The Laekenois is a breed that can make an excellent family dog as long as a few special considerations are kept in mind. Whether male or female, the breed's history as a working dog has given them a nature that is self reliant. This has also resulted in a temperament that at times can be rather dominant. Compromise and an understanding owner is the name of the game with this breed. Though males and females are extremely loyal, females exhibit just a spot more of a mothering instinct; however, both males and females will carry a strong sense of duty to protect a household and all its members from harm.
When opting for a Laekenois, a pup should be introduced to the established rules of a household right from the beginning. It is imperative that those rules be followed consistently by every member of the home. Obedience training will also be necessary at an early age as this can help define pack order, something else that needs to be firmly established right away. Waiting to do this until later will eventually result in power struggles. As many owners have come to find, getting a dog used to a certain living standard at a young age is always much easier than trying to retrain a dog that has always had the run of the house.
As the Laekenois has a strong prey drive and a protective demeanor, a pup should be socialized heavily and on a regular basis. Their natural predisposition for dominance may at times keep them from getting along with other dogs; especially those who also wish to assert their dominance. They should also be socialized around other people as the Laekenois is a guard dog at heart. Their biggest sense of duty is always to protect those of their pack. While they are not aggressive towards children, they may react to roughhousing by moving to protect children of their pack from the children who are not.
Though they will need a set of firm rules from the beginning, it is important to remain flexible and never mishandle a Laekenois in any way. They simply cannot abide any type of severity in their environment. Harsh reprimands or any other type of cruel disciplinary techniques will be met with total opposition. For the most part, the Laekenois is a dog that enjoys the challenge of learning new things and training them requires very little effort. Although small children should never be left alone with any type of dog, an older Laekenois is likely to do better with children ten year of age or older. It is also the responsibility of dog owners to educate the children of a household the proper way to treat a dog with respect.