According to the AKC standard, Belgian Tervurens are, “strong, agile, well-muscled, alert and full of life,” and “give the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness.” They are well balanced dogs with square proportions and defined muscles. They have long heads with triangular, prick ears that are set high atop the head. They have deep brown, almond-shaped eyes with an ever-curious expression. They have medium to long coats with a thick undercoat and a straight, harsh, black-tipped outer coat. The ruff around the neck, called a “collarette” is a distinctive characteristic of the breed and is more pronounced in males. They range in color from fawn to russet mahogany with a black overlay. The lighter hairs are usually tipped in black. Their chests are either black and gray or all black, and their faces have a black mask.
Size and Weight
Belgian Tervurens stand between 21 and 26.5 inches at the shoulder, with the preferred height for females being 22 to 24 inches, and for males 24 to 26 inches. They typically weigh between 40 and 70 pounds, with females averaging in at 47 pounds and males averaging 62. Movements of the Terv should always be light and graceful.
Coat and Color
The Belgian Tervuren's topcoat is thick, long and straight and feels slightly harsh to the touch. Their undercoat is thick and soft and provides protection from the elements. In warmer climates the undercoat will not grow in as thickly as dogs who live in colder areas. They have short hair on the head, ears and front of the legs. The openings of the ears sport tufts of hair for protection. The hair around the neck of a Terv is called a collarette – which is essentially a mini mane and is more pronounced in males than females.
Belgian Tervurens range in color from fawn to russet mahogany with a black overlay. The lighter hairs are usually tipped in black. Their chests are either black and gray or all black, and their faces have a black mask. Additionally, the ears and tail tips are usually black. Many Tervs become darker with age, especially males. The tips of the toes are sometimes white.
Belgian Tervurens are double-coated, which means they shed year round. Males will have a heavy shed in the spring, and females shed heavily between heat cycles. Weekly brushing sessions of 15 to 20 minutes are the norm, but daily brushing can cut back on the amount of hair that gets dropped to the floor. Baths are only required as-needed, which usually amounts to four per year, unless the dog likes to roll around in the muck, which some do.
Additional hygiene requirements are regular tooth brushing and ear cleaning. Keeping the teeth clean prevents tarter build up and bad breath, and regular ear cleaning can stave off painful ear infections. If the dog does not naturally wear his nails down outdoors, monthly nail clipping may be required.