincts and working abilities. The groenendeal was initially developed by a breeder from Groenendael named Nicholas Rose. He crossed Petite and Picard d'Uccle. Their litter became the foundation for the groenendael. The breed was first develeped for it's ablity in herding. Since that time, the breed has been used for herding, police work, drug detction, miltitary work, and rescue. In the USA, the groenendael is registered by AKC as a belgian sheepdog.
The groenendeal was developed and utilized for herding, but soon this breed's talents were utalized in other types of work. Follow this link to learn more about the transformation of the breed's working history and virsality of the breed.
www.thetroutbum.com/hundesideHistorikk.htm Groenendeals after herding, intresting article about the changes in the sports.
www.abtc.org/ballot/akc_history.htm A QUICK HISTORY OF AKC BELGIAN REGISTRATION, EXHIBITION, CLUB ACTIVITY
http://www.abtc.org/ballot/belg_history.htm History of the belgain shephards by Mara Lee Jiles
BELGAR-HISTORIA Belgian Dogs & Malinois Worldwide Web Site History & Genealogy & Genetics, full of information
The Belgian Sheepdog should reflect the qualities of intelligence, courage, alertness and devotion to master. To his inherent aptitude as a guardian of flocks should be added protectiveness of the person and property of his master. He should be watchful, attentive, and always in motion when not under command. In his relationship with humans, he should be observant and vigilant with strangers, but not apprehensive. He should not show fear or shyness. He should not show viciousness by unwarranted or unprovoked attack. With those he knows well, he is most affectionate and friendly, zealous of their attention, and very possessive. Viciousness is a disqualification and not an exceptable trait.
Belgians tend to be very healthy and robust in general. There are some inherited disorders that must be addressed. It is important to understand and locate inherited disorders. Hip dysplasia is uncommon but all breeding stock must be tested to prevent a rise in hip dydplasia. Eye disease is somewhat more common. Breeders should be able to provide documentation that their breeding stock has no apparent inherited defects. Incidence of epilepsy is difficult to determine. It seems to vary according to variety and lines. The discovery for a test for epilepsy is in the progress. We are hopeful that in time we will be able to identify genetic markers for this terrible disease. Anesthesia sensitivity is a real concern for any Belgian, as Belgians tend to carry little body fat. It is easy to be overdosed, particularly with certain drugs. Below are links to pages concerning these issues and others that can affect any dog, regardless of breed.
OFA Database - look up hip ratings on individual dogs
Idiopathic Epilepsy in the Belgian Tervuren good referance
Canine Diversity Project - Inbreeding vs assortative mating; genetic health for dogs
An Anesthetic Primer for the Belgian Owner - by Libbye Miller DVM
The Immune System and Disease Resistance - by W Jean Dodds, DVM