Belgian Tervuren Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.
Let’s Talk Breed Education!
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Official Standard of the Belgian Tervuren General Appearance: The first impression of the Belgian Tervuren is that of a well-balanced, medium-size dog, elegant in appearance, standing squarely on all fours, with proud carriage of head and neck. He is strong, agile, well-muscled, alert and full of life. He gives the impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness. The male should appear unquestionably masculine; the female should have a distinctly feminine look and be judged equally with the male. The Belgian Tervuren is a natural dog and there is no need for excessive posing in the show ring. The Belgian Tervuren reflects the qualities of intelligence, courage, alertness and devotion to master. In addition to his inherent ability as a herding dog, he protects his master's person and property without being overtly aggressive. He is watchful, attentive, and usually in motion when not under command. The Belgian Tervuren is a herding dog and versatile worker. The highest value is to be placed on qualities that maintain these abilities, specifically, correct temperament, gait, bite and coat. Size, Proportion, Substance: The ideal male is 24 to 26 inches in height and female 22 to 24 inches in height measured at the withers. Dogs are to be penalized in accordance to the degree they deviate from the ideal. Males under 23 inches or over 26½ inches or females under 21 inches or over 24½ inches are to be disqualified. The body is square; the length measured from the point of shoulder to the point of the rump approximates the height. Females may be somewhat longer in body. Bone structure is medium in proportion to height, so that he is well- balanced throughout and neither spindly or leggy nor cumbersome and bulky. Head : Well-chiseled, skin taut, long without exaggeration. Expression intelligent and questioning, indicating alertness, attention and readiness for action. Eyes dark brown, medium- size, slightly almond shape, not protruding. Light, yellow or round eyes are a fault. Ears triangular in shape, well-cupped, stiff, erect; height equal to width at base. Set high, the base of the ear does not come below the center of the eye. Hanging ears, as on a hound, are a disqualification. Skull and muzzle measuring from the stop are of equal length. Overall size is in proportion to the body, top of skull flattened rather than rounded, the width approximately the same as but not wider than the length. Stop moderate. The topline of the muzzle is parallel to the topline of the skull when viewed from the side. Muzzle moderately pointed, avoiding any tendency toward snipiness or cheekiness. Jaws strong and powerful. Nose black without spots or discolored areas. Nostrils well defined. Lips tight and black, no pink showing on the outside when mouth is closed. Teeth - Full complement of strong white teeth, evenly set, meeting in a scissors or a level bite . Overshot and undershot teeth are a fault. An undershot bite such that there is a complete loss of contact by all the incisors is a disqualification. Broken or discolored teeth should not be penalized . Missing teeth are a fault. Four or more missing teeth are a serious fault. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck round, muscular, rather long and elegant, slightly arched and tapered from head to body. Skin well-fitting with no loose folds. Withers accentuated. Topline level, straight and firm from withers to croup. Body - Croup medium long, sloping gradually to the base of the tail. Chest not broad without being narrow, but deep; the lowest point of the brisket reaching the elbow, forming a smooth ascendant curve to the abdomen. Abdomen moderately developed, neither tucked up nor paunchy. Ribs well-sprung but flat on the sides. Loin section viewed from above is relatively short, broad and strong, but blending smoothly into the back. Tail strong at the base, the last vertebra to reach at least to the hock. At rest the dog
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holds it low, the tip bent back level with the hock. When in action, he may raise it to a point level with the topline giving it a slight curve, but not a hook. Tail is not carried above the backline nor turned to one side. A cropped or stump tail is a disqualification. Forequarters: Shoulders long, laid back 45 degrees, flat against the body, forming a right angle with the upper arm. Top of the shoulder blades roughly two thumbs width apart. Upper arms should move in a direction exactly parallel to the longitudinal axis of the body. Forearms long and well-muscled. Legs straight and parallel, perpendicular to the ground. Bone oval rather than round. Pasterns short and strong, slightly sloped. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet rounded, cat footed, turning neither in nor out, toes curved close together, well-padded, strong nails. Hindquarters: Legs powerful without heaviness, moving in the same pattern as the limbs of the forequarters. Bone oval rather than round. Thighs broad and heavily muscled. Stifles clearly defined, with upper shank at right angles to hip bones. Hocks moderately bent. Metatarsi short, perpendicular to the ground, parallel to each other when viewed from the rear. Dewclaws are removed. Feet slightly elongated, toes curved close together, heavily padded, strong nails. Coat: The Belgian Tervuren is particularly adaptable to extremes of temperature or climate. The guard hairs of the coat must be long, close-fitting, straight and abundant. The texture is of medium harshness, not silky or wiry. Wavy or curly hair is a fault. The undercoat is very dense, commensurate, however, with climatic conditions. The hair is short on the head, outside the ears, and on the front part of the legs. The opening of the ear is protected by tufts of hair. Ornamentation consists of especially long and abundant hair, like a collarette around the neck, particularly on males; fringe of long hair down the back of the forearm; especially long and abundant hair trimming the breeches; long, heavy and abundant hair on the tail. The female rarely has as long or as ornamented a coat as the male. This disparity must not be a consideration when the female is judged against the male. Color: Body rich fawn to russet mahogany with black overlay is ideal and preferred. Predominate color that is pale, washed out cream or gray is a fault. The coat is characteristically double pigmented whereby the tips of fawn hairs are blackened. Belgian Tervuren characteristically become darker with age. On mature males, this blackening is especially pronounced on the shoulders, back and rib section. Blackening in patches is a fault. Although allowance should be made for females and young males, absence of blackening in mature dogs is a serious fault. Chest is normally black, but may be a mixture of black and gray. White is permitted on the chest/sternum only, not to extend more than 3 inches above the prosternum, and not to reach either point of shoulder. Face has a black mask and the ears are mostly black. A face with a complete absence of black is a serious fault. Frost or white on chin or muzzle is normal. The underparts of the body, tail, and breeches are cream, gray, or light beige. The tail typically has a darker or black tip. Feet - The tips of the toes may be white. Nail color may vary from black to transparent. Solid black, solid liver or any area of white except as specified on the chest, tips of the toes, chin and muzzle are disqualifications. Gait: Lively and graceful, covering the maximum ground with minimum effort. Always in motion, seemingly never tiring, he shows ease of movement rather than hard driving action. He single tracks at a fast gait, the legs both front and rear converging toward the centerline of gravity of the dog. Viewed from the side he exhibits full extension of both fore and hindquarters. The backline should remain firm and level, parallel to the line of motion. His natural tendency is to move in a circle, rather than a straight line. Padding, hackneying, weaving, crabbing and
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similar movement faults are to be penalized according to the degree with which they interfere with the ability of the dog to work. Temperament: In his relationship with humans he is observant and vigilant with strangers, but not apprehensive. He does not show fear or shyness. He does not show viciousness by unwarranted or unprovoked attack. He must be approachable, standing his ground and showing confidence to meet overtures without himself making them. With those he knows well, he is most affectionate and friendly, zealous for their attention and very possessive. Faults : Any deviation from these specifications is a fault. In determining whether a fault is minor, serious, or major, these two factors should be used as a guide: 1. The extent to which it deviates from the standard. 2. The extent to which such deviation would actually affect the working ability of the dog. Disqualifications: Males under 23 inches or over 26½ inches or females under 21 inches or over 24½ inches. Hanging ears, as on a hound. An undershot bite such that there is a complete loss of contact by all the incisors. A cropped or stump tail. Solid black, solid liver or any area of white except as specified on the chest, tips of the toes, chin, and muzzle.
Approved January 9, 2007 Effective March 1, 2007
A SIMPLE FORMULA FOR JUDGING THE BELGIAN TERVUREN
BY SHARON REDMER
H ow to judge Belgian Tervuren - here is a simple formula from one breeder-judge. First select for type and tempera- ment, and then find the best-moving dogs among that subset of typical, mentally sound dogs. Easy… right? TYPE What makes type in a Tervuren? Think about the overall criteria falling into five “buckets” of characteristics: silhouette, relative propor- tions, head & dentition, expression, coat & color. First… Think square silhouette and remember from high school trigonometry that “off-square” really IS a rectangle. Our Tervuren are measured from point of shoulder (NOT point of breastbone) to point of rump. They have full britches, and the males carry a collarette— both of which can add the illusion of length. Stand back. Look at where the dog’s feet stand naturally… if you need to squint your eyes to get the overall proportions of height to length, go ahead! A Tervuren does not “stand” over a very large piece of real estate. You will see dogs that appear square enough from afar, but they stand over a lot of ground and have straighter fronts and rears. This is not correct. Next, look for an elegant length of neck. The withers are accentuated and the topline is level. There is a very moderate tuck-up (seen best in those out-of-coat adolescent girls and boys) and a medium-long croup. Check out the tail. Does it reach the hock? When the dog moves, is the tail an extension of the backline, raised only slightly? Adolescent males and our stud dogs will often raise their tails in the show ring. Take that into consideration, but this breed should never exhibit a high tail car- riage or gay tail. And, of course, in Tervuren, “a cropped or stump tail” is a disqualification. Second… Look at the proportions of depth of body (withers to elbow) to length of leg... they should be equal. A heavily coated dog can appear a tad short on leg… or he may truly be short on leg. An out of coat dog may look a bit high-stationed. Again, stand back and look at those proportions. Try to divine where the dog’s elbow is from afar. Then, on your exam, verify the placement. Balance is extremely impor- tant in a breed that must be able to turn on a dime and head off “full- tilt boogie” in another direction. Check out the dog’s loin on exam… it should be relatively short. Shoulders should be well laid-back while rear angulation is in balance with the front. We do not want dogs with “a ton” of rear, coupled with a straight front that cannot handle all the drive from behind. Balance, balance, balance… Remember, the Tervuren has both an upper and lower height DQ and these differ from the other Belgian breeds. If you have any question about the height of a particular dog, always use the wicket.
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A SIMPLE FORMULA FOR JUDGING THE BELGIAN TERVUREN
Third… balanced head proportions and dentition : “Well-chis- eled… long without exaggeration.” This is a head with flat cheeks, parallel planes, moderate stop, and flat backskull equal in length to the muzzle. When we ask you to look for a typical well-chiseled head, we are not seeking a Collie head. Our dogs have a “MODER- ATE” [emphasis added] stop and a “moderately pointed” muzzle. There is that word again… moderate. The zygomatic arch on a Bel- gian is flat, so bulging cheeks and thick-set heads are not true to type. More about color later, but the acceptable ranges of masking can fool you into thinking a head is too lean or too chunky… use your hands gently to verify what your eyes are telling you. Our Breed Standard asks for a “scissors or a level bite” with full dentition. We consider dogs missing “four or more” teeth as having a serious fault, and disqualify dogs with “an undershot bite such that there is a complete loss of contact by all the incisors.” “Overshot and undershot teeth are a fault.” When examining the bite, please gently lift the front lip to check for occlusion, and then gently lift the lips on each side to check for full dentition. Our Judges Education Committee asks specifically that you DO NOT PRY OPEN THE MOUTH to check for missing teeth. Typically, if our Tervuren are missing teeth, they will be at the PM1 and PM2 locations. This is an owner-handled breed and the dogs are not trained for a “wide- open alligator” mouth exam. Enough said. Fourth… expression, eyes and ears : The Standard asks for a slightly almond eye, dark brown in color, medium-sized. Beautiful dark eyes paired with small, triangular ears set high on the head give a Tervuren that “typical” alert, intelligent, questioning, and ready for action expression. Low-set ears, ears that touch, large flat ears, and round, light eyes spoil that ideal expression. And “hang- ing ears, as on a hound are a disqualification.”
Fifth… coat and color : Our dogs carry a double coat of mod- erate length, well-fitting to the body. Texture (medium harsh) is more important than length. Originally developed as an all-pur- pose herding/farm dog, Tervs needed a “no fuss” coat that would keep them dry in the rainy “typical” climate of Belgium; cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Fast forward to 2023 and the fashion is to blow-dry show dogs until they resemble large dan- delions ready to go poof! This is not correct—it spoils the texture and masks the outline of the dog. This is a natural dog and we ask for minimal trimming of feet and hocks. Period. Sculpted outlines should not be rewarded. Kindly remember that seasonal shedding is normal for both dogs and bitches. Note that the bitches never, ever carry as long or luxurious a coat as the males. Please do not penalize a more lightly coated bitch. You will show your ignorance of our breed if you do. So, what about color? Invariably, every judge learner asks about color. The Standard says: “Body rich fawn to russet mahogany with black overlay is ideal and preferred. Predominate color that is pale, washed out, cream or gray is a fault.” Let’s look back in the history of this breed as we learn about color. The Belgian Tervuren was nearly decimated in the Second World War, and the post-war European “Father of the Tervuren variety,” a dog named Willy de la Garde Noire, was described as a “pale fawn dog.” So, it is really not sur- prising that the “cooler” colored (cream, grey, silver, grey-beige) Tervuren continue to appear out of “warmer” colored (rich fawn to deep mahogany) parents. For those of you who began judging Tervuren prior to 2007, the AKC Standard’s wording on color changed due to a 2/3-majority vote of the American Belgian Tervuren Club. Now, as a judge, you must balance a simple color fault against the ability of each dog to do its work. As a breeder-judge, it is my personal opinion that we must “build strong houses first… and then paint them.” There are those within the breed who would disagree with me. You must make your own decision. Know that there have been National Spe- cialty winners across all ranges of color. I would suggest that color be considered as a finishing aspect except for those colors that must be penalized more stringently: “absence of blackening in mature males is a serious fault.” “A face with
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A SIMPLE FORMULA FOR JUDGING THE BELGIAN TERVUREN
a complete absence of black is a serious fault.” “White is permitted on the chest/sternum only, not to extend more than 3 inches above the prosternum, and not to reach either point of shoulder.” Long chest hairs may give the illusion of too much white. If you have a ques- tion, look closely at the skin at the base of the haircoat. And always remember that white is permitted on the tips of the toes and is typical as “frost” on the muzzle and chin. Truly fundamental color issues are called out as Disqualifi- cations for the breed: “Solid black, solid liver or any area of white EXCEPT [emphasis added] as specified on the chest, tips of the toes, chin, and muzzle.” TEMPERAMENT Our Standard is clear that we expect our dogs to “be approach- able, standing his ground and showing confidence to meet overtures without himself making them” and goes on to say, “In his relation- ship with humans he is observant and vigilant with strangers, but not apprehensive. He does not show fear or shyness.” Herding breeds by their very nature are reactive. They take in the big picture of a flock and its movement and “react” appropri- ately. As an all-purpose farm dog, they were expected to “react” appropriately to strangers appearing on the property… deciding who should be greeted or who should be deterred. It’s a tightrope walk for a young, “vigilant with strangers” Belgian. So what should you expect in the ring? First, remember this is an owner-handled breed. Tervuren are never presented stacked nose to tail like many Sporting breeds. Do not expect your Terv entry to stand like statues. These are bright, active, busy dogs that free-stack and bait. Your approach is really important. Be confident. Expect good behavior. Speak to the handler upon approach, put your hand under the dog’s chin, and pet them gently on the head as you greet the dog. Then, just get on with your examination. Personally, in youngsters, I like to examine the dog first, always keeping my hands in contact with the dog’s body or neck. Then I come back to examine the bite, as that is the most invasive part of the exam. If you feel you cannot safely examine the dog, please do not push. Excuse the dog and explain to the handler why. Judging is not a test of courage or machismo. Please, do not reward dogs that will not stand for examination without being propped up or held in a
death grip by their owner. Do allow puppies some reassurance and a bit of stabilizing by their owner-handlers. We want our Tervuren Champions deserving in every aspect—Type, Temperament, and Movement. There are many, many, many Tervuren with excellent character to select from. MOVEMENT So, you have selected the best dogs by evaluating type and tem- perament. Next, you must find the very best in movement. Since most judges come into the ring already evaluating movement fairly well, I am addressing it last. This is NOT a message that movement is unimportant. Au Contraire! Our Tervs are single-trackers with an easy, effortless, ground-covering gait. They should be moved on a loose lead and never raced around the ring! A Belgian must be balanced in its movement… “Lively and graceful, covering the maximum ground with minimum effort.” You know all those faults of crabbing, padding, hackneying, weaving, etc.? Well, they are just as faulty in our Tervs and “are to be penalized according to the degree with which they interfere with the ability of the dog to work.” When making your decisions as to whether a fault is minor, serious, or major, our Standard asks you to use the following guide: 1. The extent to which it deviates from the Standard; 2. The extent to which such deviation would actually affect the working ability of the dog. The Judge’s Education Committee of the American Belgian Ter- vuren Club is ready to assist you in your learning. Contact informa- tion and excellent study materials are available at: www.abtc.org
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Sharon Ann Redmer has owned Belgian Tervuren since 1972 and has bred them for over 40 years. More than 150 “StarBright Tervuren” have earned AKC Championships, with many MACHs, OTChs, HTs, CTs, RACHs, High in Trials, and BIS, Group & National Specialty wins. She has recently co-bred her first litter of Belgian Laekenois.
Sharon is an AKC judge of the Herding, Working, and Sporting Groups, all but four breeds in the Non- Sporting Group, all Obedience/Rally, and Junior Showmanship. She has judged on four continents as well as 16 National Specialties for the Belgians (Tervuren, Groenendael, Malinois & Laekenois) in the US, Canada, England, France, Australia, and the Netherlands. She has officiated at AKC National Obedience/Rally Invitationals, the AKC Championship Shows, and Westminster Kennel Club Dog Shows multiple times. Sharon serves as Chairperson of the American Belgian Tervuren Club’s Judges Education Committee and is a former AKC Delegate and President for the parent club. She was honored to be awarded the AKC Lifetime Achievement Award for Companion Events for 2013. She is an Honorary Lifetime Member of both the Ann Arbor Kennel Club and Ann Arbor Dog Training Club. She and her husband, Ed, live just north of Ann Arbor, are loyal University of Michigan fans (GO BLUE), and share their country home with three Tervuren.
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Belgian JUDGING THE
By Deb Eldredge photos courtesy of ABTC Archives Tervuren
B efore you look at these amazing dogs, you need to stop a second and look at handlers— yes, that is exactly what I said! Most Bel- gian Tervuren are owner-handled. Some of those handlers are extremely capable and professional. Some are not. Th e odds are quite good you may have a total newbie in your ring, usually attached to a slightly rambunctious youngster. Take a deep breath. Remember that these newbies are the future of the sport. Smile and be kind. Th en it is on to the dogs! Th e Belgian Tervuren is a “moderate dog.” Th ere is not unusual movement such as the extreme reach and drive of the German Shepherd Dog. Th is is not a “coat breed,” and in fact, excessive coat, especially if soft, is not desired. While an elegant head can add to the silhouette, this is not a “head breed,” and heads are just one piece of the puzzle. Our breed standard basically says it all: “ Th e Bel- gian Tervuren is a herding dog and versatile worker. Th e highest value is to be placed on qualities that maintain these abilities, speci fi cally, correct temperament, gait, bite and coat.” Temperament and movement are essential parts of Terv type. Tervs are typically free stacked and should be shown on a loose lead. Th is is a natural breed. Feet and hocks may be neatly trimmed, but there should not be any “body sculpting.” Belgian Tervuren are a “square” breed and that is re fl ected in the silhouette. It is important to note that the correct measuring points for a Terv as you eyeball the silhouette are from the point of shoulder to the point of rump. Th at measurement should be approximately equal to the height. Bitches get a little leeway on length. It should be obvious right away which sex a dog is—bitchy dogs and doggy bitches are both incorrect. When looking at the head, the expression should be alert and intelligent. Th e eyes are dark and slightly almond shape. Th e stop is moderate. Ears are set high and equilateral triangles in shape. Ears are prick. Hanging or drop ears would be a disquali fi cation. >
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Masks are an important part of color and type. A face with a complete absence of black is a serious fault. Th e mask may be muzzle only or it may cover almost the entire head.
Scissors or level bites are acceptable. You do not need to pry open the mouth to check teeth. Have the handler show the bite from the front, then lift the lips on either side to verify premolars. A loss of contact of all the incisors is a disquali fi ca- tion. Missing teeth are a fault with four or more a serious fault. Head planes should be parallel and the length of the skull and the muzzle should be close to equal. Th e topline should be level from withers to the croup. Th e body should be moderate in width—not broad, but not narrow. Th e chest should reach to the elbow. Th e tail should reach to the hock and be held low at rest. Th e tail should not curl over the back nor should it be tucked. Ideally, the tail should fl ow smoothly o ff the back when in motion though adolescent males and any male around bitches in heat may tend to carry it above the level of the topline. A cropped or stump tail is a disquali fi cation. Legs should be straight with oval bones. Pasterns should be strong and upright, with tight “cat feet” as the ideal in front and feet slightly longer in the rear. Hocks are slightly bent with metatarsi upright and straight to the ground.
Th e outer coat should be harsh. A correct coat will dry quickly and be less likely to pick up plant material while working in fi elds. Density and amount of undercoat will vary greatly with time of year and with heat cycles in bitches. Mature males should have an impres- sive “mane,” but don’t let coat cause you to overlook a quality bitch. Th e coat color is described as “rich fawn to russet mahogany with black overlay is ideal and preferred. Predominate color that is pale, washed out, cream or gray is a fault.” If you have two dogs of equal quality, the red dog should be placed higher than the dog with lighter coloring. Blackening of the coat comes with age and is more prominent on the males. “Absence of blackening in mature dogs is a serious fault.” Masks are an important part of color and type. A face with a complete absence of black is a serious fault. Th e mask may be muzzle only or it may cover almost the entire head. Some minor white markings are acceptable—the tips of toes, chin, and muzzle as well as an area of the chest, but not more than three inches higher than the prosternum or reaching either shoulder. Chin “frosting” can appear in dogs as young as 18 months. Excess white, solid liver, or solid black color are all disquali fi cations.
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JUDGING THE BELGIAN TERVUREN
Th ere are height stipulations for Tervuren. Th e ideal male is 24 to 26 inches with the ideal bitch coming in at 22 to 24 inches. Disquali fi ca- tion is set for males under 23 or over 26.5 inches and for bitches under 21 or over 24.5 inches. Movement should be free and easy. Tervs should tend to single track when moving fast at a trot. You want the maximum amount of ground covered with the minimum of e ff ort—no “tin- ker toy” strides or hackneyed action—but they should also not have the tremendous reach and drive of a German Shepherd Dog. Th e ideal Terv on the move should look e ffi cient and e ff ortless. As noted, temperament is of extreme impor- tance. Th e standard states, “He must be approach- able, standing his ground and showing con fi - dence to meet overtures without himself making them.” Th is is a breed to approach con fi dently, but calmly. Remember, these dogs are mostly owner-handled. A kind word to set the handler at ease lets the dog know that this is all good. Th e dog should not need to be propped or held up by the handler. If a death grip is required, you should excuse the dog. Th e show ring is not the time or the place to push a dog past its comfort zone. When judging, it is important to keep the ABTC guidelines on faults in mind: • Th e extent to which it deviates from the standard. • Th e extent to which such deviation would actually a ff ect the working ability of the dog. And as I mentioned above, repeating because it is so important, “ Th e Belgian Tervuren is a herding dog and versatile worker. Th e highest value is to be placed on qualities that maintain these abilities, speci fi cally, correct temperament, gait, bite and coat.”
Author Bio: Deb M. Eldredge, DVM got her first Terv in 1985 and has never looked back. Coyote Run is her kennel with her daughter, Kate. Despite limited breeding they have won multiple national
specialties (one with their foundation bitch) and regional specialities. They have produced multiple Group placers, herding and obedience High In Trial dogs, and outstanding dogs in rally, dock diving, and barn hunt. Between them they have four Champion Trackers (one a Pembroke Welsh Corgi). Deb is an award-winning veterinarian and writer with many books to her credit. Deb is currently serving on the Board of Directors of ABTC and has also served on the Health Committee for many years. She is a recipient of the Leigh Carter Award from ABTC. Deb is also a member of Central NY Kennel Club, Syracuse Obedience Training Club, Mayflower Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club and, previously, Ann Arbor Dog Training Club where she served as Vice President. Deb lives in upstate New York on a small farm with four Belgian Tervuren, one Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and one Cirneco dell Etna along with sheep, chickens, ducks, a donkey, and a mini horse. Her Tervs are her chore dogs and keep everyone in line!
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LIFE WITH A TERV
By Sharon Ann Redmer
L iving with a Tervuren…. what do you think it is like? THINK VERSA- TILE… think way smart… think active… think agile… think easily trained…. think alert! Your average Belgian Tervuren is wicked fast. Owning one is like driving a Ferrari…not a minivan! Any Terv owner will attest…there is absolutely noth- ing these wonderful dogs cannot learn. Our Belgians truly want to please… it is hardwired into their very nature-- they are “biddable”. Th ey bond quickly to “their humans” and become your sec- ond skin. If having a loyal dog shadowing
you everywhere is irritating…well a Ter- vuren just is NOT for you. Terv owners will tell you that it has been years since they’ve done much of anything without the “help” of their dogs! Th e 3 AKC Herding Group Belgians (Tervuren, Belgian Sheepdogs named Groenendael in other countries, and Mali- nois) were first developed in di ff erent areas surrounding Brussels. Th ey were herders, guardians of the farmer’s property, family dogs, and protection dogs. Subsequently used by law enforcement and the military, they were one breed with variations in coat color and coat length/texture. All were square dogs with high set erect triangular
ears, long tails and medium long heads. Th ey were medium in bone and moderate in just about everything except their abil- ity to learn. Physically, Tervs are typically elegant with proud carriage of head and neck. Th e coat of a Tervuren male is truly a thing of beauty. Rich base color caressed by a black overlay is often the first quality attracting newcomers to the breed. Th e girls are less ornate in their furnishings, but are equally lovely. My first Tervuren was “Bravo” a pet male who earned his UDT back in the day when there was no OTCh, no MACH, no CT and no HT. I wanted a dog to show in
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AKC obedience, and he won many High in Trials! While Bravo thought I hung the sun, moon and stars, he was wary of strang- ers as a youngster… certainly too reactive to be part of anyone’s breeding program. As undergrad students my husband and I lived in a higher crime area. Neighbor- ing townhouses were vandalized… not the Redmer residence… good boy, Bravo!! Today, Tervuren are used as search and rescue dogs, drug dogs, military dogs, leader dogs for the blind, therapy dogs, tracking dogs, all purpose farm and herd- ing dogs, agility dogs, obedience dogs, and yes, especially as devoted family pets. Th ere are generations of toddlers who have learned to walk pulling up on their family’s Terv. Versatility is the breed’s middle name. In 2012, AKC registration statistics ranked Tervuren 106th out of 175 breeds. Here in the USA the AKC registers Tervuren as a separate breed from the other Belgians--not the norm in the rest of the world. Is a Terv the right breed for you? Well honestly Tervuren are NOT for every- one. Th ey make terrible kennel/back yard dogs. Th ey require early socialization to new people and environments. Reactivity and shyness can be an issue for some pup-
pies even in litters from parents possessing stellar characters. A bored Belgian can be destructive, so plan to keep both your dog’s mind and body busy. Tervuren are NOT frenetic dogs and they definitely have an “o ff switch”… but it works ever so much better in dogs getting regular exercise! Th ey require no elaborate grooming. Regular brushing, nail clipping, a quick trim of the hair on the feet and hocks and your Terv is good to go. Shedding happens… you will be brushing daily to triumph in that “hair battle”. Th eir dou- ble coats carry no real doggy odor. And, blessedly, Tervs frequently live to be 13-16 years old. Th e American Belgian Tervuren Club (www.abtc.org) urges you to link with a breeder who screens breeding stock for hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as inheritable eye problems. Fortunately (with thanks to our vigilant breeders) the incidence is pret- ty low for these diseases. It appears that Tervuren have a higher incidence of epilep- sy and gastric carcinoma than the average population of dogs. Th e ABTC supports research in these areas. If you are consider- ing a Tervuren for your family, always ask health and temperament questions of the breeder before purchasing a puppy.
“VERSATILITY is the breed’s middle name.”
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1. Where do you live? What is your occupation? How many years in dogs? 2. Do you have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? 3. What first made you interested in the Belgian Tervuren? 4. In what ways does the breed differ from its Belgian cousins? 5. How important are carriage and proportion in the Tervuren? 6. Can you describe the breed’s coat color in detail? 7. What should judges look for in the Tervuren’s movement? 8. Is the Tervuren a “busy” breed? Does it like to have a job to do? 9. Would you consider the breed to be possessive of its people and property? 10. What’s the funniest experience you’ve ever shared with a Ter- vuren in or out of the ring? 11. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. JANINA LAURIN Janina Laurin is an
What first made me interested in the Belgian Tervuren? It’s the family passion. I’m second generation with my sister, Darlene, and my mother, Edeltraud—it’s Chateau Blanc kennels. In what ways does the breed differ from its Belgian cousins? All four standards have a variation in coat color, height, bite and nuanced differences in measurements. How important are carriage and proportion in the Tervuren? Incredibly important. It is a distinguishing characteristic that gives the breed its beautiful elegant silhouette and unbroken harmonious lines. There should be no question when you see a Belgian Tervuren that it is its own breed and not a bad mix of GSD/Collie cross or a common mutt-looking street dog. Can I describe the breed’s coat color in detail? It can be breath- taking, from rich fawn to mahogany, with a black overlay as if caressed in soot, and black masking on the head. The males will carry a bit more abundant coat and overlay than the females. It is double-coated with the outer coat being straight and harsh. It is natural in every aspect. The coat should require minimal grooming, and be clean and appropriate for either sex. It is and should be mostly a wash-and-wear coat as would be needed if the dogs were working. What should judges look for in the Tervuren’s movement? Clean, single tracking, with free full extension, reach and drive for a square dog. Anything that would make the dog unable to do its historical job as a working herding/farm dog should be penalized as, for example: minced steps, cowhocks, lack of upper arm. As a whole, the breed has a large group that still uses their dogs on work- ing farms or in herding competitions. Is the Tervuren a “busy” breed? Does it like to have a job to do? Yes. They are, but not obnoxiously so in its behavior. It is more alert and ready to go. A job may look very different these days. It may take the shape of games and tasks. A confident, biddable dog is mostly preferred. Would I consider the breed to be possessive of its people and property? It does love its people and, consequently, is very devoted. Hence, its reputation as more of an owner-handled breed or with those who know the dog individually well. They are excellent watch dogs and will alert you to a threat whether it is perceived or real. It is naturally aloof with those it doesn’t know well. This doesn’t mean shy. They should stand their ground. It just means they will not be overzealous if you aren’t in their circle of friends. The funniest experience I’ve ever shared with a Tervuren in or out of the ring? The day my now 15-1/2-year-old girl, Jessie, would not leave the side of a steward on the Figure 8 in Novice Obedience and started pawing her pant leg. I was mortified, but when the judge asked [the steward] if she had food in her pocket, I praised [Jessie] for her good nose. She had found remnants of a hot dog. The judge qualified us with substantial points off. I’d also like to share about the breed to judge the whole, study the silhouette, and penalize where appropriate according to the standard. This is a moderate, elegant, square, well-moving, confi- dent dog. Enjoy them, be patient in allowing them to excel in the conformation, companion or performance rings. ANITA ABORN Anita Aborn has been involved with Belgian Tervuren for more than 30 years. She has had the good fortune to attend many nation- al specialties within the US and abroad, meet with the pillars of the breed in Belgium and France, and learn from the top breeders in the US. She has bred Group-winning dogs and is active in >
AKC judge of BIS, the Herding Group and mul- tiple Working breeds, and a second generation dog fancier. She has judged the national specialties of all three Belgian breeds and Newfoundlands. She has been honored to judge the breed twice at Westminster,
at the AKC show, and will be judging the AKC/Royal Canin Bred- by Group 2020. Janina will also be judging the Tervuren national for the fourth time in 2021. In October 2020, she will be judging the first Belgian Lakenois national. In 2002, Janina accepted the inaugural AKC Herding Breeder of the Year award on behalf of Chateau Blanc Kennels (Edeltraud, Janina and Darlene). Chateau Blanc has produced over 250 champions, Best In Show, National Specialty and Specialty winners, Dual champions, herding and tracking champions, multiple HIT winners in all performance events in the States and Canada, including Schutzhund events, on a limited breeding program. Janina and her sister are actively show- ing in conformation, herding, obedience and tracking with their current dogs and continuing to breed Belgian Tervuren. She has served as the parent club’s AKC Delegate for over 20 years, Show- chair/Co-Chair Putnam Kennel Club, founding member and past President Berkshire Belgian Tevuren Club, past President of the American Belgian Tervuren Club, and member of Saw Mill Kennel Club. Janina is a founding member of the parent club’s Education Committee and has served on it since the mid 1980s. I live on a rural road surrounded by woods and hayfields about 10 miles from the UCONN campus. I’m recently retired now, but worked in the financial industry mostly. I’ve been attending shows and dog events since I was a child. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? My big hobby right now is renovating the family homestead while trying to keep to the two-year plan.
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conformation, obedience, herding, tracking, rally, agility, and scent work. She has been privileged to serve the Tervuren community in her local club at all levels, the American Belgian Tervuren Club as health education chair, and at nationals including the honor of judging sweepstakes. I live in Northern California and have had Belgian Tervuren since 1989. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? Travel and gardening. What first made me interested in the Belgian Tervuren? Their beauty, their versatility, their intelligence, and the fact they are a herding breed, important for assisting me with my sheep. In what ways does the breed differ from its Belgian cousins? All of the Belgian Shepherd dogs are so very talented. How important are carriage and proportion in the Tervuren? The Tervuren breed is an elegant breed characterized by its outline of a beautiful head sweeping into its neck and its square silhouette. To my eye, the breed can be identified just by its outline, so carriage and proportion are extremely important. They are always alert and present themselves with an air that demands one look at them. On the other hand, they can be silly and exuberant. Can I describe the breed’s coat color in detail? That would take a book. What should judges look for in the Tervuren’s movement? A smooth, easy, fluid side gait—it is not a big ground-covering gait with huge reach and drive, but rather a balanced, moderate gait with front and rear showing full extension. Coming and going the legs should converge in the center to single track, ideally. Is the Tervuren a “busy” breed? Does it like to have a job to do? Tervuren need a job to do. They need their mind exercised as much as their body. Would I consider the breed to be possessive of its people and property? Yes. The funniest experience I’ve ever shared with a Tervuren in or out of the ring? The time my girl opened the refrigerator by tugging on the dishcloth hanging on the handle, selecting and removing a single yogurt container, taking said yogurt container to her bed, carefully removing the plastic top, peeling off the foil covering in one piece, and then studiously licking out every last molecule of yogurt from the carton. LYNN BRANDENBURG I currently reside in South Carolina, but relocated from the Northeast. I’ve been actively showing dogs for over 30 years, but have had Belgians for over 40 years. I love traveling and have been fortunate to have attended many Belgian specialties (all four Belgian breeds/varieties are shown togeth- er) in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the UK, and more. I’ve exhibited in several of them as well, with one of my dogs hav- ing Dutch and French titles. There’s noth- ing more educational than seeing the breed in its country of origin and learning from the longtime breeders and exhibitors there. What first made me interested in the Belgian Tervuren? The intelligence, beauty, grace, and athleticism of the breed. In what ways does the breed differ from its Belgian cousins? The only real difference is cosmetic. The Tervuren is one of four Belgian breeds in the US (AKC). Everywhere else in the world, the four are considered one breed with four varieties, differentiated only by its coat: color, length, and texture. The Belgian Sheepdog being black;
the Malinois being short-haired and similar in color to the Tervu- ren; and the Laekenois, similarly colored with a wavy/curly coat. How important are carriage and proportion in the Tervuren? Extremely important to have balance—moderately angled front and rear along with the proud carriage of a square dog, standing four-square, alert and inquisitive, ready for action. There should be a lovely arch of neck, flowing into the withers; head not stuck on the shoulder or ewe-necked. Can I describe the breed’s coat color in detail? There is an array of acceptable coat color ranging from a light, warm fawn to a rich mahogany. The coat should also have some black tipping, with the males generally having a bit more blackening than the females. There should also be a black mask, minimally to above the eye. What should judges look for in the Tervuren’s movement? A light, easy, graceful gait—not a hard, driving gait, nor an extend- ed reach and drive viewed from the side. Coming and going they should tend to converge towards the center. The topline should be level on the move with the tail an extension, not held high or hooked. Is the Tervuren a “busy” breed? Does it like to have a job to do? Yes, they are busy, especially pups. They are an active, intelligent breed that like to interact with their person. With proper exercise and training (herding, agility, tracking, etc.), they are wonderful companions and thrive on the interaction. Would I consider the breed to be possessive of its people and property? Yes. They are protective and possessive of their people. They often appear aloof to strangers until they deem you trustworthy! JONI L. FRESHMAN DVM MS DACVIM CVA
Dr. Freshman earned her DVM from CSU in 1984, her MS in 1988 and her DACVIM in 1990. She man- aged reproduction centers in Cali- fornia, Texas and Colorado prior to turning to consulting in that area (laboratory, writing, online, speaking, expert witness). She also has a house call practice limited to acupuncture, laser therapy, and bodywork.
Joni brought home her first Belgian Tervuren puppy in 1986 and never looked back. She bred her first litter in 1990 and has bred sparingly since that time. She has bred and handled a Group Win- ner; multiple Group Placers; HIT in herding, obedience, and agil- ity; and Eukanuba award winners. She bred and handled the 2013 number one O-HS Belgian Tervuren (also a NW HIT dog and the second Tervuren to earn the NACSW Elite Champion title) and the 2015 OFA Champion of Health Tervuren, who herself was invited to the Eukanuba [AKC National Championship] Invitational as a youngster, and as the number one preferred Agility Belgian Tervu- ren as a nearly 12-year-old dog. Joni had also been active in local breed clubs and the American Belgian Tervuren club in both officer and longtime columnist posi- tions (multiple DWAA Award finalist). She also is an AKC licensed judge of all four Belgian breeds, has judged many regional special- ties and the 2015 ABTC National Specialty. I live in Peyton, Colorado, which is in a rural area about 20 miles east of Colorado Springs. For over 36 years I have been a veterinarian, board certified in internal medicine with special dedi- cation to small animal reproduction and neonatology, in which I currently consult, but no longer see patients. I also have a house-call acupuncture, laser therapy and bodywork practice. >
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Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? I train and compete in a variety of dog sports besides conformation, including agility, scent work, obedience, rally, herd- ing, and coursing (CAT, FASTCAT) and barn hunt. I also enjoy gardening on my organic ten acres and creating a healthy environ- ment for native shortgrass prairie, birds, and pollinators along with my dogs and myself. What first made me interested in the Belgian Tervuren? I loved dogs as a child, but did not come from a dog loving family and we only had a dog (stray German Shepherd Dog) for my last four years at home. Reading a dog breed book at age 12, I saw a photo of the Belgian Tervuren and it really appealed to me. When I read about how smart and athletic they were, I knew I would someday have one, although I didn’t see one in person until 1981! That day came 14 years later, during my residency, when I finally brought my first Belgian Tervuren puppy home. In what ways does the breed differ from its Belgian cousins? There are several differences in the standards which are clearly not- ed and easily located when reading the standards side-by-side—the height is the most controlled, both above and below, of all the Bel- gian breeds. Also, the location of where the square is measured dif- fers in the Tervuren, being from the point of shoulder to the point of hip, rather than from prosternum to hip as in the other Belgian breeds. Of course, coat and color differ, as do penalties for missing teeth. The most important characteristics of the Belgian Tervuren are called out in these two sentences, not found in the other stan- dards: “The Belgian Tervuren is a herding dog and versatile worker. The highest value is to be placed on qualities that maintain these abilities, specifically, correct temperament, gait, bite and coat.” The American Belgian Tervuren Club has, since its inception, stressed the importance of a dog with titles on both ends. How important are carriage and proportion in the Tervuren? They are important, as noted in the standard. Tervuren have an “exceedingly proud carriage of head and neck” and are a square dog from point of shoulder to point of hip (extra length allowed in bitches per standard). The terms “moderate” or “medium” appear numerous times in the standard. They should be completely in pro- portion, with no extremes catching the eye. Can I describe the breed’s coat color in detail? The correct coat base color is a rich fawn to a russet mahogany, with a black overlay. Colors that are washed-out, like beige, cream, yellow, or grey are faulted. Our standard prior to the last revision called for each hair to be tipped in black. This appeared to confuse many breeders and judges and so that was changed. This has resulted, in my opinion, in many who do not feel bitches should have much blackening. That is not what the standard says. “The coat is char- acteristically double pigmented whereby the tips of fawn hairs are blackened. Belgian Tervuren characteristically become darker with age.” This means that we expect to see blackening over the fawn to mahogany. Because the standard also says: “Although allowance should be made for females and young males, absence of blackening in mature dogs is a serious fault,” this means as long as we can find some blackened hairs on puppies and bitches, that is acceptable. It does not mean that bitches with a full overlay are incorrect—they are quite correct by the standard. If I can, I would like to mention something I find much more important about coat than color. Coat texture truly is a working dog feature. Having done herding with both a soft-coated dog and many with the coat called for in the standard, I can tell you why the standard says, “Texture is of medium harshness, not silky or wiry. Wavy or curly hair is a fault.” Dogs with correct coat can work in the rain and manure from several species of stock for hours, hop in the car and by the time you get home, all that has fallen off and the coat looks and smells pristine. It’s an easy coat to keep as it does not mat and it partially repels grass awns. This coat shows great in rain
and is rarely as long as the silky, wavy coats that require a lot of work to manage and show. What should judges look for in the Tervuren’s movement? Ter- vuren movement came from their initial job (herding) and so is an essential part of breed type. This is a flowing, easy trot with full extension of front and rear that can go all day, rather than a hard-driving extended trot, or a restricted gait that requires mul- tiple steps to cover a short amount of ground. The triangles made from front and rear extension should match. I strongly encourage judges to watch Tervuren herd as it will help you see why they need the movement described in the standard: “Covering the maximum ground with minimum effort.” When I am judging and watching dogs go around, I picture them out on my trainer’s 280 acres—if the sheep took off, could this dog catch them up and bring them back, or [would] we be headed to the section fence? Is the Tervuren a “busy” breed? Does it like to have a job to do? I would call them active and goal-oriented. Tervuren were bred to work stock and guard the farm, stock and shepherd. They quickly branched out to police and military work. These are jobs with a lot to do, a lot to think about, and a lot of hours of work. Tervuren without work for mind and body are unhappy dogs with unhappy owners. They are not busy for no reason (mine have invented a lot of games on their own). If they have sufficient mental and physi- cal exercise most of them are able to settle down nicely when you do. But as soon as you get up they are ready—and hopeful—to go again. I find them unique in dogdom, in my experience, in that with training, there is essentially nothing they cannot do. I have had owners teach them field work, water rescue, and other non- herding dog skills easily. What they don’t do well is do nothing! Awake Tervuren puppies are very active sponges. Owners need to be giving them plenty of on-purpose training/play/work so that everyone is happy. While this can be in one, or many, organized dog sports, I had one clever pet owner who taught her puppy bitch to put socks in an open hamper. When they left the house, they hid dozens (later hundreds) of socks all over the house. This pup would sniff them out, take them to the hamper and put them in. That’s the kind of owner who can handle the mental needs of this breed. Would I consider the breed to be possessive of its people and property? Yes, they are. That was one of the things for which they were bred. It should be to an appropriate extent—if you, their own- er, tell them someone is okay, they should believe you unless they are given a reason to think otherwise. This doesn’t always happen unless the owner manages the dog appropriately. From puppyhood through social maturity this breed needs well-managed, positive socialization to understand what normal is so they don’t protect against things they shouldn’t. That said, my first Tervuren saved my life twice. She had no protection training and was great with children, but when I was attacked, once by two men and once by four men, the only blood shed was theirs—not hers and not mine. I always feel safe when traveling with my Tervuren. In a motel, one lays against the door to the hall. If I have two, the other one lays on the (covered) bed and faces the door, etc.—this is innate, not trained behavior. Mine (apart from the couple that were uncom- fortable around children) have also been very protective of children, keeping them away from danger. They are also very observant of what goes on around their home and unless trained not to, will bark when someone comes on the property or approaches a car in which they are crated. They also know when something is just not right. One day my crew raised a huge ruckus—both the two dogs that were out exercising and the rest in the house. My neighbor’s 12 horses, which my dogs ignore through our mutual fence, were out running on the 55 MPH street, with rush hour and sundown upon us. Thanks to their alerting me, I was able to call my neighbors and we all rushed out and got the
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