In its earliest history, the Laekenois was used for guarding and herding, tasks that require a certain type of focused intelligence. Not only must they be alert and able to make quick decisions, they must also be courageous, bold and have great stamina. These qualities have always come standard in the Laekenois. While the breed loves and adores their owners, they are not overly dependent on pleasing and do not commonly offer blind obedience. When they have a job to do, the Laekenois is serious about carrying it out. These traits in dogs have always been of benefit to those who work in law enforcement and military. Unsurprisingly, the Laekenois eventually found itself working in the Belgian army and police force.
In K9 programs, it is important to have a dog that can learn quickly yet remain flexible in its decision making. A dog that is too agreeable often needs constant reassurance that the decisions they make will please their owner. When faced with a situation that does not allow this response, a dog can falter. While dogs are trained repeatedly for certain situations, they can often come up against a situation that requires them to improvise. The herding ability of the Laekenois often comes in handy in these situations. For this reason, the dog was often seen used by the Belgian police for apprehending. The Laekenois was a natural at using its phenomenal stamina to wear robbers down by chasing them; then keeping them pinned or cornered until they could be placed under arrest.
The best type of guard dog is not only one that has extra sensitive sight and hearing like the Laekenois but also a good intimidating bark. With crafty animals about, keeping an eye on a herd meant being able to see or sense even the slightest changes in an environment. The Laekenois was not only a natural at doing just this but was bold enough to take on the predator as well. Using their booming, rapidfire bark the Laekenois was quite successful at scaring off marauders. This made them the first choice when it came to guarding Belgian military installations. The Laekenois could see or sense any suspicious situations others could not and immediately alert its trainers.
Because the Laekenois is always happiest when given a job to do, they were found very easy to train. Many handlers were pleased with the dog's ability to stay serious and focused in even the most distracting of situations. While there were some other breeds that worked alongside the Laekenois, it was the Laekenois that proved itself time and time again. In fact, when looking at historical pictures of Belgian police and army officers, the majority are standing at attention with their canine partners.