Belgians do not well kept full-time in the back yard and can get easily bored as they want to be with their owners. A bored Belgian is one that can create trouble! Noticing di ff erences in environment and actually being uncertain about new people, places and things are the mark of a smarter Belgian. Th ey actually are smart enough to figure out the di ff erences and that there may be situations, people, etc., deserving of fear or uncertainty. Confi- dence can develop both through social- ization, training, age and experience. Be prepared to socialize your puppy or young adult as to new people, animals, environ- ment and situations, as this is critical to the dog’s self-confidence. Training dictates that a Belgian puppy or adult be food, tug, praise or ball/toy motivated. Belgians are easily motivated. Di ff erent dogs are motivated in di ff erent ways and that can also be ever chang- ing. It is the responsibility of the owner/ trainer to figure out how best to motivate the dog to achieve the desired behavior or performance—that is what makes them part of the family or if working in exhibi- tion venues, a team. Most Belgians achieve their best when training techniques are very black and white and are very eager to please. Th e performance owner, experienced and inexperienced, can achieve success
with Belgians as they are so smart and make it look so easy. However, ultimately, the choice of puppy made for its home, achieved by the sharing of information, experiences and expectations between the breeder and potential owner, along with the breeder’s observations and knowledge of their puppies makes for a great start! Sometimes, mistakes are made in the pairing; all breeders have experienced this. But Belgians are so adaptable and versatile that they do generally well and adjust when their owners/trainers just fig- ure out what makes them tick! Belgians are very versatile and agile, never bulky and consistently turn out beautiful performances in all performance venues rewarding their owners and trainers time and time again for their hard work. Our vigilant breeders are very inter- ested in Belgian Sheepdog health, as they should be. Our breed su ff ers occasionally from hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, some inheritable eye problems and cancer (mainly gastric carcinoma, lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma). Our breeders routinely perform health checks before breeding and diligently screen potential Belgian own- ers to do their best to make sure that their puppies are the right fit for their homes. A potential Belgian owner should be very candid when interviewing potential breed- ers to make sure they are paired with the
right dog. Th e potential Belgian owner should also interview di ff erent breeders to make sure that they are comfortable with answers to their questions about the breed- ing program, health, parents and the pup- pies. Th is will be a lifelong relationship and almost all breeders love keeping in touch with their puppies and their puppy buyers throughout the dogs’ lifetimes and beyond. Belgian breeders are also generally good about taking back their own dogs so that few end up in shelters and rescue programs. Belgians are easily groomed and their coats do not easily mat. Regular brushing, nail clipping and ear cleaning take mini- mal time and shedding is minimal. An elegant and proud Belgian Sheepdog walk- ing smartly on its leash almost always gen- erates compliments from the public as the Belgian creates a memorable impression. Th e Belgian Sheepdog was ranked 124 in 2012 out of all the AKC breeds. BIO Lisa Le ffi ngwell from Dallas, Texas, owned Belgian Sheepdogs since 1979. She has been involved in limited breeding since 1985 and has trained and exhibited in obedience and conformation all along the way. Her kennel name is Liswyn. She has bred and owned Belgians that excelled to #1 in conformation, obedience, herding and agility venues.
200 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , F EBRUARY 2014
Powered by FlippingBook