The Tervuren is one of four varieties of sheepdogs that originated in Belgium. The varieties (Tervuren, Groenendael, Laekenois and Malinois) are considered to be one breed in other parts of the world, including Belgium, but here in the United States, they are recognized individually. Only the Groenendael, Tervuren and Malinois are allowed to show through the American Kennel Club, but the Laekenois is sure to follow suit soon. Tervurens differ from the other varieties in that they are long-haired, a color other than black and come specifically from the village of Tervuren.
The Belgian sheepdogs originated in the 1800s and were developed to be true shepherds. They were found to be very versatile, so in addition to their shepherding duties, they also served with the police and border patrol, and worked as message carriers and machine gun pullers during the World Wars.
Tervurens are great family dogs, and they are happiest when they have a job to do. Keeping them exercised (both mentally and physically) keeps them from being too mischievous. Their long coats need regular brushing to keep them free of mats.
Despite their hardworking heritage, Tervurens are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – and your family’s budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Tervurens are prone to include eye conditions such as pannus, cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy; skin conditions such as vitiligo; and neurological problems such as epilepsy.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Belgian Tervuren inherits her mom’s bad eyes or her dad’s bad hips, you’re covered.