So what is RAD? It stands for Register As they Drop.

Everywhere else in the world all the Belgians are considered one breed with 4 varieties.

  • Belgian Groenendael – Long haired Black
  • Belgian Tervuren – Long haired Fawn and with black mask and overlay.
  • Belgian Malinois – Short haired Fawn and with black mask and overlay.
  • Belgian Laekenois – Wire haired Fawn and with black mask and overlay.

In 1957 fanciers in the US decided to make them separate breeds in the US for various reasons and a lot of bad feelings were incurred between fanciers of the Belgian Tervuren and the Belgian Groenendael and those bad feelings still exist today to some extent.

Due to the fact they are considered one breed with varieties elsewhere in the world, and given the history and genetics of Belgian Shepherds you can have two black Belgian Groenendael produced a Belgian Tervuren. Two Belgian Malinois produce a Belgian Tervuren or Belgian Laekenois. Two Belgian Tervuren produce a Belgian Groenendael (due to a recessive black gene). Every other country besides the US allows the puppies to be registered as to the coat length and color they are born as. Thus “Register As they Drop” or RAD. Our proposal is that the AKC adopt that policy.

They would still remain different breeds.

  • There would still be 4 independent breed clubs.
  • There would still be representatives of each breed in the group ring.
  • No breedings to a different ‘breed’ would be allowed. (No inter variety breedings).
  • No changes to breed standard would occur.

Currently if I have a Belgian Tervuren puppy in one of my litters it is considered a disqualifying color and can not be shown in conformation. It will most likely not be bred as that would retain genes for a disqualifying color in your breeding program. Under this proposal that puppy that looks just like a Belgian Tervuren would be register by the breeder as a Belgian Tervuren and would compete in all AKC venues as a Belgian Tervuren. That Belgian Tervuren from a Belgian Sheepdog/Groenendael pedigree could be bred to another Belgian Tervuren and that would open up possibly very different lines to  the Belgian Tervuren. Belgian Sheepdogs could benefit from Belgian Groenendael produced by Belgian Tervuren. Some have been quite outstanding, the first Champion Tracker Belgian was a AKC Belgian Tervuren (Groenendael in phenotype) from two Belgian Tervuren. We are breeds that are small in number, our gene pools are growing smaller. ANY opportunity to increase the gene pool would be positive for the futures of our breeds.

Belgian Coat Color Genetics by Cathy Sheeter

To try and explain it using photos I created a powerpoint presentation, see link below:

Belgian Sheepdog Registration Exploratory Report