BELGIAN TERVUREN Q&A
the—now four—[breeds] slightly differs. These differences can be found mostly in the disqualifications section of each breed standard to include height, bite, areas of white and temperament. How important are carriage and proportion in the Tervuren? When the Tervuren is standing they should be square and alert with elegant carriage of head and neck. This is very important to the breed. It shows they are full of life, intelligent and ready to work for you. Proportion in height and length should be equal, with exception to our females which can be slightly longer. The Tervuren should never be slight and spindly, nor large and bulky, but “medium.” Can I describe the breed’s coat color in detail? Tervuren’s are a double-coated breed. The outer guard hairs range in color from a rich mahogany to a light blonde and gray, (color that is pale, washed out, cream or gray is a fault)—these colors should be tipped in black. The undercoat is most generally a light cream color. The head has varying degrees of black: from just the muzzle; a mask; to full black. A head that lacks any black is a serious fault. The ears are mostly black. The chest (collarette) will have a mixture of black and grey hair. Tail usually has a black spot in the middle and also on the tip. White is permissible on the chest (not to reach the neck) and the tips of their toes. Frosting is normal around the muzzle. As this breed matures, their color always darkens. What should judges look for in the Tervuren’s movement? This is a square dog. They should be light on their feet and the front and rear movement viewed from the side should be equal. Topline should remain flat and firm from head to tail. When going away from you they should single track (legs converge towards a center line); when coming towards you the same applies. They do have a tendency to move in circles. Without proper movement they cannot do their job as a Herding dog.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my thoughts on this wonderful breed. Hoping that we get back to those normal days of showing. Please stay safe and healthy in these times. LYNNE WETHERELL I own Bilgay Belgian Tervuren Kennels in Green Cove Springs, Florida. I am retired from being a business OR manager at Baptist Hospital in Jacksonville. I now teach and compete in conformation, obedience, rally, dock diving and agility. I have always owned dogs, but became active in the world of dogs in 1988. I served as vice-pres- ident of the American Belgian Tervuren Club for eight years and I am currently president of the Sunshine Belgian Tervuren Club. I have no hobbies or interests that are not dog related. There are just not enough hours in the day. What first made me interested in the Belgian Tervuren? I met Gail Cooper and her Belgian Tervurens when I moved to Jackson- ville in 1988. I fell in love with her dogs, and the saga began. Not only were they the most beautiful dogs I had ever seen, they were beyond versatile with what you could do with them. I got my first Terv and began my story in conformation and obedience. The AKC then started offering agility and I was hooked. In what ways does the breed differ from its Belgian cousins? Of course, coat length and color are the most obvious differences between the Belgian breeds. I have only owned Malinois and Ter- vurens, so I can only speak of those when I am comparing the Bel- gian breeds. Mals have short hair, and Tervs have long hair. In my experience, the Malinois is “more” dog. Meaning that they have more drive and are busier. Don’t mistake me, the Tervurens have plenty of “go,” but they are easier to have control over and have a better “off” switch. Neither are couch potatoes and they need a job. They are willing participants in anything the owner wants to do. How important are carriage and proportion in the Tervuren? Carriage and proportion are very important in the Belgian Tervu- ren breed. They are a square, elegant breed that carry themselves beautifully. An observer always stops and looks when they see a Tervuren. Can I describe the breed’s coat color in detail? The Tervuren has a double coat; a thick undercoat and then a base coat. The base color is very rich with a black overlay. The standard has been changed from only accepting mahogany and black to accepting gray and fawn base coats. The males usually have more overlay than the bitches. What should judges look for in the Tervuren’s movement? The Tervuren gait is smooth, not rushed. They single track. Their front movement should not be hackneyed. The judge should be looking for the dog that can continue that movement all day. Front and back legs should move in full extension. The topline is level and the dog should not roll as it moves. Is the Tervuren a “busy” breed? Does it like to have a job to do? The Tervuren is a busy breed. They need both mental and physical exercise on a daily basis. If this is done, the dog will relax at home and be content to be at rest. They are ready for any adventure that the owner proposes and then cuddle on the couch when the adven- ture is over. Would I consider the breed to be possessive of its people and property? Tervurens are aloof with strangers, but love their families and their friends. If properly socialized as puppies, they are not pos- sessive of their property or family. That being said, they can step up to the task of being a protector if need be. My funniest experience with one of my Tervs happened not in the show ring, but in the herding field. There was a large, stuffed whale sitting on a post in the field. When sent to gather the sheep, he grabbed the whale and continued to run around the sheep with the whale in his mouth.
Is the Tervuren a busy breed? Does it like to have a job to do? Yes, to say the least. They are very much busybodies, almost always in motion when not resting. They much prefer a life with a job or some type of activity, including herding, agility, tracking, flyball, dock diving, and the list goes on. They will do what is asked of them and be happy. Would I consider the breed to be possessive of its people and property?Again, yes, this is just in their nature. Not only are they possessive, but they are also jealous for attention. The funniest experience I’ve ever shared with a Tervuren in or out of the ring? I’ve shared this story many times. I was showing my CH Shumaker Hill’s Bedtime Story (Tory) at an outside show. We entered the Group ring, the judge did his exam, and we went up and back. As the judge raised his hand to say, “Go around the ring,” the leash slipped out of my hand over Tory’s back and she proceeded to do her job, which was to do the go around. I just followed her foot for foot. She stopped perfect and looked at me like, “I did good right?” She was so ring wise. The judge asked me later if that was a trick. Nope, just a smart show dog!
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2020 | 225
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