The Laeken - In South Africa

Written and compiled by Helen Stead -
"The Belgian Shepherd Dog In South Africa" - The early history to 1986

Within the last couple of months, the first Laekens have arrived in
South Africa. Of all the Belgian Shepherds, the Laekens are the least numerous.
They have not the glamour of the long-haired varietys and, of course, the Malinois
is generally accepted as king, when speaking of working ability.
However the Laekens have an appeal all of their own, and it is in Holland that they enjoy
their greatest popularity. There, monthly registrations may be as high as between 20 - 30.
In Belgium itself, and in France, there are about fifty Laekens, but in other countries
around the world, they number closer to nought than to ten.

Mr Steve Stevens tells me that a few years ago, a Laeken champion dog was bred to a Malinois
bitch, at the kennel L´Orchidee Noire in France. The resulting litter was Laekens and of
much improved quality, with the sought-after finer head, and generally more refined in type.
Apparently there are now more bookings than there are available puppies for this line

The first two Laekens arrived in South Africa on 15 December 1985. They are the property of
Mr & Mrs Charles Degeul, who immigrated here early in February 1986.
Mr & Mrs Degeul were breeders of Japanese Chin and Maltese, under the kennel name Du Clos des Abois
They read an article in "Woef" magazine, that it was an ambition of Mr Stevens to bring Laekens
into South Africa. Through Dr Pollet, the writer of the article, they obtained Mr Stevens adress
and wrote and told him they were considering purchasing some Laekens and sending them to South
Africa before they came. Mr Stevens encouraged them and so two Laekens were sent out to him
in December 1985.

HARRY VAN KRIEKEBOS was two years old when he arrived and had been purchased in Belgium.
he had won a CAC and CACIB (International CC) inBrussels (02.06.85)
GISSY PORETTA was nineteen months old when she arrived and she had been bought in Holland.
She has a delightful temprament.

When the Deguels arrived they had with them another Laekenois bitch GRETA VAN KRIEKEBOS.
She is a little over 3 years old and has a CAC (CC) awarded by Erna Bossi at a show in Namur (B)
Mr & Mrs Deguel will settle near Pietermaritzburg, where they have family. They may take Greta
to Natal, but Harry and Gissy will remain with Mr Stevens.

It will be very interesting to see how popular the Laekenois willbecome in South Africa. I am sure
that if they are bred with the tempraments of these two bitches, they will prove a great success here.

Above: HARRY VAN KRIEKEBOS - Imported from Belgium
Below: GISSY PORETTA - Imported from Holland
Both imported by Mr & Mrs Degeul - Tzonnebos Kennel
A million thanks to Anne Sandberg-Fallesen (Sweden) who shared the book with us