Fila Brasileiro vs Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) - Breed Comparison

Fila Brasileiro vs Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael)Fila Brasileiro is originated from Brazil but Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) is originated from Belgium. Fila Brasileiro may grow 9 cm / 4 inches higher than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael). Fila Brasileiro may weigh 50 kg / 111 pounds more than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael). Both Fila Brasileiro and Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) has almost same life span. Both Fila Brasileiro and Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) has same litter size. Fila Brasileiro requires Moderate maintenance. But Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) requires High maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Brazil
Belgium
Height Male:
60 - 75 cm
23 - 30 inches
60 - 66 cm
23 - 26 inches
Height Female:
60 - 75 cm
23 - 30 inches
56 - 62 cm
22 - 25 inches
Weight Male:
55 - 80 kg
121 - 177 pounds
25 - 30 kg
55 - 67 pounds
Weight Female:
55 - 80 kg
121 - 177 pounds
23 - 30 kg
50 - 67 pounds
Life Span:
9 - 12 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 10
6 - 10
Size:
Large dog
Large dog
Other Names:
Brazilian Mastiff
Belgian Groenendael, Belgian Shepherd, AKC: Belgian Sheepdog
Colors Available:
red, black, Fawn, brindle
Black
Coat:
Short and dense
Dense double coat
Shedding:
Moderate
Constant, Seasonal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Sweet, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
High maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
No
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
Yes

History

fila brasileiroHailing from Brazil, and known also as the Brazilian Mastiff, nobody seems to be too sure of the exact origins of the large Fila Brasileiro but it is believed to be a cross between the English Mastiff, the Bulldog and the Bloodhound.

Other theories are that the dog comes from a mix of Portuguese and Spanish dogs and that they were bred to guard livestock from predators. Breeds that have no doubt contributed to the modern Fila are the Bullenbeisser, the Bloodhound, Mastiff and Rafeiro do Alentejo. All these dogs have characteristics such as excellent working dog skills, herding instincts as well as courage and tenacity.

The official Brazilian breed standard of the Fila was developed in the 1960s and the Fila Brasileiro Club of America was formed in 1984.

belgian shepherd dog groenendaelLooking much like a pitch black German Shepherd dog, the Belgian Shepherd is a beautiful looking dog. Their roots go back to the 1800s to Groenendael, Belgium. This is where they were bred by a certain Nicolas Rose in 1910. The Groenendael is one of four different Belgian Sheepdog varieties but the Groenendael is sometimes treated as a distinct breed.

They have always been used for their intelligence, serving for instance in the police force and being message carriers in war situations. Originally, Belgian Shepherds were used to herd livestock. It was in 1911 that the Groenendael was registered in the United States, and not much later the first Belgian Sheepdog Club of America formed. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1912.

Description

fila brasileiro puppyWith his huge head covered in loose skin much like that of a Blooohound, and a body resembling that of a Mastiff, the large heavily built Fila Brasileiro is a mastiff breed from Brazil. He stands at 60 to 75cm in height and he weighs roughly 55 to 80kg.

The ears of the Fila are large and droop down or are folded back, depending on his mood. The tail is long and slim. The coat of the dog is short and dense with the texture being quite smooth and soft. Colours of the coat can vary from solid fawn or black to red to brindle.

Temperament:

Perhaps the huge Fila wouldn’t be a good choice as a pet for the first-time inexperienced dog owner as he is a powerful, intelligent, self-assured, headstrong animal that will certainly need to have training and socialization if you want him as an obedient pet in your home.

He is a dog known for his courage and bravery. The Fila is loving and affectionate with his human family, being protective of them and not being too friendly with strangers. He isn't a particularly good pet choice with children in the home.

Some people, after buying a cute Fila puppy, put him out in the yard when he becomes large, and then they pretty much neglect him. This is cruel and irresponsible as he is a social, playful dog who wants to be part of his human family.

These dogs have some aggression in them and this makes them good watchdogs. They generally don’t show aggression towards their family but may snap at a stranger who tries to touch as he feels threatened.

Large, Strong and Well Proportioned

belgian shepherd dog groenendael puppyWith his alert, bright brown eyes, the Groenendael, referred to often as the Belgian Sheepdog, has erect ears with a long, feathered tail. The straight, strong legs are also feathered. He is well proportioned, athletic and strong. He has a dense double coat, and this working dog’s coat is black, but you sometimes find some small white markings around his paws and muzzle. The size of the Groenendael is roughly 60-66cm at the withers with the females sometimes being slightly smaller. The weight of the dog is roughly 25–30 kilograms.

He’s a Social Dog who Craves Companionship

The Groenendael is an active, intelligent breed and training and socializing will be necessary to ensure he knows how to behave around his human family. He is a big, social dog and won’t do well when left alone day after day in the back yard. In fact he may even show signs of separation anxiety if you leave him indefinitely. He makes for an excellent family dog, just loving their companionship and he becomes very protective of them.

An Intelligent, Alert Breed

He is used to making use of his intelligence and therefore he will need mental stimulation as opposed to lying around all day. He gets on well with adults, children and other pets, but he needs to grow up with children and not be put among children when he is already an adult. He is loyal and loving to his human family, forming a deep bond, especially with just one member of the family.

Health Problems

fila brasileiro dogFilas are a dog breed who have a high rate of hip- and elbow dysplasia. This is a serious disease which can lead to lameness with your pet. Other orthopedic diseases with the breed include osteochondritis and luxating patella.

Also, as a deep-chested dog breed, your Fila also is at risk of getting the very serious gastrointestinal syndrome known as bloat. This is a common condition that can prove deadly for your pet. The Fila’s stomach will fill with gas, putting pressure on other organs and stopping blood flow to the heart and difficulty with breathing. Sometimes the stomach will twist. Get him to the vet immediately if you notice a swollen stomach, drooling or restless behaviour.

belgian shepherd dog groenendael dogThe Belgian Groenendael is a healthy, strong breed with no major health problems and with an average lifespan of 12-14 years.

As with every dog breed, there will be some health issues to be aware of. Skin allergies, epilepsy, eye problems and hip- and joint dysplasia are some areas to look out for

Dental disease for instance, is a common problem with pets, and your Belgian Shepherd can have serious problems with their teeth. Tartar build-up on the teeth ca take you down a trail of infections and gum disease. If you don’t want to make use of a special canine toothbrush and toothpaste, your vet will do it for you.

Your Groenendael will also be susceptible to ticks, fleas and bacterial and viral infections. As a puppy of 6 – 8 weeks, vaccinations for parvo, rabies, and distemper will be necessary. You’ll also need to be generally watching your pet’s health and to get him to the vet when he shows signs of being run-down and ill.

Caring The Pet

Exercise and Space:

fila brasileiro puppiesThe Filas size makes it important that he have a good amount of exercise if you want to maintain his health and happiness. He isn’t a dog suited to city life as he is too large and will irritate his owners when cooped up in a tiny space with them. He isn’t demanding when it comes to exercise and activities all the time, but he should still be exercised regularly as he is inclined to become lazy .

Grooming:

Moderate shedding. Regular brushing twice a week will be required. Check ears for infection and brush his teeth 2 or 3 times a week.

Diet:

Nothing is set in stone as to what to feed your Fila Brasileiro, but a large dog will require quality food with a good amount of protein and fat according to size, age and activity levels.

Because a large breed dog is prone to hip dysplasia, look out for ingredients such as chondroitin and gludosamine which are specifically good for joint health. Try and avoid commercially manufactured food with common allergens such as soy, corn and wheat, artifical flavors and fillers.

A source of cooked rice, chicken and vegetables as well as some raw meat will be excellent for your big pet. Make sure he is never deprived of fresh, cool drinking water.

belgian shepherd dog groenendael puppiesThe Groenendael has a double coat and because it is also fairly long, his black coat may well be high maintenance and brushing every 2nd day will be necessary to keep the coat unmatted and to also get rid of those loose hairs. In fact, heavy shedding is part of this breed’s life and while heavy shedding happens twice a year, light shedding continues throughout the year. Sometimes is may be necessary to send him to a dog grooming parlour to snip his hair and to wash it.

Other care routines to watch for -

A healthy, quality diet it absolutely imperative. Speak to your vet about the best kind of wet- or dry food suited to an energetic breed like this and appropriate to his age. You need to include raw meat into your pets diet every day now and then to avoid skin problems. Always ensure a bowl of clean, cool water is available, The bowl will need to be washed out every other day.

make sure his ears are cleaned. Once again you have to be careful when prodding in a dog’s ear and your veterinarian will show you how.

keep him well exercised with long walks and ball games.

Characteristics

fila brasileiro dogsThe Fila Brasileiro or Brazilian Mastiff is a powerful dog and it is believed that a large dog like this can be a danger to people if he isn’t trained and socialized.

He is therefore not recommended for first time dog owners or homes with small children. He is a dog that is particularly wary of strangers too.

When he has been properly socialized he can be loving, loyal and obedient because it is essentially how a dog is brought up as to how he turns out.

If you bring one of these big, beautiful dogs into your home, have him socialized as a puppy, treat him firmly, but kindly and you could have yourself an extraordinary pet.

belgian shepherd dog groenendael dogsYour Belgian Shepherd is an intelligent, active, loyal companion for you. He is highly intelligent too, and will need the right owner who can meet his energetic needs. He therefore wouldn’t do well with in a small place where the owners are couch potatoes. He is a working dog and will require being kept busy.

Provide him with good food, look after that thick, lustrous coat of his, provide him with a warm, dry place to sleep and plenty of exercise, love and attention and he will turn out to be the wonderful pet that makes him such a popular breed.

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