The Belgian Laekenois is an incredibly versatile and dynamic dog partner. They are a breed of dog that is always ready to please and willing to work. The Laekenois’ origins were in guarding flax fields in their native Belgium. Today, one can find Laekenois not only as a devoted family member, but also as a stand out in any dog sport or work that a human partner would like to undertake.
The highly capable Laekenois excels at Dock Diving, Herding, Obedience, Rally, Agility, Barn Hunt, Tracking, Scentwork, Lure Coursing and even Dog Dancing in the competition arena. In the field of professional working dogs, the multipurpose Laekenois functions brilliantly. They are found performing with excellence in Search and Rescue, Service Dog Work, Therapy Dogs, Detection work of all types and Apprehension tasks. The beauty of the Laekenois is the “off switch” where they are able to settle in at your pace as you need it. It is not uncommon for Laekenois to posses not only Conformation titles but also a string of other titles in a variety of disciplines.
ABLA events often have competitions involving multiple disciplines to showcase the Versitile Laekenois. ABLA is proud of the ability of the Laekenois to go from working event directly to the conformation events without a grooming fiesta in between. Not only does this speak to the ease of the Laekenois coat but the overall Laekenois’ “I do it all and I can do it all today” mentality. Laekenois are excellent with respectful children of a very experienced dog owner if they are raised with them.
Exposure at a young age to a wide variety of stimuli will offer an excellent foundation for a Laekenois to excel as an adult. If you wish to get the most out of your Laekenois, you MUST do the work, early and often. Socialization and continued training through the lifetime are critical. This a breed that should not be left to it’s own devices, as they require appropriate frequent interactions with a human partner.
For example if you are walking with a Laekenois as your devoted friend, the dog will go out several yards and look back at you to check if the walk is going appropriately. The Laekenois often has a devotion to an individual in a family, almost like a monogamous love affair, where the dog is highly focused on a key member of the family, although it does show affection and devotion to all members of a family. Laekenois are known to be aloof with strangers, this means a calm and steady demeanor, not shy or aggressive. They are generally not demonstrative or bouncy with strangers, but can be very demonstrative with the people who they are closest to. Generally, Laekenois are not the breed for a first time dog owner, and require a thoughtful owner approach with the ability to follow through to assure the success in a relationship that should last more more than a dozen years.
Coat & Coat Care
The Laekenois Coat is a wire coat that should NEVER be scissored, cut, shaped, sculpted or trimmed with a clipper. Trimming hair around the food pads on the bottom of the feet to assure good traction is acceptable. The facial hair can require regular brushing to assure that it remains free of debris. The breed should be presented in it’s natural tousled form with coat management by hand stripping, most owners do this once or twice a year.
The advance time for hand stripping for a Conformation Competition is about 8 – 12 weeks depending on the individual dog and the rate of coat growth. The color of each individual Laekenois will vary throughout their lives, often with puppies exhibiting strong coloration. During the stripping and grow out phases, dogs will appear to take on lighter or darker tones depending on the individual dog. Bathing is infrequent as excessive bathing can impact the coat texture in a negative manner.
YES, Laekenois shed, not profusely but, they do shed.
Laekenois are NOT HYPOALLERGENIC.