Belgian Tervuren- Dive into the world of the Chien de Berger Belge

Belgian Tervuren is considered to be the most elegant dog of all the four Belgian Sheepdogs.

Tervuren is pronounced as “ter-vyoo-run.”

This dog is smart and athletic which makes him a good performer in a variety of activities that include herding which is what he was originally bred for.

Also known as ‘Terv’ this pooch originated from Belgium which is not surprising where he is known as “Chien de Berger Belge.”

There is a lot that this dog breed has to offer apart from being a great herding dog and if you were looking to get more information Mydogsinfo is the place to be.

Whether you are considering adoption or buying one of these dogs from a breeder you have come to the right place. We are going to look at all that you need to know about the Belgian Terv from his traits on how to care for one.

Let us go through this together. 

About the Belgian Tervuren

The Tervuren is a black-masked pooch that belongs to a group of four other breeds the include;

  • The Belgian Malinois.
  • Belgian Sheepdog or Belgian Groenendael
  • The Belgian Laekenois

Visit this guide to learn more about the Belgian Malinois.

If you are an active person that was looking for a high energy dog to be with you as you carried out your various activities then you might have just stumbled ion the perfect pooch for you.

They might be a bit high maintenance but they are completely worth it because of their great personalities.

These dogs are highly protective of their families but this is because of how devoted they are towards them. However, just like any other dog, the Belgian Terv has his imperfections too which we are going to talk about later in this guide.

But if have made up your mind on this dog then you need to understand and meet his needs as well. You should socialize him from an early age to avoid having issues with his behavior.

This is a pooch that can easily outsmart you with his mischievous sense of humor.


Tervuren origin

One thing is for sure and it that Tervurens did not come by due to accidental breeding. Their history is well documented.

This breed was created before the Industrial age when farmers were looking for a dog that was great at doing several activities that included guarding and herding.

A breeder by the name of M.F Corbeel was responsible for the breeding of this pooch. He did this by crossing two of his tawny-haired dogs named Poes and Tom to come up with the first line of Belgian Tervurens.

The first Terv pup was known as Miss.

Miss was then bred with other Tawny haired and black canines.

However, he was not the only one that was interested in meeting the farmers’ demand. Other breeders were also busy developing Shepherds and in the process, the Belgian Shepherds came to be.

These Shepherds were so similar in looks and temperament that they were originally considered to be one breed.

The Chien de Berger Belge became a helper to the farmers and had great strength and stamina.

Eve to date the Belgian Tervuren is known for his work ethics and versatility being used by the military, police, and service dogs. They also appeared in the film The Company of Wolves. 


The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1959 as the Belgian Tervuren but before this, they are registered as Belgian Shepherds.

In Canada, they were recognized as Tervurens in 2005.

Pros and cons of Tervs


Belgian Tervurens are incredibly smart dogs.

They make great family dogs and are people-oriented.

These pooches are highly trainable.


They need a lot of exercise which might be too much for some people.

These dogs can be stubborn, shy and even headstrong.

They shed a lot and require regular grooming.

Belgian Tervuren Characteristics and appearance

Belgian Tervuren summary table
Height Males stand between 24 and 26 inches while females can stand anywhere between 22 to 24 inches when fully grown.
Weight 55 to 75 pounds for male Tervurens and 45 to 60 pounds for females
Lifespan 10 to 14 years depending on the health
Breed Type Herding group
Purpose Herding, protection and guard dog
Suitable For owners that have experience with large dogs and active families
Grooming requirements High
Color Variations Black, Fawn, Red or gray
Health concerns hip and elbow dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and epilepsy
Temperament intelligent, loyal, loving, friendly, Energetic, Affectionate and can also be stubborn or shy
Other Names Terv, Tervuren or even Chien de Berger Belge


The Belgian Tervuren is a medium-sized dog.

Generally, female Tervurens are smaller the male Tervurens.

Male Tervs have a height ranging from 24 to 26 inches and weigh between 55 to 75 pounds. Their female counterparts have a height ranging between 22 to 24 inches and can weigh anywhere between 45 to 60 pounds.,

Physical appearance

This dog is many things and good looking is one of them.

They have athletic and majestic appearances with elegant frames, something that you will notice at first glance.

Females have a rather feminine look while their male counterparts are more masculine

Their dark brown and almond-shaped eyes seem to just add to more of the good looks. They also have erect and triangular ears.

Something else that is hard to miss o these dogs is their black masks on their faces.


Coat appearance of the Belgian Tervuren

These dogs have double-coats with their outer coats being straight and long while the undercoats are dense and soft.

The thickness of this coat will be affected by the environments and climate of the region where they live.

Their hair is somewhat rough to touch with them having extra on their necks especially on the Male Tervs. These neck regions with extra hair are known as collarettes.

The coat colors can vary from;

  • Red
  • Fawn
  • Black
  • Russet mahogany

However, the most common colors are russet mahogany or fawn which with a black overlay.

Unfortunately, this dog is a heavy shedder, shedding their coats throughout the year with two blowouts in Spring and Fall.

This heavy shedding also means that they release lots of dander which makes them unsuitable for allergic sufferers.

Temperament and personality traits of the Belgian Terv

Traits Rating
Prey Drive

Owning a Belgian Tervuren is a wonderful experience because these dogs are full of energy and vigor and you are surely not going to have a dull moment.

However, you should note that the way you bring up your dog affects how he is going to behave.

Generally, they are alert, vigilant, smart, and friendly, and affectionate to their friends and members of the family.

These pooches thrive on human affection and attention and therefore you should not leave them alone for long because they can become destructive and even suffer from separation anxiety.

They have strong herding instincts and are highly protective which is even why they were bred in the first place. He will protect you from anything that means you harm.

They may be aloof towards strangers but are not necessarily aggressive but you should make sure that you socialize and train them when they are still young to get rid of any aggressive tendencies.

Shyness can occur in these dogs and sometimes they can be stubborn and even headstrong.

Tervuren dog

Family compatibility

Tervurens are known to be especially protective and affectionate towards members of their family. They will bark to alert of an intruder or when they sense something is not right.

If you have small children in your house these dogs may not be the best choice for them because they tend to pay more attention to adults.

This does not mean that they are not playful which they are, but they play should be supervised because they tend to chase them and could end up nipping them.

Other pets especially the small ones may not enjoy being chased by this dog but you can get rid of this trait by training them to control their prey drive. Early socialization is also important to make sure that they get along well with other animals.

But you should know that every dog is different from the other and it all comes down to the experiences that they have and how they have been raised.

Frequently asked questions

Are Belgian Tervurens aggressive?

Tervs may be aggressive or dominant towards other dogs especially those of the same sex. However, you can get rid of ay aggression by training and socializing them early on which also tames their high dog prey drive.

Are Tervurens good pets?

There is no doubt that when the Belgian Tervuren is raised and socialized correctly he becomes a well-rounded family dog. They are also smart and alert with strong protections and herding instincts which need to be controlled of you are getting this dog solely as a family companion dog.

Belgian Tervuren Puppies

A Tervuren mother can give birth to a litter of around 5 to 8 puppies but one thing is for sure, there is a spectacle to look at.

With their innocent brown eyes and their erect ears, you cannot have enough of these puppies’ good looks.

These puppies reach maturity when they are about 18 months old.

To buy one Belgian Tervuren pup you should be prepared with a budget of between $1000 to $1500.

For top line and superior pedigrees, the cost may be upwards of $3000 but the cost will ultimately come down to the breeder and the location where you get the puppy.

Adoption may be a cheaper option if you are looking to save some money.


Where you can adopt a Belgian Terv

Belgian Tervuren Rescue Inc. 

Sites like Adopt-a-pet and Petfinder may also be a great place to start if you are looking to adopt a Tervuren dog.

Grooming a Belgian Terv

When it comes to grooming a Belgian Tervuren you should first keep in mind that this is a heavy shedder.

You need to brush the dog’s coat frequently to minimize shedding by getting rid of loose hairs. Brushing will also help you to get rid of mats and tangles from the coat of the pooch.

You should brush the coat at least twice a week and bathe him once a month. These dogs do not need to be bathed a lot as this can strip the coat of essential oils which can cause the skin to dry.

Their ears should be checked for infections and cleaned once a week to prevent the build-up of dirt.

Trim the nails once a month and don’t forget to brush the pooch’s teeth several times a week for dental hygiene.

Belgian Tervuren Exercise requirements

These dogs are high energy and require lots of exercises to keep them fit and happy.

Meeting their mental and physical stimulation needs is very important when you are bringing up this pooch.

You should engage them in as much as 75 minutes of exercise in a day by taking them for daily walks, going for runs, and even hikes. Other activities such as swimming and agility training can be great if you want to meet the physical stimulation needs of this doggo.

Playing some games such as puzzles and hide and seek can be enough to meet their mental stimulation needs.

Nutritional needs

Like most dogs, feeding the Belgian Tervuren on a high-quality diet is paramount. The diet should be high on proteins.

Whatever you decide to feed your Tervuren on should be on the tips given to you by your veterinarian.

However, there are several things that you need to consider when you are feeding this pooch and they are;

  • Age
  • Activity level
  • Metabolism

These meals should have at least 18% proteins, 8% in fats, some carbohydrates but should not have fillers and around 5% of it should be fibers.

You should also make sure that your pooch gets enough daily calories.

The general rule of thumbs is to give them about 25 calories for every pound that they weigh. When you take into account the average weight of the Terv this will be around 1300 calories.

This equates to about 3 cups of high-quality kibble.

Belgian Terv Daily Food Consumption
Calories 1,300
Cups of Kibble 🍗🍗🍗

You should cut back on the number of calories if you notice your doggo gaining weight and also visit your vet.

The meals should be divided into several daily portions to prevent bloat which is prevalent in these dogs.

Belgian Terv


When it comes to training a Belgian Terv, you should remember that although they are very trainable, they can also have a stubborn streak.

It is this stubborn streak that can make training some of them a bit challenging especially if you have no training experience. At other times you may be required to seek the help of a professional dog trainer for tips on how you can best deal with a stubborn dog.

With all that said, these dogs easily learn new commands and tricks but you should always start with the basics such as obedience training.

Training should not be so difficult if you are using positive reinforcement and reward-based training and this because dogs learn through the consequences of the behaviors.

Prepare a dog training schedule that will help you through your training also remember to be patient and consistent with your pup because this is not as easy as it sounds.

Socialization should also be looked at as part of training and should begin the moment you bring your pup home.


 Belgian Tervuren health concerns

Like any other dog breed, the Belgian Terv is also susceptible to some health problems although they are relatively healthy dogs.

Getting a pup from a reputable breeder can help minimize the risk of some of the health complications from occurring.

They should evaluate the health of the parents especially when it comes to some of the hereditary health conditions.

Some of the most common health conditions in these dogs are;

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia

But on average the Belgian Tervuren has a lifespan of between 10 to 14 years.

Breed summary

By now you should be having a better understanding of the Belgian Tervuren dog breed.

We have seen that the Belgian Tervuren originated from Belgium just as his name suggests where he was bred to assist farmers in herding and in protecting them.

This is the most elegant Belgian Sheepdog and you would love to own one if you live an active lifestyle or if you are a farmer who is looking for a helper and a companion.

If you have small children you should always make sure that the play between them is supervised.

Do you own a Belgian Tervuren and what experiences have you had with him?

Give us your feedback and questions in the comment section below.

There you go WOOF!

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