American Belgian Laekenois Association

 History Page will be soon be updated.

Please enjoy the pictures from the private collection of Jean Marie Vanbutsele.  Thank you to Jean Marie for allowing ABLA access to these wonderful pictures!

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Jean Marie's collections

Laekenois and Police:

:: Division of Belgian Shepherds :: History by AKC ::History cont.

The Division of the
Belgian Shepherds
into Separate Breeds
by the
American Kennel Club

By Dave Spang

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Dave has been the Historian/Archivist for the BSCA for many years and serves a similar capacity with UBSDA.

This article was written at the request of some of the newer owners of Belgian Shepherds who knew the American Kennel Club had separated the varieties and approved 3 separate standards effective July 1, 1959; but they did not know the background of this change.

In September of 1891 the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club (Club du Chien de Berger Beige) was organized to investigate the characteristics of the native dogs in Belgium. They defined the consistent type of this native dog that was identical in body and temperament but differing in coat (color, texture and length).

During the early part of the twentieth century, the owners and breeders in Belgium urged the acceptance of additional varieties based on the color and regions of origin. The fawn rough haired varieties were given the name Laekenois (derived from the town of Laeken). The abilities of these dogs as intelligent and versatile workers soon gained popularity in other countries.

The Laekenois' original duty, in addition to guarding and tending the flock, was to guard linen drying in the fields. He was an enthusiast worker and a quick learner that made him a desirable choice for the task at hand. He was later called on to serve as a messenger dog during World War I and II. At this time his numbers were severely decreased. Many breeders worked very hard to restore this variety, while retaining the typical Belgian Shepherd Dog intelligence, type and structure. He is admired today for these attributes. He is still able to herd and guard his flock, and protect his people and their property. His ability to adapt to new situations and to respond to his master's commands makes him an alert, intelligent, inquisitive animal. He typically is reserved with strangers.