The Belgian Tervuren, being an energetic, intelligent and protective breed of dog have commonly been recruited for an impressively wide variety of work, starting with their military service in the first World War, bravely and skillfully carrying messages and equipment to the frontlines, up to their more recent service in rescue and police work. While police Tervurens tend to be full time professionals, the vast majority of search and rescue dogs (regardless of breed) are trained volunteers.
Thanks to the breed's ability to adapt to all kinds of conditions and their eagerness to find themselves in new places and situations, these brave civil servants can be found alongside their human counterparts in just about any environment in the world doing their part. Depending on what kind of training background the dog has, you might find a Tervuren doing anything from digging a path in the snow for human workers to find avalanche victims to such simple tasks as finding a child who took a wrong turn walking home from school. Tervuren's have been preferred for police work as far back as the recorded history of the breed goes. At least one Tervuren officer, Albert, who served his community in Amsterdam, was honored with a statue in 1923 to commend his bravery in the line of duty.
Like most police dogs, whatever breed they might be, Tervuren work in the field tends to consist of sniffing out drugs and tracking fugitives. One thing that makes the Tervuren uniquely inclined toward such work, though, could be as simple as that they make such great company. Breeds of more difficult temperament might be equally competent workers, but you can never say too much for a good working relationship as an important part of getting the job done. Being just as commonly found in a family's living room as a police cruiser's passenger seat, their storied history as K-9 unit dogs really might come right down to just how well they get along with their partners in the line of duty.
This may sound like Tervurens are some kind of magic cure-all for any kind of work, and certainly they tend to be versatile and friendly, however, they're an emotionally sensitive breed and they require quite a lot of human attention in their first months if their sociability and talents are expected to blossom. Tragically, this doesn't always happen, and there are too many stories of puppy mill and pet shop Tervurens being recruited into the force or a SAR team and later being put down when they become a danger to their fellow officers or rescue workers. Luckily these worries are easily put to rest if the Tervuren is simply maintained properly from birth, which shouldn't be a difficult task at all for a dedicated dog lover.
It would, of course, be a mistake to think that Tervurens should only be considered for the kind of work listed above. One can search through magazines and the internet and find stories of Tervurens working in all kinds of fields. From acting to security patrol, the Belgian Tervuren can adapt to just about anything. And of course, there's always sheep herding to fall back on.