Belgian sheepdogs are INTENSE. This trio of breeds (all pictured here) contains some of the dog world’s most energetic, intelligent, and athletic members. The Belgian malinois, for instance, has become the preferred dog of the U.S. military and local police forces for its determination, stamina, and intelligence. (Malinois are rapidly replacing German shepherds in this role because the breed has not been tainted by the popularity that plagues GSDs, which often creates poor, careless breeding.) It is reported that the dog who accompanied the Navy SEALs in capturing and killing Osama bin Laden was a Belgian malinois.
Interestingly enough, my dad grew up with a father-daughter pair of Belgian sheepdogs (the black variety, also known as a Groenendael). The dogs were apparently rather high-maintenance, however: the father was named Satan and his daughter was Satin.
I don’t know a ton about these three closely related breeds, but what I do read about them is certainly impressive. Because of their relative rarity and working demands, I don’t think I’d ever get a dog from this Belgian trifecta of awesomeness, but I find myself content to admire them from afar.
Keep up the good work, Belgian super-dogs! I salute you.
Belgian sheepdog links: