The Belgian Tervuren, also known as the Terv, the Belgian Tervueren, the Belgische Herdershond Tervuerense and the Chien de Berger Belge, is one of several Belgian sheepherding breeds currently recognized in the American Kennel Club’s Herding Group. Once categorized with the other 3 varieties of Belgian Sheepdogs, this variety is distinguished by its fawn and black (rather than pure black) coat color and long hair. The first Tervuren was registered with the AKC in 1918. Before 1959, these dogs were registered and shown as Belgian Sheepdogs in this country. In 1959, the American Kennel Club granted separate breed classifications designating the Belgian Tervuren, Malinois and Sheepdog (Groenendael) as individual breeds.
The Belgian Tervuren has a watchful yet companionable personality. It is innately protective of its family, without begin overly aggressive, and is somewhat standoffish towards strangers. Like the other Belgian sheepherding dogs, this dog is brave, vigilant, agile, alert and hard-working. It also forms extremely strong bonds with its family, and the breed requires early socialization and training to prevent aggressive or nervous behaviors from developing.
The ideal male Tervuren is 24 to 26 inches in height, and the female 22 to 24 inches, measured at the withers. Males under 23 or over 26 ½ inches, and females under 21 or over 24.5 inches, are disqualified from the AKC breed standard. They typically weigh between 45 and 70 pounds (the females are usually smaller and lighter than the males). The Tervuren’s long double coat is moderately harsh, neither silky nor wiry. This breed can adapt to virtually any climate. This shepherd is a rich fawn to russet mahogany in color, with black overlay on the tip of each hair, and their coats tend to darken with age.