Greater Swiss Mountain Dog vs Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) - Breed Comparison

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog vs Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael)Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is originated from Switzerland but Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) is originated from Belgium. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog may grow 6 cm / 3 inches higher than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael). Greater Swiss Mountain Dog may weigh 40 kg / 89 pounds more than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael). Both Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) has almost same life span. Both Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) has same litter size. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog requires Moderate maintenance. But Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) requires High maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Switzerland
Belgium
Height Male:
65 - 72 cm
25 - 29 inches
60 - 66 cm
23 - 26 inches
Height Female:
60 - 70 cm
23 - 28 inches
56 - 62 cm
22 - 25 inches
Weight Male:
60 - 70 kg
132 - 155 pounds
25 - 30 kg
55 - 67 pounds
Weight Female:
55 - 70 kg
121 - 155 pounds
23 - 30 kg
50 - 67 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 10
6 - 10
Size:
Large dog
Large dog
Other Names:
GSMD, Swissy, Sennenhund
Belgian Groenendael, Belgian Shepherd, AKC: Belgian Sheepdog
Colors Available:
Black, white and rust
Black
Coat:
Short and straight to medium length, coarse and wavy
Dense double coat
Shedding:
Moderate, Seasonal
Constant, Seasonal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, 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:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

greater swiss mountain dogHailing from Switzerland, and one of its oldest dog breeds, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a dubious history in that there are a number of theories as to its origin. He is closely related to the Bernese Mountain Dog, Saint Bernard and Rottweiler.

Of all the theories, the one that says he is descended from large, mastiff-like dogs is a popular one. He used to be a herding- and guard dog, but also was used to pull carts of farm produce.

It was in the 1900s that the dog’s numbers started dwindling. In 1908, canine researcher, Albert Heim recognized the dogs as being large members of the Sennenhund type, a family of four breeds that includes the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.

He wanted to see the dogs recognized as a separate breed and the Swiss Kennel Club listed the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog in 1909.

In 1968 they were brought to the United States and a club for them was formed. The dog was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995 with the dog being recognized as a member of the Working group.

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

greater swiss mountain dog puppySwissies, as they are often referred to as, are large, robust dogs, standing at 65–72cm and weighing anything between 50 – 70kg, with the females being slightly smaller and weighing a little less.

He has big, rounded paws, medium length floppy ears, a broad chest and a long tail. This is a heavy-boned dog, strong while still being agile.

His dense, double coat is black, white and tan or rust, with black on top of the dog's back, ears, tail and legs. There are two rust dots above each eye. The coat can be short and straight to medium length, coarse and wavy. The dog sheds throughout the year with a major shedding a couple of times a year.

Temperament:

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a sociable canine, thriving on being part of a loving human family. While he used to be a working farm dog, today he is essentially a family pet, though he loves to still be busy.

He is generally friendly with strangers, but just like with all other dog breeds, he will need to be trained and socialized to turn him into an even-tempered, obedient dog, capable of getting on well with children and pets in the the home.

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

greater swiss mountain dog dogThe GSMD or Sennenhund, as his name is shortened to, is a fairly healthy dog breed, with very few health issues.

He has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, and although not likely, he can suffer from minor problems such as gastric torsion as well as female urinary incontinence. If your female dog is dribbling urine in her sleep, there are a number of reasons that can be causing it - bladder infections, a medical condition or a weakened bladder with spayed female dogs.

It is certainly time to get your pet to the vet who will recommend a urinalysis.

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

Diet:

greater swiss mountain dog puppiesThe Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a robust dog and thrives on a diet of kibble to raw meat to some cooked home-made food such as chicken, brown rice and vegetables.

A serious issue with the GSMD is overfeeding, resulting in uncomfortable digestive problems and of course, obesity.

Exercise:

Your GSMD isn’t a dog that is going to require a lot of exercise like some of the other dog breeds there are, but still his working career of the past requires that he still be taken on daily walks, enjoys ball- and rope games and to go swimming.

Grooming:

Brush your dogs coat at least twice a week to remove loose hears. Other grooming aspects include cleaning the ears to avoid infection, clipping his nails and brushing his teeth at least twice a week.

If you’re not sure how to do all these things, there are useful accessories for dogs that allow you to do all this grooming on your own. Your vet can also show you how as these are all things that will require ongoing attention.

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

greater swiss mountain dog dogsThe Swissy is an easy going dog and adapts easily into his human family’s lifestyle. He is big, but agile dog known for his gentle temperament.

While he loves the outdoors, he is a social dog and loves nothing more than coming indoors and being close to his human family.

He loves his family and won’t do well if left outside for days without human companionship. Treat him well and you’ll be rewarded with a loyal, loving 4-legged family member.

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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