How To Keep Belgian Tervuren Healthy And Happy

The Belgian Tervuren dog breed enjoy a long life expectancy compared to many of the large working dog breeds you know, but, how can you keep your dog healthy and happy so he can live longer?

It turns out that all dog breeds can enjoy a long lifespan as long as they are kept in a home where they are adequately cared for. 

But what does better dog care look like? 

If you want to keep your dog healthy and happy, here are some of the little things you can do to prolong the dog’s life expectancy:

  • Provide adequate shelter:  Though dogs are resilient and adapt to extenuating living environments, the same environmental conditions provided to your dog have impactful influences on your dog’s behavior. 

Rescue dogs who came from an abusive household tend to be fearful, defensive and self-imposed isolation as they struggle to build trust with their new owners. 

  • Supply clean, dry bedding. Dog breed who thrive in the arctic may not fair well in the prairie or the grasslands. So, if you have a dog living with you, make sure that he has the best dog beds along with clean dry beddings. 

As different dog breeds live in many varying habitats and environments including prairies, deserts, grasslands, forests, rain forests, coastal regions and arctic zones, we should, therefore, supplement our pets where possible or provide cooling means when its too hot.

  • Provide clean, freshwater. Energetic dogs like the Belgian Tervuren need to drink water frequently. 

So, if you are going out for a walk, make sure she drinks before setting off and as soon as you get back. This way, your dog will not drink from dirty water in the park or river streams.

  • Feed a high-quality pet food. With pet food, its easy to get it wrong. Thankfully, there are numerous reviewed dog food by real pet owners who have first-hand experience beyond reading the labels. 

So, make sure to only feed your dog high-quality pet food.

  • Maintain proper body weight. Good and nutritious pet food helps to keep a record of what your dog eats. 

As you can not measure what you do not manage, it is crucial that you help your dog maintain proper body weight by keeping count of what your dog eats so he keep her ideal dog breed body weight.

  • Exercise your dog regularly. Daily long walks of between 45 to an hour are essential to make sure that your dog’s vital organs are adquately exercised. 
  • Play with your dog daily. Dog breeds that are playful and energetic can benefit greatly from social settings where they have undivided attension but also an off the leash time. 

So, make sure you choose best parks for dogs near you, and set aside time to play with your dog so she does not get bored or depressed. 

While as pet owners we take pride in providing food, medical care, a home, grooming, toys and other essential amenities, doing playful activities that increase our dog’s happiness quotient is possibly more important. 

  • Take your dog to the vet at least once a year. Visiting your local veterinarian for your pet dog’s thorough do over is essential to his lispan. So, schedule regular vets visit for the dog, even if she is not feeling unwell.

Belgian Tervuren Breed Profile.

With a high energy level and a love for hard work, the Tervuren breed is a remarkable dog. 

Its versatility means that the breed has so much to offer. It likes spending most of its time around its owners which, later leads to a strong bond between you and your dog. 

It is also a very loyal dog that loves to keep its family away from danger. This characteristic made this an excellent herding dog. 

They are smart dogs that love a good challenge. This trait also makes this dog easy to train.

Is the Belgium Tervuren a good guard dog?

Although this is a friendly dog around its owners, it is very territorial around people that is does not know or around other dogs. 

This is the type of watchdog that you will ever need. It is very alert to changes in its surroundings and very often barks at anything that seems odd to it. 

About the Tervuren breed

  • Weight: 44 to 55 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Height: 24 to 26 inches

The Tervuren is active and likes to play with the whole family, they are particularly fond of playing with kids too. 

Since it has a lot of Herding traits, you might see this dog herding your children during their playtime. 

They are also known to form a strong bond with one person in the family. 

They are related to the Belgium Sheepdog (sometimes known by the name “Groenendael”), the Laekenois and the Belgium Malinois, all of which have the same country of origin, Belgium. 

History of the Tervuren

As said above, this breed was produced in Belgium and it dates back to as far as the mid to late 1800s. It was created around the time that the country had a lot of cattle. 

The breeders needed a dog that would herd and would be able to guard the cattle. 

They produced a large dog that was muscular, protective and could run at very fast speeds, it had the characteristics of a perfect herding dog. 

The breed then became popular by the early 1900s and it spread across the country. Later it made its way to countries like the US.

At first, it categorized as a Belgian sheepdog.

 It was not until the year 1959 when the breed was recognized under the name Belgian Tervuren by the American Kennel Club, granting it a separate status from the Sheepdog. 

However, the Canada Kennel Club still recognizes the Tervuren as a variety of the sheepdog (earlier known as the Belgian Shepherd)

Today, this dog breed has spread all over the world. It is used as a police dog, as a family pet and a lot others still do what they were created for, herding. 

Physical Appearance

The Tervuren has a double coat consisting of a dense undercoat and a bigger top coat. 

The color of the coat is mainly mahogany but some Tervuren dogs come in Fawn, red as well as gray with a bit of a black overlay on its back. 

The color of the puppies largely depends on that of the parents. 

The Tervuren has a very strong appearance which many may view as intimidating. As of their height, male breeds stands in a range of 24 to 26 inches. 

Along with that, they have an average weight of 56 pounds. Females, however, are much smaller and slightly lighter than the males, which is quite normal. 

Are these dogs Aggressive? Temperament

The Belgium Tervuren is aggressive to strangers during to which it tends to bark and can sometimes attack them.

On top of that, they have an intimidating look that, alone, can frighten intruders or even predators. 

The Belgian Tervuren also has an independent side that makes wonder on their own. 

Consider having a tall fence around your compound to keep this dog from getting into any trouble. 

Also, your dog should also get used to being on a leash. This leads us to our next point.

They have a Prey drive

This dog is very alert to its surroundings and will often chase anything that catches its eye such as rodents or squirrels.

They also do not get along well with small pets like cats. However, you can train them to socialize with other pets at a very young age.

The best way is to buy them at a very young age and let them grow together in the household. 

Other interesting facts about the Tervuren

They are easy to train

Since Tervuren breeds are so intelligent, they are easy to train. They quickly remember commands and tricks that they are taught. 

For best results is training, award your dog with treats when it accomplishes its training. This will keep them attentive throughout the training exercise. 

They are pack breeds

What this means is that the dog likes to assess its position in the household. Having said that, you should always show your dog that you are the dominant leader of the pack, period! 

Once the dog is dominant in the family, it will disrespect you and this will make training a lot harder.

 As such, this breed is not recommended to people who do not have prior experience in handling large dog breeds, or even owning a dog. 

What foods are best for them?

When it comes to selecting food for us humans, one of the factors we consider is our activity levels throughout the day. 

You should apply the same concept when considering what to feed your dog.


Proteins provide the best nutritional benefits to dog, as well as maintains their activity levels. 

As such, a higher percentage of proteins should be added to your dog’s diet. For best results, your dog’s food must contain at least 15% of proteins.


Vegetables can be a great source of vitamins and minerals to your dog, just as they do with us. These are vegetables like Brussel sprouts, carrots and broccoli, just to mention a few. 

However, it is recommended that the amount of vegetables in your dog’s diet should only be about 10%. 

When you cook some veggies for you, share some with your dog. Not only will it provide nutritional benefits to your Tervuren, the dog will also love that it is having human food. It will thank you. 


Because the Tervuren is such an active dog, it gets dehydrated quite fast. As a result, it likes to drink water regularly. 

You should buy a water bowl and make sure that it always has water available. You will probably refill the bowl like twice a day. 

Also, make sure that it you clean it before refilling it. 

Exercise Requirements

As we mentioned earlier, the Belgian Tervuren is naturally active. Such dogs require regular exercises to keep them from being bored, which makes them to have destructive behavior. 

For this herding breed, you must be prepared to spend at least 45 minutes to 1 hour of exercise on a daily basis. The exercises must be both mental and physical as well. 

One of the activities that you can do to keep your dog exercised are taking long runs. These dogs enjoy running and they can run for a long period of time.

Other activities that this dog can do are tracking, flyball and dog agility trails. 

How about grooming requirements?

The Belgian Tervuren breed has a thick coat, similar its close cousin, the Belgian sheepdog. 

Their coat needs to be brushed at least twice a week to maintain their smart look and also to remove some of that dead hair off their skin. 

During shedding seasons, the Tervuren sheds quite excessively hence they require regular brushing. 

Ordinarily, they require baths at least once a week during which you should check their skin for any sings of infections (because Tervuren breeds are susceptible to skin problems).

How about Health concerns?

The Belgian Tervuren, like its close relatives, has a few health problems that it is more prone to. Most of these diseases affect the dog when it is at an adult state- somewhere between 7 to 10 years. 

Hip Dysplasia 

This is a disease that is common in large dog breeds like these ones. It is a condition whereby the dog’s hip joints develop arthritis. 

This causes a lot of pain in the joint area. As a result, it can lead to lameness and even inability to walk at all. 

The symptoms of hip dysplasia are not easily spotted during the early stages of the disease. 

Some of the symptoms that point to hip dysplasia are; inability to walk straight or whining when walking. This causes the dog to become less active, which is out of the ordinary. 


Cataracts is a condition in which the dog’s eyes become cloudy. This limits their inability to see clearly. 

This is another disease that is challenging to spot, especially for people that do not know that these dogs are susceptible to such a disease. 

Also, since we don’t see through their eyes, it is virtually impossible to determine this disease. 

Over time the cloudiness thickens and can completely cover the eyes, leading to blindness. The last thing you want to do is try to raise a blind dog. 

Make sure you take your dog for checkups- at least once every 3 months, just incase. If cataracts symptoms are in early stages, they can be treated.


Though a few occurrences have been known over the last decade, the dogs are still prone to them. Epilepsy, unlike the other mentioned diseases, can happen randomly. 

When your dog is experiencing epilepsy or seizures, call the vet immediately so that your dog can get early medical assistance.


A study showed that the Tervuren has a lifespan that ranges from 10 to 12 years. 

Eddie Mcfarren

Eddie Mc Farren has been proudly advocating for pets and animal welfare for countless years and he's been doing so with passion and commitment to excellence. Because of that commitment, he helps Pet maintain a completely friendly support team who help you navigate the complex choices you have to make for your pet food, best dog travel beds, skincare products for your pet and many more. Being on the constant hunt for 100% best pet supplies and service satisfaction for your pet is a task we approach with unprecedented intensity. Eddie also helps with the selection of our partners of choice and are carefully vetted to make sure that you get the best results possible for your pet.

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