HISTORY OF THE BELGIAN SHEPHERD
And how it began
In Belgium, at the end of the
1800s, there were a great many herding dogs, whose type was varied
and whose coats were extremely dissimilar. In order to rationalise
this state of affairs, some enthusiastic dog fanciers formed a group
and sought guidance from Prof. A. Reul of the Cureghem Veterinary
Medical School, who many consider to have been the real
pioneer and founder of the breed.
The breed was officially born between 1891 and 1897. On
September 29 th , 1891, the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club (Club du
Chien de Berger Belge) was founded in Brussels and in the same
year on November 15 th in Cureghem, Professor A. Reul organised a
gathering of 117 dogs, which allowed him to carry out a return and
choose the best specimens. In the following years they began a real
programme of selection, carrying out some very close interbreeding
involving a few stud dogs.
By April 3 rd , 1892, a first detailed breed standard had already been
drawn up by the Belgian Shepherd Dog Club. One single breed was
allowed, with three coat varieties. However, as was said at the time,
the Belgian Shepherd only belonged to ordinary people and therefore
the breed still lacked status.
As a result, it wasn’t until 1901 that the first Belgian Shepherds were
registered with the Royal Saint-Hubert Society Stud Book
During the following years, the prime movers among the Belgian
Shepherd enthusiasts set to work with great determination to unify
the type and correct the faults. It can be said that by 1910 the type
and temperament of the Belgian Shepherd had been established.
During the history of the Belgian Shepherd, the question of differing
but acceptable varieties and colours had led to many heated
discussions. On the other hand, anything involving morphology,
temperament and suitability for work has never caused any