Malinois is the short-haired variety with fawn colour, black overlay and black mask.This variety was primarily bread around the town of Malines in Belgium, hence the name, and is known to be the oldest of the four varieties. This type has always been prized for their extreme working abilities and is today used for many purposes like police and military work. The Malinois is also well known as the best IPO dog of the four varieties. But whatever kind of training you wish to do, IPO, Agility, tracking or herding this dog will do it for you. .
Laekenois is the rough-coated type also with fawn colour, sometimes with a black mask.This variety was originally known to be Quin Henrietta of Belgium’s favourite dog and was named after the Chateau de Laeken, hence the name. This variety is also known to be the closest related to the Malinois. This variety was not only known to be herding sheep, but also to guard linin production in the area of Bloom. Today this breed is not very well known, but you do find them, and they are just as easy to work with as the other varieties.
Tervueren is the long-haired variety with a fawn colour with black overlay and a black mask. The Tervueren sometimes also come in a grey variety, which, in some countries, is not recognized as a standard of the breed Belgian Shepherd and is considered a disqualification, it is to be preferred as a fawn “flame” colour. This variety has its origin from the village of Tervueren, hence the name, where the first registered breeders of Tervueren lived. This variety is also a reliable working dog and is often used for agility, herding and tracking.
Groenendael is the Black long-haired variety. Until 1899 the two long haired types Groenendael and Tervueren was judged as the same variety and they share the same origin of their history. This variety were bread by the owner of the restaurant Chateau Groenendael near Brussels, hence the name. This is the only black variety. This dog is also a reliable working dog and is often used in agility, herding and tracking.