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The probable origin of the name means Little Boatman, referring to their roots of being ship dogs in Belgium. They worked the ships as watch dogs and ratters. By the 1800s, it was the national dog of Belgium. When visiting royalty saw the breed, they took it to be the next canine fad. This severely depleted the breed in Belgium and it was almost lost. The breed was saved with modest numbers and is doing well now.

Having done some shepparding work in the past, this dog wants and needs tasks to do. If not well exercised it may act out. They are stubborn and independent, meaning that they will find a way to get around you if you don’t want them to do something. Nothing is going to stay hidden with these dogs as they are alert and always poking around into something.