Belgian Shepherds are wonderful companion dogs and have been used as search and rescue dogs, message carriers and police dogs throughout history. There are four varieties of Belgian Shepherds that are widely recognized today and the Groenendael is one of the most popular. The breed was established during the Middle Ages by a Mr. Nicholas Rose in Groenendael village in Belgium and all Groenendaels are descendants of his two dogs, Petite and Picard d'Uccle. In 1893, Professor Adolphe Reul from the Belgian School of Veterinary Sciences set the standard for the breed. In 1949, the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America was founded and in 1959 the American Kennel Club recognized the Groenendael as an official breed.