English Shepherd vs Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) - Breed Comparison

English Shepherd vs Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) - Breed ComparisonEnglish Shepherd is originated from United States but Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) is originated from Belgium. English Shepherd may grow 8 cm / 3 inches shorter than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois). Both English Shepherd and Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) are having almost same weight. Both English Shepherd and Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) has almost same life span. English Shepherd may have less litter size than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois). Both English Shepherd and Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) requires Low maintenance.


english shepherd - historyThe English Shepherd is another dog with an English name that was developed in the United States. They developed from British farm dogs that were brought to the United States in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries by the Scottish and English as they settled in the New World. Tracing their line through working dogs and collies in Scotland and northern England, the settlers bred them with local dogs and each other. These working farm dogs were called English Shepherds, Scotch Collies, barnyard collie, farm shepherd, the cow dog, and the old fashioned shepherd.

The English Shepherd was appreciated by the settlers and farmers because he was a versatile dog that could herd their flocks and protect their homes as well. They appreciated his intelligence and ability to hunt vermin and be a companion for their children. English Shepherds were bred to work with a variety of livestock such as pigs, cattle, goats, sheep and fowl. They were used to hunt as well and were known to track racoons and squirrels and tree them. There wasn’t a more popular dog in the American Midwest and East in the 1800’s and 1900’s.

The breed is trustworthy, alert and independent. As the small family farms were replaced by large agricultural enterprises the English Shepherd’s numbers dwindled as well until he fell into the category of a rare breed. There were no clubs to support it and not AKC recognition. The UKC had a different dog registered as a farm shepherd.

Today’s English Shepherd is still a farm dog, but he also hunts, is a therapy dog, competes in AKC trials, and performs search and rescue duties. As a farm dog, they are still the most desirable due to their versatility in working with different livestock, guarding the home and caring for the children. They do these things in a gentle way if possible but can be tough if needed. They have great empathy for the livestock and for their human family. This makes him a great dog for the family. The English Shepherd has remained a farm dog, working dog more than a show dog, over all these years.

belgian shepherd dog laekenois - historyThe Laekenois, from a variety of 4 Belgian Shepherds, and one of the rarest, is a working- or herding breed of dog which originated in Belgium. It is believed to have been around since the Middle Ages. The intelligent dog was also used for sending messages during the 1st World War. In most countries, all 4 of the dogs are considered the same breed with different varieties in coat types, but there are some instances where they are recognized as separate breeds.

An interesting aspect of these dogs is that until the advent of dog shows in the 1900s, the 4 varieties were intermixed, and today purebred Laekenois can sometimes give birth to smooth-coated puppies which can be registered as Malinois.


english shepherd puppy - descriptionThe American bred English Shepherd is a medium sized dog that looks somewhat like an Australian Shepherd or Border Collie. They have tails, never come in merle coloring and their head is not as rounded as the Australian Shepherd. A working dog, its proportionally very well balanced. Because the English Shepherd is so popular across the country, doing a wide variety of jobs, there is some regional differences in the dogs.

The coat can be curly or straight with feathering around the tail, ears and legs. Their heads are slightly rounded but broad and the muzzle is also broad with a solid black nose except for the clear sable dogs whose nose is brown. The eyes show you how intelligent and strong this breed is, and they should be round, brown and oblique. The ears are close to the head and wide apart.

With a strong, muscular back and shoulders the English Shepherd can do almost anything you ask him to. His legs are strong and straight, and his hind legs are muscular. His feet are compact, oval and well padded.


belgian shepherd dog laekenois puppy - descriptionThe Laekenois is a highly talented dog, highly energetic and extremely intelligent. He will make a superb family pet with owners who are firm and fair with him. The dog is bright, obedient, protective and somewhat territorial. He’ll guard what he believes is his as he is instinctively protective.

He will get on well with children in the home, and he can also be socialized to get on well with other pets in the home. Of course, the way an owner treats the dog, and any other dog for that matter, brings out different temperaments in a dog. To get the best from him he should be trained and socialized from an early age. He will need plenty of exercise if you don’t want him becoming destructive from sheer boredom.


The body is well proportioned, muscular and sturdy. He has an alert, intelligent face with erect ears, bright brown eyes and the nose black. The hair is dense on the long tail, but with no feathering like with the other breeds. The most common color is fawn with a reddish undertone. The chest is deep and the legs strong and straight. The Laekenois's medium length rough, wire coat can include colors from fawn to brownish and black in between.


english shepherd dog - characteristicsIt may seem strange to talk about kindness in a working dog, but it is one of the defining traits of the English Shepherd, along with intelligence. The breed is extremely kind to everyone he lives with animals and people. Once he is secure in his job and takes in his children or his herd, he is one of the best caretakers around. He is an independent thinker, is easily trained, and highly affectionate. However, he does see himself as the boss and unless you establish yourself in that alpha role you could have problems.

belgian shepherd dog laekenois dog - characteristicsThe Belgian Laekenois is an energetic herding breed dog, and even though he will do well in an apartment if he is sufficiently exercised, big gardens and farms would be first choice for him. Wherever you offer him a home, make sure to exercise him regularly and give him plenty of attention, as he loves his human family.

He’ll make an exceptional watchdog and because he is so intelligent, he learns easily, responding readily to his owner’s instruction. He’ll protect his human family with his life. Social, lively, attractive and bright, anybody who has owned a Laekenois will vouch for his loyalty and devotion, making him a splendid pet.

Health Problems

english shepherd puppies - health problemsLike many other herding breeds, it has been found that about 15% of English Shepherds had a gene mutation called MDR1. This means they have adverse reaction and high sensitivity to many common drugs for dogs. This condition could be life-threatening so test your dog for it and know what you are up against.

belgian shepherd dog laekenois puppies - health problemsThe lifespan of the Belgian Laekenois is between 10 and 14 years of age, and he is a pretty robust breed, not prone to getting sick easily. However, as with most other dog breeds, he is predisposed to some concerning health conditions.


A frightening health issue in Belgian Shepherds is inherited epilepsy. It occurs in all four varieties. Your dog will have uncontrollable shaking that can last a few minutes. There are many causes of seizures but it is mostly an inherited disorder.

Eye disorders

The most common eye disease is cataracts.

Hip Dysplasia

This is an inherited disease that causes the joints to develop improperly. He may even have difficulty getting up from lying down.

Caring The Pet


english shepherd dogs - caringRemember the English Shepherd is a hard working dog. But if you don’t work him don’t overfeed him. Twice a day, he needs about one half cup of a good quality dry food made with an active, medium sized dog in mind.

Health issues

In addition to the health concern listed above, the English Shepherd is also prone to:


Both elbow and hip dysplasia can plaque the English Shepherd as it does almost any active breed. Have your puppy tested as it can cause lameness and arthritis.

Exercise and games

This is a herding breed and they need exercise. They need a job. They are intelligent and work oriented so make sure they have something to do. Take them to herding trails and have their herding instinct tested. Put them to work in flyball, agility, frisbee, tracking, obedience, rally, herding and showmanship events. Just make sure your English Shepherd has enough to keep his mind and body stimulated at a high rate every day.


belgian shepherd dog laekenois dogs - caringThe long, double coat of your Laekenois will need to be trimmed about twice a year otherwise he could look dirty and unkempt. Certainly with the coat he has, you will need to brush him at least twice a week to get rid of all those loose hairs.


He is a well muscled, athletic, energetic dog and his food, whether home-made or commercially manufactured, needs to be a high-quality food high in protein and packed full of minerals and vitamins. If you’re not sure about food type, speak to your vet, because as a dog expert, they will advise you on food appropriate to this dog breed and his energy needs. Whether you own a male or female Laekenois, feeding should be such that weight for an adult is maintained around 25–30kg.

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Herding dogs
United States
Height Male:
46 - 58 cm
18 - 23 inches
60 - 66 cm
23 - 26 inches
Height Female:
44 - 54 cm
17 - 22 inches
56 - 62 cm
22 - 25 inches
Weight Male:
21 - 28 kg
46 - 62 pounds
25 - 30 kg
55 - 67 pounds
Weight Female:
18 - 23 kg
39 - 51 pounds
20 - 30 kg
44 - 67 pounds
Life Span:
13 - 15 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 8
5 - 11
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
old fashioed collie, old fashioned shepherd, Scotch Collie, old time collie, farm collie
Belgian Laekenois, Belgian Shepherd Dog
Colors Available:
black and white, sable and white, and tri-color. , black and tan
Fawn, Black & Tan, Brownish red
double, silky
Rough, medium length
Minimal, Seasonal
Affectionate, Alert, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective, Social, Stubborn, Sweet
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:

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