6 Facts About Belgian Tervuren

belgian tervuren puppy playing with a round purple toy

The Belgian Tervuren is an intelligent dog with an imposing presence and an elegant appearance. In addition to being a fantastic family pet for the right owners, these dogs are also versatile working dogs. Here are a few more facts about Belgian Tervuren:

1. The Belgian Tervuren Was Originally a Farm Dog

As one of the four Belgian Shepherd breeds, the Belgian Tervuren was originally used as a farm dog. They were a versatile and valued farmhand that could learn to help out and excel at almost any task.

The Terv could often be found herding and protecting livestock, guarding the farm, and more. They can still be found working on farms. And, although they can live a life just fine as a family pet, they are also a popular choice for working in law enforcement, the military, and as service or therapy dogs.

2. They Have a Multi-Faceted Personality

Every breed tends to have its generalities. Although every dog is different, as a breed overall, the Belgian Tervuren is known for having a multi-faceted personality. They are strong dogs that are sensitive and in tune with their families.

They are also driven and determined, but are also naturally obedient. Although they are focused, precise, and serious while working, they are energetic, playful, and tend to have a great sense of humor when they’re off the job.

3. The Terv Needs a More Experienced Owner

Although the Belgian Tervuren is one of the smartest dog breeds, is obedient, and is eager to please, they do need a more experienced owner. They are easy to train as long as they receive the right training. This dog breed requires careful training that is consistent and also provides consistent mental stimulation.

This, plus their herding and tracking instincts and high energy, can be a challenge for first-time or novice dog owners to navigate without help. A first-time dog owner or novice owner can do well with a Belgian Tervuren as long as they know what they’re getting into and are prepared to enlist the help of a professional trainer or puppy training classes.

4. They Are a High-Energy Dog Breed

Not only does the Terv get bored easily, but they are also a high-energy dog breed that needs a lot of exercise to be happy and healthy. They don’t tend to be hyperactive, but they do require a lot of activity. Daily walks plus playtime and some extra activity are usually enough.

But, these dogs will likely be up for more activity if you are. They are one of the sturdy dog breeds for outdoor adventures and will often be happy to participate in whatever physical activities you’re doing. Giving them time to run off-leash is a great way to expend some energy.

However, they should only be let off-leash in securely fenced areas as they tend to get curious and want to explore. Tervs can do well off-leash; you just want to make sure they have mastered basic commands, will respond no matter how interesting something is, and have several successful off-leash training sessions completed before you let them free in an open area.

5. Tervs Were Named After a Village in Belgium

Since Belgian is their name, it’s not surprising that they hail from Belgium. Tervuren is a village in Belgium. Because M.F. Corbeel lived in the village of Tervuren and was credited with owning the two foundational breeding dogs that would create the Belgian Tervuren, the town name was included in the breed name once it was established.

In addition to dog breeding, M.F. Corbeel also owned a brewery and his dogs often helped out. His male dog, which was named Tom, would pull his beer cart during the day. At night, Tom would take on guardian duties for the brewery. Eventually, Corbeel mated his female dog, Poes, with Tom. This was the origin of the breed and led to the development of the Terv as we know it today.

6. Belgian Tervuren Often Work as Police Dogs in Belgium

While the United States often uses Belgian Malinois as police dogs, Belgian Teruven are a popular choice in Belgium. Belgian Tervuren are incredibly smart and quick learners, so this makes them a natural pick for this type of job. They’re known for their agility and this aids them as they assist law enforcement.

These are just a few facts about Belgian Tervuren. They can be a great fit for families or single owners with the experience and time to dedicate to the training, mental stimulation, exercise, and attention they need to be happy and stay healthy.

If you think the Terv could be the right dog breed for you, learn more about them, and then check out the available Belgian Tervuren puppies. You could end up finding your new best friend!