German Coolie vs Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) - Breed Comparison

German Coolie vs Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois)German Coolie is originated from Australia but Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) is originated from Belgium. German Coolie may grow 6 cm / 2 inches shorter than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois). German Coolie may weigh 6 kg / 13 pounds lesser than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois). German Coolie may live 4 years more than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois). German Coolie may have less litter size than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois). Both German Coolie and Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Height Male:
40 - 60 cm
15 - 24 inches
60 - 66 cm
23 - 26 inches
Height Female:
38 - 58 cm
14 - 23 inches
56 - 62 cm
22 - 25 inches
Weight Male:
15 - 24 kg
33 - 53 pounds
25 - 30 kg
55 - 67 pounds
Weight Female:
13 - 22 kg
28 - 49 pounds
20 - 30 kg
44 - 67 pounds
Life Span:
16 - 18 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 6
5 - 11
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Australian Koolie - German Koolie - Coulie - German Collie
Belgian Laekenois, Belgian Shepherd Dog
Colors Available:
Black, Red, merle
Fawn, Black & Tan, Brownish red
smooth and comes in short or medium lengths
Rough, medium length
Minimal, Seasonal
Alert, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Social
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:


german coolieThe German Coolie is misnamed as it is an Australian bred dog and often called the Australian Koolie or Coolie. This Australian breed is more often just called a Coolie. The breed is a typical herding breed and a working dog that needs a job all the time. They have been a favorite of Australians since the late 1800’s when local dogs were bred with British working dogs.

Although all Coolie’s are not the same. Within the breed there is a lot of variation. This is because the Coolie was bred individually for different regions in Australia. In a very different writing the Koolie Club of Australia does not define the Coolie breed on confirmation as all other purebred dogs are defined. Instead the Coolie is defined by ability to work. In light of this most Coolie breeders state that the Coolie is a breed and the variations you see among regions are types within the breed.

As a herding dog, the Coolie brought a lot of skill to the Australian farmers and sheep herders. The Coolie will round up the sheep and bring them back to their enclosure at the shepherd’s command. They are upright, silent, working dogs. Not only do they herd sheep they are important at sheering to “cut out” the sheep or assist in the close quarters of lambing.

In Queensland North and New South Wales, the Coolie is medium boned, tall and agile ready to herd cattle over a long stretch of miles. In the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales and the Hunter Valley Region, the Coolie is shorter and thicker in order to be able to get cattle that are lying low out from the gullies and dense bush. The Coolies found in Victoria are the smallest of all.

No matter where they live and work, the Coolie is bred to help the workers there, the farmers, the stockman, and the grazier. All Coolies are adaptable and very agile. They all have a strong willfulness to accomplish what they are asked to do. The ancestors of these various Coolie was the British Collie – a smooth coated, blue merle. This Collie was crossed with the Black and Tan Collie from the Scottish Highlands. It is believed that these are the same Collie breeds that came to Australia to create the Heeler.

The name may come from the German immigrants working in South Australia and unable to pronounce Collie incorrectly they called the dogs German Coolies. There is also a fraction of German breeders who believe that the German Tiger dog was brought to Australia in the 18th century and then when the Collies came they were bred together. Many Coolie breeders have records showing that the breed has been in Australia for at least 160 years. It is also believed that the Border Collie and Kelpie (Blue Heeler) were mixed into the breed at sometime as well.

No bench standard exists for the German Coolie even though there is the Koolie Club of Australia. The mission of the club is to protect, preserve and promote the breed. The Australian Sporting Register was recognizing the Coolies in 2004. They are eligible to participate in the Australian National Kennel Council sanctioned sporting trials. They participate in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria through the individual states sporting register. Here they participate in herding, jumping, obedience, agility and tracking.

Several other recognitions as a herding breed soon followed. The Australian Shepherd Club of America, the American Herding Breed Association, were followed by recognition from others as well. They are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

belgian shepherd dog laekenoisThe 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.


german coolie puppyWith their strong ancestry among the family of collies and herders, the German Coolie shares the look of collies and shepherds. Even though they differ from region to region and there is no actual standard, they are medium sized dogs with blue or brown eyes or even one of each. The ears are folded over on top when relaxed but they are rigid and straight when he is more alert. The nose is either chocolate or red depending on the color of their coat.

They can have either a long, medium or short coat but most owners want the short coat that is smooth as well. The coat can be one color – red/chocolate or black; Bi – red/white or black/white; Tri – solid black or red with white and brown; Tri merle -merle with white and brown; Merle – red merles and blue merles. Regardless of color, the German Coolie has the look of a collie or German Shepherd.


belgian shepherd dog laekenois puppyThe 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.

Health Problems

german coolie dogThis is a relatively healthy breed without many genetic disorders found in purebreds due to the 160 years they have spent fairly isolated and allowing natural selection to take its course.


In Merle dogs there can be deafness and/or blindness. If you breed a solid to a merle you can eliminate that.

Joint Issues

These are not inherited but rather acquired due to the immense amount of jumping and running.

  1. Allergies
  2. Minor skin allergies are possible in some.
  3. Seizures

Rare but it does occur and can be fatal if not treated

belgian shepherd dog laekenois dogThe 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

Feeding the puppy

german coolie puppiesBreak meals into 3 a day feeding a high quality dry puppy food designed for dogs of his size. 11/2 to 2 cups per day.

Feeding the adult

Break meals into 2 a day feeding a high quality dry adult food designed for dogs of his size.

Points for Good Health

Traditionally good health. Great energy, intensity and devotion to work and owner.

Games and Exercises

This is an energetic dog that loves to work and needs to work. Regular routine exercise is needed daily. He needs to be stimulated mentally and physically. Find him a job. Make sure he knows what you want him to do. They work well with a human partner in games such as agility, tracking, flyball and herding. They need a large yard and a lot of play time. They are not couch potatoes and would be unhappy if they were stuck in a house or apartment


belgian shepherd dog laekenois puppiesThe 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.


Children friendliness

german coolie dogsYes, they can be very friendly with children is they are socialized and supervised.

Special talents

They have enough stamina to work for 14 hours a day.


They are very adaptable. They can be calm and steady when working a mother and baby lamb and then be able to forcefully move steers, bull, rams or weathers.

Learning ability

The breed is highly intelligent, and their learning ability is excellent because they want to please you.

belgian shepherd dog laekenois dogsThe 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.

Comparison with other breeds

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