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Old 07-12-2012, 10:13 PM
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Default Fuzzy belgians

So...

There are four Belgians in the classes on Thursday and I have to say I am head over heels for all of them. They are just plain awesome dogs! There are a handful of breeds that I watch people work with that have that spark (for lack of a better word) that I love. I find watching a lot of dogs of different breeds you notice trends and watching a lot of breeds training bores me to be honest. They're just too slow and too much work to get them interested. I also used to train with two mals at my last place and really liked them too.

Anyways, I am rambling now. There are four of them- 3 tervs and one groendael. 2 of the tervs I've been able to spend a few months around and the groen and young terv are new. Spent quite some time talking to the lady with the young terv today both about papillons and belgians.

I have been occasionally tossing around the idea of taking a break from papillons once Mia is gone (don't even want to think that far) and explore some of the higher prey drive larger dogs I am interested in. I am not sure I could go a dog's lifetime without a papillon though so it might never happen. It'll take some thinking. My next dog I am planning on a border collie most likely. Then probably nothing until after Summer goes and will either be a second BC or a smaller herding type like another sheltie or pyr shep or maybe even a cardi.

Long story short, I'm interested in a belgian maybe way off in the future. My big question is if there is much of a difference between the two fuzzies? I know they're the same breed but in the US they're separate so has that made any kind of difference between the two? Also, how do they compare to working bred mals? I don't think I am the right owner for a mal bred for bite sports but the tervs seemed not any more energy than the other herding breeds running around. The young one didn't settle well but neither do any of the dogs I'm interested in.

Any general information about them? Would agility be enough for a terv?
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:34 PM
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Right now I'm just doing rally and obedience (with a teeny bit of tracking; we haven't done much for a month or better) with Elsie, and while that sounds like a lot, it translates to just 5-10 hours a week of direct one on one training time. I'd think agility would be plenty.

She loves small dogs, and hasn't ever exhibited prey drive towards them, so Belgians like that are out there. She just met a chi/yorkie mix today and tried to make friends with him by flopping around on her belly. She's always seemed to understand that tiny dogs are still dogs.

Honestly, Elsie's not that bad. She needs both physical and mental exercise, and she can be nutters, but she manages to live in a home with people and not destroy the universe.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:56 AM
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:55 AM
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I'm probably getting black fuzzy within the next 1.5-2 years, depending on a certain someone's timing LOL. The impression I've gotten is that in Tervs, you can find more strictly showlines, and they can tend towards being really nervy, etc, however, you can still find tons and tons of Tervs that are multi-purpose. In Groenendaels, it's a really small breed and most breeders seem to do work/performance in some capacity - how seriously will be up the individual breeder/lines. In theory, there shouldn't be much different between well-bred Belgians of any variety - they're energetic, drivey, quirky, interactive, and complicated.

Anyway, I'm sure Nikki (Aleron) will get to this and probably have way more info for you.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:07 AM
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Aleron is a great person to ask.

Someday I will have a Black Belgian.

The tervs I work with at my facility are similar to my malinois but lack the edginess. They will respond nicely to me where as my malinois usually look at strangers with a "yeah, so, you have food but you're not tricking me".

The tervs can do bitework and be very successful, we've had a few out but their owners always say thanks for the fun but we'll stick to agility. They do however seem to lack the edge here too a bit. Not a huge amount but the bite itself is a huge reward and some mals need to be fought off the sleeve unless trained right from the beginning (and even then it can be a challenge) however the tervs will bite, sleeve gets slipped and they're no longer interested in the possession. This could totally just be the ones I've dealt with at our training sessions though and honestly it's not a requirement to possessively carry the sleeve because in trials the dog never gets the sleeve slipped.

In agility they learn whip smart, ime, I had two girls in bootcamp for a couple weeks towards the end of their owners pregnancy and in that short amount of time I had a very nice 2o2o and almost straight weaves as well as wonderful attention to the handler.

They seem a bit noisier in the whiney-leaky variety of sounds than my malinois but I have been told mine mine be a fluke. They remind me a bit more of a GSD in that sense, where as my mals and the mals I work with are barkers the tervs have been talkers, groan, grumble, whine, bark, yip, screech, but only when kenneled and bored.

I don't have much experience with the black belgians except watching them at trials but I love them.

Kris...Libs? had a stellar boy at the last trial that I just loved. Tons of drive, tons of confidence, tons of attitude. I want him.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post

Anyways, I am rambling now. There are four of them- 3 tervs and one groendael. 2 of the tervs I've been able to spend a few months around and the groen and young terv are new. Spent quite some time talking to the lady with the young terv today both about papillons and belgians.

I have been occasionally tossing around the idea of taking a break from papillons once Mia is gone (don't even want to think that far) and explore some of the higher prey drive larger dogs I am interested in. I am not sure I could go a dog's lifetime without a papillon though so it might never happen.
Really if you use some common sense, there's no reason Paps and Belgians can't live together. Actually, I know a lot of Belgian people who have a Pap for a small dog. The breeder of two of my dogs has had 2 Paps and a Chi with her Belgians. The first Pap was a dog she got who was already finished and had been bred. Once he was around girl Belgians in season, he would never breed another Pap! Obviously, you should supervise them and take the normal precautions you would take with any larger breed around a toy dog. But it is doable and I know quite a few people who have the two breeds together successfully.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Long story short, I'm interested in a belgian maybe way off in the future. My big question is if there is much of a difference between the two fuzzies? I know they're the same breed but in the US they're separate so has that made any kind of difference between the two? Also, how do they compare to working bred mals? I don't think I am the right owner for a mal bred for bite sports but the tervs seemed not any more energy than the other herding breeds running around. The young one didn't settle well but neither do any of the dogs I'm interested in.
The differences in the Belgian varieties is more the between lines than anything else, just like there is a difference and sometimes a big difference between lines in any breed. The fuzzy Belgian pedigrees at this point are very interwoven. Until the mid-90s (or was it early 90s?), there was a rule in AKC that imports had to be the same variety for 3 generations in breed which are varieties in some countries and breeds in AKC. Once that rule was changed to allow imported dogs to be registered as what they are, regardless of what variety their parents are it opened up a lot more breeding possibilities for US Belgian breeders. So at this point, it is extremely common to find Black Dogs with Tervs in their pedigrees and vice versa. And it is quite common to have the two varieties born in the same litter. So it's not really helpful to try to come up with generalized differences between the two beyond coat color. Look for a breeder who does stuff with their dogs and is breeding for sound temperament while maintaining drive and typical character of the breed.

For health, they are overall healthy dogs who can live into very old age (Loki's dam and Cherry's sire are littermates and they are 17 1/2 with no health problems other than those which come from being very old). There are some lines which are having issues with cancer but not to an overwhelming degree. Occasionally hip or elbow dysplasia pops up but the breed is pretty low risk for it and most that I have known with HD remain asymptomatic into old age. Eye issues sometimes happen too, the most common being Pannus. Screening done for Belgians is OFA hips/elbows and CERF. There is a tendency for immune issues in all varieties, so it's something to ask about. Minor demodex is not uncommon in Belgian puppies and resolves on it's own. The main health concern is epilepsy, which unfortunately has no test and it can be found in all varieties.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Any general information about them? Would agility be enough for a terv?
Belgians are generally up for whatever you want to do For example Whim loves agility, has fun in obedience. And I think she loves lure coursing even more. But she also likes playing in the yard, hiking and running in the woods. Belgians should have an off switch as adult dogs and be able to chill out when in the house. This depends on the situation though. If you work all day and your dogs have to be crated for 8-10 hours, when you come home you can't really expect they will want a quiet evening laying by your feet

For me, I find Belgians to be pretty easy (including the working line Mal pup) but I've lived with them for more than half my life and realize some people would find them difficult. When Jeff first started living with them he was a bit not because of the energy level but because of their quirky behavior. And a lot because of the shrieking tendencies of some of them. Some of them shriek when excited, frustrated or upset and well...if you aren't used to it I guess it can make your brain hurt LOL Emily really summed them up pretty well saying "In theory, there shouldn't be much different between well-bred Belgians of any variety - they're energetic, drivey, quirky, interactive, and complicated."

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post

They seem a bit noisier in the whiney-leaky variety of sounds than my malinois but I have been told mine mine be a fluke. They remind me a bit more of a GSD in that sense, where as my mals and the mals I work with are barkers the tervs have been talkers, groan, grumble, whine, bark, yip, screech, but only when kenneled and bored.
LOL the Mal pup I have shrieks in his crate when he doesn't want to be left. Jeff "It shrieks like a Belgian". Jagger is very talky in the way you say, Whim is very quiet other than barking at stuff that must be barked at outside. Or when watching other dogs run agility or coursing. Cherry and Belle will shriek over confinement. Zette shrieks...well due to excitement, frustration or being upset. Seven shrieks from excitement. Varying levels of noise in all of them. The shriekers mentioned are all related though. It's definitely a genetic tendency. I asked about shrieking in PyrSheps before getting Savvy and people looked at me like "Why would you be asking about this?" Guess that is a no, PyrSheps don't shriek.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:14 AM
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Also, a thought: Those with other varieties of Belgians who want to take advantage of some of the characteristics of bitesport bred Malinois can (and do) do it through breedings that take place overseas, where the Belgian Shepherd is a single breed with multiple varieties. Denise Fenzi, for example, has Tervs with a lot of working Mal in their pedigrees, etc. So like, two Mals throw a coated dog, it's registered FCI as a Terv, so the AKC will reg' that dog's offspring as Tervs as well (instead of Mals with a coat fault ), etc. Something people can look for if they're interested.

Sorry, just a random side thought that popped up when Adrianne mentioned bitesports, lol.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:20 AM
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Yup, the groen that I love from Chris is supposedly out of malinois lines.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:35 PM
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Noisy/leaky/screamy is totally normal for me. Mia is queen shrieker around here.

Thanks for all that! Is there anything specific someone should look into or know when considering a belgian? I am sure it won't be the next dog if it happens but I'm intrigued.

The black belgian here seems pretty in line with the tervs. I'll admit from a purely shallow viewpoint I like the tervs better looks-wise.

I do work full time but lately have been able to start coming home over lunch which is nice. But my dogs right now won't let me have a relaxing evening on work days. Those are only for the weekends.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I'll admit from a purely shallow viewpoint I like the tervs better looks-wise.
I love Black dogs better because then I don't have to worry about the dog having a full mask or not. I love Backup's full mask and a partial mask bothers me a lot...
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