Tervurens are highly energetic, intelligent dogs who require a job to keep them occupied. This can be herding, obedience, agility, flyball, tracking, or protection work. They are also found working as Search and Rescue (SAR) dogs, finding missing persons and avalanche victims. Tervurens that are not kept sufficiently busy can become hyperactive or destructive.
As companion animals, Tervurens are loyal and form strong bonds with their family, leading some to be shy around strangers. They are good watch dogs, being very observant and attentive to the slightest change in their environment. Some can be nervous, depending on breeding and early experiences, so care must be taken to adequately socialize Tervuren puppies to a wide variety of people and situations. As with all the Belgian Shepherd Dogs, Tervurens are not generally recommended to first-time dog owners due to their high maintenance level.
Adult males are distinctly masculine and females are likewise feminine. Their appearance projects alertness and elegance. The breed is known for its loyalty and versatility. Those who own them, report being charmed by their intelligence, trainability, and, perhaps most of all, their sense of humor. They excel in many kinds of activities.