In their early history, the Laekenois was used for guarding property and herding sheep and cattle. As they were depended on to do a job without much instruction, dogs developed for this intention are known to have a bit of an independent streak in their temperament. At times this can make the Laekenois seem aloof or rather standoffish. Nonetheless, they greatly depend on regular contact with owners to stay healthy. The breed is steadfastly loyal and their human family is considered their pack. Many who own the breed report it is not uncommon for the dog to attach to one particular individual in the family.
The Laekenois is the perfect breed for the one who can respect the boundaries of a dog that enjoys its independence. In general, they are not for those who desire a type of dog that offers blind obedience. Inexperienced or first time dog owners may even consider a Laekenois too demanding of their time. In all reality, as a working breed the Laekenois simply expects to stay busy. Without something to devote their time and attention to, they may become overanxious, expressing their discontent with loud incessant barking or destructive chewing. The breed will always be at its best when given a particular task or activities to perform and concentrate on.
To keep this need for activity from becoming a hassle, many owners opt to put their Laekenois' basic instincts to good use. The breed does quite well in events such as herding and agility trials. The dog's natural aptitude for movement gives it the outstanding ability to shift with great dexterity. When not competing, these activities require the dog to participate in a certain amount of physical training. It not only allows them to get their energy out in a well rounded and healthy manner, it also works to challenge them mentally; something else this intelligent breed will require. Those who feel they may not have the time or energy to devote to keeping their Laekenois properly exercised would do well to opt for another less active breed.
As with all dogs, obedience training should start at a young age. It is important to include a great deal of positive reinforcement as the Laekenois does not respond well to harsh reprimands or physical mishandling. When the breed is in a comfortable environment they have been known to rather enjoy obedience training; so much so, that the dog can sometimes be used for K9 unit programs as it was in its early history. While this type of training needs a dog that is trainable and intelligent, it also needs a dog that is not easily intimidated. As many owners will concur, this describes the Laekenois to a tee.