LAEKENOIS - history ...
…in 1885 M.Adrien Janssens, shepherd from Laeken castle which was placed at the suburb of Brussels - bought curly fair male - named VOS I or he is famous by name VOS de Laeken - from cattle handler in the north of Belgium at the village Boom. During those times there were many thieves and sheepdogs had been used for guarding. Even M. Janssens used his VOS I. ("vos" means in Flemish fox) for guarding his cattles and properties. But also he used VOS I. as stud dog for his females. At first VOS I. mated a short-haired brown-grayed female LISE (she is known as LISE de Laeken or LISKE de Laeken) and than M. Janssens used VOS I. also for one of his own daughter from this combination. Thanks to his homogenity VOS I. became the founder of lines of grey curly-coated even short-coated variety and also of lines of fauve curly-coated even short-coated variety of Belgian sheepdog, But VOS I. and LISE are not only famous as founders of modern Belgians but also present bouviers and holland sheepdogs. At the first dog-show in Belgium - where had been shown Belgian sheepdogs as separated breed from other continental breeds (1.5.1892), there were shown even several descendants from combination VOS I. and LISE. And in their classes they reached excellent results. At the same day there was also held the first competition of dogs which tested the ability of each dog to work with sheep cattles - it was in Cureghem in Belgium as well. And M. Janssens with his VOS I. was at the third place! But more famous stud dog than VOS I. became male VOS II. (VOS I. x LISE) who had mahagony colour and who was a father of grey curly-coated male BAZOEF (mother was grey curly-coated female named MERA). Because of fact that during those times breeders used inbreeding very often to work out and fix the homogeneous compact type of breed - they mated BAZOEF to his own mother MERA. It was on purpose to fix the gen for curly coat. From this combination was born another famous stud dog - BOVER-SUS. From all this fact seems to be clear that this curly-coated variety of Belgian sheepdog received its name above all after the castle Laeken near Brussels, later named Laekenois (laekenois in valonian and laekenes in flamish). This variety of Belgian sheepdog - although equal to other three varieties - is unfortunately not such favoured and popular as other Belgians. Well, the coat of laekenois is not so attractive as long-haired black groenendael or fauve tervueren, and in his working ability laekenois has not so much energy as brisk malinois. But this not only the reason why laekenoises are very rare among others. From the beginning there were too many long contentions of breeders about requested colour of laekenois, some breeders prefered shades from pale to grey and others wanted to have fauve (mahagony) laekenoises.
About nature ...
… laekenois is often described and after all "re-discovered" as sheepdog of high quality, which has not been changed during many years and are not changed neither today. Laekenois is perfect "night-guard", absolutely tireless protector of sheep cattles, courageous police dog or just "only" wonderful friend! His nature temper is rather reserved, he is from all other varieties of Belgians absoluty calmest and most modest. He is very watchful, sensitive, absolutely devoted to his master (his family) and very inteligent. For laekenois is absolutly true - without any doubts - the sentence "the power is in modesty and silence". Although laekenois has very calm and well-balanced temper he loves to work. He likes to learn new things and he would do everything to make his master happy. He is very friendly to all friends of his master. When laekenois desides to také a rest, he will!!! and nobody can do anything with this fact, neither playing shouting group of children. When laekenois has not right frame of mind and he doesn´t want to play funny games, he just lays down and just checks from "half-closed" eyes how the game goes on. Laekenois is definitely fantastic and wonderful companion for people who are able to give him true love and who are able to give him all their free time because laekenois, as well as other Balgians, needs a lot of work, activities, movement and playing. But be careful! It is no good when the laekenois is spoiled too much! Laekenois is very swift and by spoiling him it will be only more difficult work for you to behave him. Laekenois - and definitely many other breeds if not all of them - is able to use very easily your non-consequentiality. And what else about laekenois? Laekenois is probably most sensitive among others belgians - he needs one master who he will love forever and the change of owner is definitely tragedy for him. On the other hand if laekenois is happy - he is fantastic clown, merry, jolly, cheerful, very inteligent. His nature is rather difficult to understand but if the owner starts to behave him right way, laekenois is absolutely the most working-able dog among all others. He definitely needs consequential and consistent upbringing but we don´t think heavy-handed, harsh or heartless behaving. Laekenois has to feel absolute friendship and love from his master and than he is able to guard him for the rest of his life. With good master can laekenois make perfect inseparable couple and if man and dog really understand each other, they can beat at whatever competition whatever other breed. Those curly-coated dogs really have a lot to offer us! So, just try to use it!
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