In the modern world, Belgian Shepherds are divided into four breeds – Malinois, Tervuren, Groenendael and, of course, Laekenois. However, such a division appeared only in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is due, firstly, to the work of Professor A. Ruehl from the Kuregem Veterinary Medical School and a group of dog breeders to search for herding dogs in different regions of Belgium, and secondly, to the holding of the first dog shows.
Lakenoy comes from the district of the same name, where the castle of Lakenoy is also located. Now it is difficult to say whether the castle got its name from the name of the district, or vice versa, but it is the Laquenois breed that is considered the oldest of the Belgian shepherds. Moreover, it is believed that these pets were bred in the castle itself and their history is inextricably linked with it, although, on the other hand, many believe that the dogs already lived in this area together with the locals, and grazed cattle even before the castle was generally built.
Despite the fact that Laekenois have a coarse coat, sometimes smooth-haired puppies are born in the litter of purebred dogs of this breed. This is because until the 20th century, all four breeds were mixed with each other. Many clubs and organizations register such puppies as purebred Laenois, in case it is possible to trace the pedigree in detail.
They are large dogs with an athletic build and erect triangular ears. There is a small mustache on the face, the chest is pronounced, the limbs are medium, the tail is medium, the coat is hard, of medium length, the coverage over the body is uneven.
Lakenois are very loyal dogs that love to be close to their owner and feel a close bond. On the other hand, this breed has independence and knows how to make its own decisions, it is in the genes. After all, a shepherd dog can often be at a considerable distance from the owner, and when faced with danger, when it is necessary to protect the herd, the dog must make decisions himself.
In addition, the Laquenois also guarded the laundry hung for drying in the mountainous regions, which also does not imply the presence of the owner nearby. Therefore, upbringing requires a firm hand and self-confidence, since a soft, indecisive person who does not know how to put himself in the role of a leader will not achieve success.
On the contrary, the dog may try to take a leadership position in the family on its own, and try to manage it like a herd. By the way, the qualities of management can be especially pronounced with children, as if the Laquenois feels responsibility for them as for their sheep, which need to be grazed and driven into the room in the evening when it’s time to go to bed.
At the same time, the pet sincerely loves each of the family members, shows great affection and openness to them. Lakenois are very intelligent and observant dogs, capable of realizing their own territory. They can perform guard functions, although, in general, strangers are treated normally and without aggression. They love children, both as friends and as wards, they love to play with them and just spend time.
They have a high energy level and need a variety of physical exercises. It can be both various types of training, as an element of training, and active games, walks, joint jogging in the morning. Here, the choice is yours, but the dog should receive at least an hour of exercise or active walks per day, and preferably 2 hours. The Laenois breed is hardworking by nature, and idleness affects it badly.
A Laenois dog may be susceptible to certain diseases. They include:
- dysplasia of the hip joint;
- bloating and twisting);
- thyroid disease;
- progressive retinal atrophy;
- cancer (quite common among all types of Belgian Shepherd Dogs).