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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