Think First Before You Consider A Laekenois
Use Your Mind Before Engaging Your Heart
So you have just learned about the Belgian Laekenois through the publicity associated with the AKC Full Acceptance of the breed. They look interesting, exciting even, appealing because they are rare and it would be cool to have something different. They are like the new shiny toy on the shelf that many will want to have. Their are fuzzy, charming, cute and appealing…Hold on.
They are not the dog for everyone. Laekenois are a breed that must exercise their purpose throughout their lifetime. Look at the Laekenois History, their purpose was dynamic and broad reaching. Are your ready for a charismatic dog that needs to work with you much of his/her life?
Please sit back for a minute and think about a few things. It is in your best interest as well as the Laekenois you are considering.
- Have you clearly evaluated your personal needs and circumstances regarding the best match of a dog breed in an ideal world, before you heard the word Laekenois?
- Have you made up your mind to research the breed carefully and make the commitment to wave off if there is an aspect to the breed that does not suit you, your family or your lifestyle? It is absolutely acceptable to research and then realize that the breed is not a match for you.
- Owning and training any dog is like molding a piece of artwork. Knowing that creating the art with the Laekenois will take time and devotion. This breed is a slow to mature breed mentally, there may be bumps along the way before you achieve the perfection in behavior you desire in the dog. Laekenois do not thrive as kennel dogs or being left in the backyard alone to utilize their incredible minds in creative and ways you may find unacceptable. For an amusing example, there are Laekenois who have been curious about the neighbors. Wanting a better look, the criminal Laekenois in question worked out how to get on the top of a shed roof for a better vantage point to look over the fence. Obviously, the best place to see how the barbecue party was going. The neighbors never noticed.
- Researching and thinking about what you want in a dog ahead of making the commitment is probably more important than the individual dog itself? Choose the features you want or don’t want and choose the breed from there. Write down what you want in a dog ahead of time and research the breeds to fit what your needs and expectations are the results are much more likely to make you and the dog happy. It is absolutely acceptableto research and then realize that the breed is not a match for you.
- Good Breeders have goals and vision for their lines. They work hard to produce dogs that meet their goals. Be sure the goals of the breeder and your needs align. Are you willing to ask enough questions to be sure the breeder you choose is being clear about the capabilities of their dogs, as well as inappropriate home choices for their dogs. There is a wide spectrum of temperament in any dog breed. In the Laekenois this is true as well. For example there are breeders who will place dogs with children and some who will not. There are Laekenois that like the sofa and would not herd a sheep if you painted the backside of the sheep with peanut butter. There are Laekenois dogs that will work all day and all night. Be sure the goals of the breeder and your needs align. If they do not, it is best for all concerned, especially the dog to make another choice.
- Are you clear about which registry your prefer? Does it matter to you? Are you going to compete with your dog in a particular venue, then the registry matters, know what you are purchasing. Ask the breeder which registry or registries the sire and dam of any dog or puppy you are considering are registered with. Evaluate if that registry meets your needs, or can transfer to the registry you prefer. Know the registration rules for your preferred registry. The biggest difference with AKC is that there is no inter-Belgian breeding allowed with AKC registered Belgians. There are also special rules applying to the importation of Belgians in the AKC system. Educate yourself before you make a purchase.
- Are you willing to take the time to socialize properly, allow your Laekenois to take in the activity of the world at their pace? Are you willing to forge good relationships with the Laekenois community to contribute to the preservation of such a rare and special breed? If you choose to get a Laekenois you will never be able to take your dog for a quick walk, as if you encounter people, the more rare than a Panda bear conversation will occur, people are curious and will want to know about your dog. Are you ready to be a well informed Laekenois Ambassador?
- Are you ready for the experience of a lifetime? As if the Laekenois matches your needs it is an amazing experience. They are whip smart, are you ready for the PhD applicant dog who may question you and may present a smarter or more creative alternative?
Please have a look at the chart regarding socialization, it is a good one and applies to Laekenois, the Guardian of the Flax Fields very well. Always remember a dog’s purpose, as with any breed, this determines behaviors in their life experience. Laekenois are capable of making decisions. Think carefully about whether you are the right person to guide the Laekenois for good decision making throughout it’s life.