Have you ever heard of a Belgian Laekenois? This pup is part of the herding group and was actually first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2020, making it a relatively new dog breed to the AKC.
Much like their breed name indicates, this is a dog that originated in Belgium, where they have a long history of working with cattle and other livestock. In fact, they are said to be "guardians of livestock," along with a few other breeds that were also cultivated around the time that the Belgian Laekenois first came to be. According to Spruce Pets, "In the 1890s, the Belgian shepherds were for the first time identified into four main types: the Groenendael (or Belgian sheepdog), the Malinois, the Tervuren, and the Laekenois."
So what makes the Belgian Laekenois so special? And why do we think this relatively new breed for the AKC has what it takes to become a more popular pup in the U.S.?
What you may want to know about the Belgian Laekenois
According to the AKC, the three traits that really make the Belgian Laekenois special are the fact that they are known for being affectionate, intelligent, and alert. And considering they are cattle dogs, these personality traits makes perfect sense.
On average, these dogs will live between 10 and 12 years, and will often weigh around 65 pounds at the high end of the scale. And when it comes to their size, the Belgian Laekenois sees a top end height of 26 inches for the boys, while the girls tend to top out at 24 inches.
These pups are pretty affectionate with their family, and they can be good with other dogs, but it is definitely something to consider as they may also struggle at times to be a part of a pack.
The Belgian Laekenois is not really known for drooling, and they need their coats groomed just about every month, although they are in between not shedding and basically depositing their hair everywhere, so grooming is definitely going to help to keep the mess down. In general, this is a very adaptable dog breed, but they can also be very protective of their people. They are solid watch dogs, while also having a playful side.
They may be a newer to us breed of dog, but it is clear that they have what it takes to steal our hearts and make a case for being a popular breed in the U.S., right alongside some perennial favorites such as the Labrador Retriever and the French Bulldog.