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Old 02-27-2012, 03:56 AM
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Default Laekenois

Does anyone here own or personally know a Laekenois? What's their temperament like and what sports/work do they excel at (besides herding)? How are they (competitively & temperament-wise) in comparison to the other Belgian sheepdogs? Do their coats require hand-stripping?
Does anyone have any photographs of their Laekenois or that of someone they know?

I'm not out to get a Laekenois, I'm interested in information for information's sake.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:18 AM
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I've met only a couple. Unfortunately nothing belonging to a breeder but I loved the smoother version of the hair lengths.

There is a Laek group on facebook. Lots of photos - mostly from europe.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:37 AM
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I don't own or known any Laekens very well but I have been around quite a few and at a point, was planning to get one.

Handstripping is recommended for Laekens. This talks about grooming: http://www.garisdene.com/dogs/laekenois/grooming.html There is some variation in the coat though. Dogs from Laeken to Mal breedings often have just a bit of scruff to them, like a Mal with a broken coat.

Their temperament is like the other Belgians with the same variation you see in them, for better or worse. Most I have met have been nice examples of the breed temperament wise. One can expect the same need for early socialization, training and interaction that the other varieties need. They have the same potential in sports/work that the other Belgians have. I have seen Laekens do well at obedience and agility at the UBSDA Nationals I have attended. And have spoken to a several people who do protection sports with their's.

Health concerns are shared with other Belgians too with epilepsy being at the top of the list. I have known some people who've had bad luck with dogs they have imported not passing health clearances. I'm not sure if there's more risk of certain things in them or if it just was bad luck with those dogs.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:26 AM
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Don't know anything about them, aside from what was said on Animal Planet. About the closest I've been to one I think, is I might have a photo of one, I thought it was just a Mal when I snapped the pic, but after getting the film developed (yeah, it was a while ago) I noted the dog has chin hair and is a bit scruffy (was a really big AKC show). No idea, but I would like to know more about them just out of curiosity.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:12 AM
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Thanks for the responses. So in temperament they're a bit like Malis? I've never met a Malinois I didn't admire and enjoy so I suppose don't know much about the "worse" of the breed (I only know that BYB Malis lack drive and... Malinois-ness), and I've never met either of the other two Belgian Shepherd types.

I've been told that they have good herding instinct and will try to herd kids like a Collie. I wonder if there are any competing in herding trials.

Shame about the epilepsy... I knew it was a problem in Malinois but I was hoping the less-popular (and therefor hopefully less BYB'd) would be healthier.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:15 AM
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It is my understanding that any of the Belgian breeds can produce the different coat types. Not 100% on that though.

I have met 1 Lakenois and he was a lot like a Mal, just with a different coat and a bit more social(who knows if that has to do with socialization or not).
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffdog View Post
Thanks for the responses. So in temperament they're a bit like Malis? I've never met a Malinois I didn't admire and enjoy so I suppose don't know much about the "worse" of the breed (I only know that BYB Malis lack drive and... Malinois-ness), and I've never met either of the other two Belgian Shepherd types.
Laekens are not as widely selectively bred to be super competitive sport dogs the way some lines of Mals are. So you can probably expect them to be a more moderate dog than some Mals. Although I use the word moderate lightly, Belgians are generally quirky, complicated dogs in their own ways. Any good Belgian should be drivey, willing, into doing stuff with their person, athletic and intense about their "work".

It really isn't as simple as saying "BYB Mals lack drive". Mals are in a bit of different situation than say, GSDs. In GSDs there are show, working/sport and pet lines (and a lot of variations within them). The "pet lines" are what you are calling "BYB". With pet bred GSDs, their pedigrees show generations of pet dogs being bred. No known kennel names, no known dogs and dogs being bred just for pets. Mals, it's a bit different. There are not really "pet lines" in them the way you see in GSDs. In GSD rescue, the vast majority of dogs are pet bred from pet bred pedigrees. There is not a separate population of Mals which have been bred for the pet market. What there is though, are unethical breeders hoping to cash in on the popularity of Mals as police, military and protection dogs. These breeders tend to have working/sport line Mals but they may or may not be actually doing anything with them. Some of them undoubtedly have dogs who are sport or work wash outs. They sell puppies and adults to whoever wants the dogs and if things don't work out, they won't help the owner. Some sell "trained adults", although that's certainly a buyer beware situation too. Anyway, these are largely the dogs you see in ABMC rescue. Plenty of those dogs do have drive and are definitely characteristic of Mals in temperament - if they weren't, well there ABMC probably wouldn't be so busy rescuing them. They are not "pet bred", they are from working/sport pedigrees. It is a very odd situation and rather different from how it works in most any other breed.

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Originally Posted by cliffdog View Post
I've been told that they have good herding instinct and will try to herd kids like a Collie. I wonder if there are any competing in herding trials.
I'm sure there are people out there doing herding with their Laekens but they aren't much like Collies at all

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Originally Posted by cliffdog View Post
Shame about the epilepsy... I knew it was a problem in Malinois but I was hoping the less-popular (and therefor hopefully less BYB'd) would be healthier.
Epilepsy in the Belgian breeds is not an issue of "BYBing" or popularity. Wish it were that simple though!

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Originally Posted by Red Chrome View Post
It is my understanding that any of the Belgian breeds can produce the different coat types. Not 100% on that though.
This is detailed info on the coat genetics of the Belgian breeds. http://www.belgiansworld.com/belgian...t-genetics.htm

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Originally Posted by Red Chrome View Post
I have met 1 Lakenois and he was a lot like a Mal, just with a different coat and a bit more social(who knows if that has to do with socialization or not).
Degree of sociability in the Belgians can vary even with individuals within a litter. While the ideal should be dogs who are "aloof" towards strangers, it's rare for an entire litter to all be ideal in any area. When aloof is the ideal, you will get dogs who falling outside of the ideal who are suspicious or weird about strangers. I suspect that being anti-social is a trait that probably goes back as far in their history as you can trace. Modern times generally don't call for dogs who are suspicious of everyone and over time, I do think that has been bred away from in it's most extreme form, even within the working/sport population. However, dogs who are very suspicious, intolerant of stranger interaction and very naturally guardy do exist within all of the Belgian breeds/varieties and in all lines. My friends and I have taken to referring to these dogs as "No Touch Belgians", fondly since we've all known and loved at least a couple such dogs. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I've known and owned some very social Belgians. And I'd say many are somewhere in between. There really is a quite a range and where an individual falls depends on both genetics and experiences.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:57 AM
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I just want to say that I LOVE the Belgian breeds Aloofness! One day I would like a Belgian but not sure what type yet! I know it will be a LOOOONG time!
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
Degree of sociability in the Belgians can vary even with individuals within a litter. While the ideal should be dogs who are "aloof" towards strangers, it's rare for an entire litter to all be ideal in any area. When aloof is the ideal, you will get dogs who falling outside of the ideal who are suspicious or weird about strangers. I suspect that being anti-social is a trait that probably goes back as far in their history as you can trace. Modern times generally don't call for dogs who are suspicious of everyone and over time, I do think that has been bred away from in it's most extreme form, even within the working/sport population. However, dogs who are very suspicious, intolerant of stranger interaction and very naturally guardy do exist within all of the Belgian breeds/varieties and in all lines. My friends and I have taken to referring to these dogs as "No Touch Belgians", fondly since we've all known and loved at least a couple such dogs. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I've known and owned some very social Belgians. And I'd say many are somewhere in between. There really is a quite a range and where an individual falls depends on both genetics and experiences.

This can be the "downside" in some people's estimation. Dealing with a non-social dog is NOT something everyone wants to do. I have one here (Frankie) and she is definitely "No Touch Belgian" lol. My last competition dog was this way also, but by 4 or 5 he would allow someone to randomly pet him.

We also see a lot of fear in younger dogs from some bloodlines. Not ones I go for, but I've seen 12 month old Malinois at trials that are shaking and hiding behind their owners. Some stay this way, some I see 6 months later winning tons of events including non-biting sports.

The only Laekenois I have ever seen was not in person, and was Dr. Stewart Hillard's Schutzhund/PPD. He is pictured a lot in the Blue Book, and in some of the Canine Training Systems videos.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
Degree of sociability in the Belgians can vary even with individuals within a litter. While the ideal should be dogs who are "aloof" towards strangers, it's rare for an entire litter to all be ideal in any area. When aloof is the ideal, you will get dogs who falling outside of the ideal who are suspicious or weird about strangers. I suspect that being anti-social is a trait that probably goes back as far in their history as you can trace.
So true! From what I understand 2stardog's Aeri is super social and loves cuddling and kisses with strangers, and another of the female littermates is the same way. I have a full sister from the same litter that does not like strangers. At all. As a young pup, she was very suspicious and weird about strangers, even just being in her general vicinity. Now she is aloof in a neutral setting, and outwardly suspicious of strangers in a known place, like my parent's house.
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