Showsight Presents The Belgian Sheepdog

BELGIAN SHEEPDOG THE

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. When did you first become aware of the Belgian Sheepdog? 4. How does the breed differ from its Belgian cousins? 5. Does the Belgian Sheepdog have a high energy level? High intelligence? 6. How sensitive is the breed to positive training methods? To corrections? 7. How important are coat texture, ornamentation and color? 8. What makes the Belgian Sheepdog a good show dog? 9. Is there a reliable market for pet quality puppies? 10. What would people be surprised to learn about the Belgian Sheepdog? 11. Is there anything else you’ d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. CHRISTINE EVERHART STATEN

then goes and lays down. No more tricks until I can show her I have more treats. How sensitive is the breed to positive training methods and cor- rections? Belgian Sheepdogs are very easy to train, they want to please you. Rarely have I had to do more than a firm “No” or a “Leave it.” I use the word “Look” to get her attention for a correc- tion and she will try the command again. A hard “No!” puts her on the ground, even though she has never had a hand laid on her. How important are coat texture, ornamentation and color? You have to have all three to be in the breed standard if you plan to show in conformation. If we are talking working or performance, I feel the only one that is important is texture. Proper texture allows a Belgian Sheepdog to be an any-weather worker. Poor texture does not shed water, holds dirt and mats easily. As we are breeding for long, massive coats, we are getting a softer and not as weather-resistant coat for herding sheep full-time. What makes the Belgian Sheepdog a good show dog? Most love to show and it shows in flowing movement and good attention to both the handler and the judge. All they want to do is please, they show on a loose lead and really could do it on their own. Is there a reliable market for pet quality puppies? I am not a breeder, although I would like to breed my girl. Belgians are hard to find if you do not have contacts in the Belgian group. I looked for 18 months before I found an ad on the AKC site. The last year or so there have been quite a few Belgian litters. I have not heard of anyone not having homes for all their puppies by 10 to 12 weeks. I know of at least four people looking for pet Belgian Sheepdogs and more looking for show prospects. What would people be surprised to learn about the Belgian Sheepdog? The thing I think surprised me the most was how easy Belgian Sheepdogs are to keep. They will mold themselves into any lifestyle, they will want to do what you are interested in. They will be as active or laid back as the owner. I will say all the Belgian breeders I know work hard to match the puppy to the new owner and what they want to do with the dog. Be it a family member, farm dog, top in performance, outstanding in conformation, or a dependable service dog, there is a Belgian Sheepdog puppy that will grow to fit the need. LINDAMCCARTY

I’m an award-winning artist and have been showing my Belgian Sheepdog, OHBIS OHRBIS BOSS NOHS Plati- num GDCHS CH Spitfire’s Naughty Nightie Lagniappe CGCA CGCU TT TKN FMC FMD JMD AOM AOE, “Secrets,” for the last five years to top honors. She is NOHS #1 Lifetime.

I live on a farm about an hour south of Kansas City on the Kansas side. I am an artist, retired from my Porcelain Doll Manufacturing Company. I have been in dog showing for at least 50 years. Outside of dogs, I manage a farm, garden and do mostly dog art and sell at breed nationals. When did I first become aware of the Belgian Sheepdog? A good friend adopted a dog from a shelter and was told it was a Border Collie/Chow mix. When I saw the dog at her shop I asked who had a Belgian Sheepdog. She was shocked when she Googled BSD’s. It was the best dog. I was looking for a breed for the farm and Belgian Sheepdogs had what I was looking for. How does the breed differ from its Belgian cousins? I have only had one Belgian and she is 5-1/2 years old. But I have traveled with and shown all four varieties. The Sheepdogs and Tervs seem to be very much a like. The Mals are more serious and detailed in their thought process, their on/off switch is quicker and they are always ready to be “on.” Does the Belgian Sheepdog have a high energy level and intel- ligence? My girl is high drive for her two favorite things to do: play Frisbee and Flirtpole. You can’t say the word out loud or you better be ready to go out and play. She could care less about balls or play- ing tug. The rest of the time she likes to sleep. She is very smart, she learns from watching what other dogs do, then is willing to try to do the same. We play puzzles, hide and seek and scent games to keep her entertained. She has a trick routine for Meet and Greets and when we visit hospitals; but she is a union dog, she will not work without pay. If I run out of treats in my pocket she knows,

Linda McCarty was active for 40 years in the breed. Her Kennel, Rolin Ridge Belgians, was nationally and internationally recognized for quality Champion Groenendael. Her dogs were known to be versatile in all venues earn- ing BIS’s, National BISS’s, and perfor- mance event Championships. Retired from breeding and showing, she judged the breed’s National Specialty in 2012

and is eligible to judge all four varieties. I live in Central Virginia. I’m retired and have 40+ years in dogs. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? Bead weaving and jewelry making. When did I first become aware of the Belgian Sheepdog? I saw my first BSD at an obedience training club where I was teaching. How does the breed differ from its Belgian cousins? Really they are all very much the same with perhaps the Malinois and Laek- enois often having stronger drives and need to work.

182 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2020

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