Nearly every breed of dog in the canine world was developed with specific traits that made them valuable in the everyday lives of their owners. The intelligent, resilient Belgian Laekenois is no different. The breed's herding and guarding capabilities were simply unrivaled at the time and region they first originated. Their medium size made it easy for them to maneuver in and around sheep and cattle and ensured they had plenty of stamina. Their large pointed ears and sight and scent capabilities also made them perfect for guarding. Most importantly, their serious temperament always kept them focused on the job at hand. This made them extremely reliable and priceless to those that owned them.
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Because of its long history, the Laekenois will always be at its best when given a task or some type of activity to focus on. In fact, their well being will greatly depend on being staying challenged both physically and mentally. They do not do well in small enclosures and, due to their innate need to roam freely, should never be tethered and left to languish. Their need to stay busy should not and cannot be trained out any more than they can be trained out of having a tail. Though they may not do as much sheep herding and guarding as they used to, the tendencies to guard and maintain order still remain within the breed.
Aside from guarding and herding, their physical and mental traits made the Laekenois perfect candidates for canine unit training in Belgian police and military units. They were intelligent, attentive and were not easily intimidated. Although they made good guard dogs, they did not do much work as attack dogs; neither did they have to. Their ferocious bark usually scared off or stopped intruders right in their tracks. With such a ferocious bark, it was said that no one really wanted to take a chance on the bite. At the same time, the Laekenois adored and was often very attached to its trainer.
Those who opt for this breed should know that the Laekenois will always expect to stay busy. As the breed likes to be on the go, they can be a great candidate for those who need a traveling companion. The breed does have a somewhat strong independent streak that an inexperienced dog owner could mistake for disobedience. This is not uncommon in busy working breeds; it simply comes from years of being self reliant out in the field. Owners should ensure that their Laekenois has access to safely secured enclosures that allow them to spend as much time off leash as possible. Keeping them busy with activities that complement their natural tendencies is the best way to ensure a healthy Laekenois.
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