Belgian Shepherd Genetics

The following is from Genetics of the Dog by Malcolm B. Willis. (including mis-spellings 🙂 As more current information is obtained, I will be adding it to this page.

Belgian Shepherd Dogs

This breed is seen in four basic varieties: Groenendael which is long-coated and black, Tervueren which is long-coated and red, Laekenois which is wire-coated and red and Malinois which is short-coated and red. The actual length/type of coat will tend to alter the expression of colour and it is known that variations of the main colour types do exist. Thus grey and black-and-tan Tervuerens have been seen.

Colour data has been produced by Burnez and Burnez (1972) and Burnez et al (1972) and by Robinson (1987 in press). It does appear that the Tervueren is of the dominant sable colour (ay – a superscript y) and the data suggests that the Groenedael black is dominant to sable, and thus A. Hirschfeld (1933) is cited by Winge (1950) as having produced ten black-and-tans from a Groenedael/back-and-tan Doberman, which might imply a recessive black but Robinson holds the view that some ‘recessive’ black Belgian Shepherds are actually black-and-tans (at at – a superscript t). Robinson also maintains that the ‘grey’ Tervueren is caused by the cch (c superscript ch) allele though he describes it simply as ch. It is likely that Laekenois/Malinois colours are identical in genetic terms to those of the Tervueren but altered in their expression by differential coat type.

Coat Length (by Kadi)

In the Belgian Shepherds, long hair is recessive to short hair, and short hair is recessive to wire hair. For our example, we will use “l” to indicate a long hair gene, and “s” to indicate a short hair gene.

“sl” – Malinois who carries the long hair recessive
“ss” – Malinois only capable of producing Malinois when bred to a Terv
“ll” – Terv

sl x sl breeding:









If done enough times, this breeding will produce 75% Malinois (50% with the recessive long hair gene) and 25% Terv.

One thought on “Belgian Shepherd Genetics

  1. Ruptus Dog

    Your place is valuable for me. Thanks!…

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