Belgian Sheepdog Progression: Growth Chart, Milestones, and Training Tips

Belgian sheepdog
© Lisjatina/Shutterstock.com

Written by Sharon Parry

Published: April 16, 2024

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Belgian sheepdogs are part of the Belgian Shepherd family of dogs. They are included in the American Kennel Club herding group and are sometimes called Groenendael. Other dogs in the group include the Belgian Tervuren, the Belgian Malinois, and the Belgian Laekenois. Their heritage dates back to 19th-century Belgium. Taking on a Belgian sheepdog pup is a joy and a responsibility and it is important to monitor that the pup is developing normally. To assist with this, we have provided a Belgian sheepdog growth chart so that you can monitor their progression along with some milestones and training tips.

Breed Summary

These are versatile and intelligent working dogs. They thrive on human company and interaction and can be sensitive. This is an elegant and muscular breed built for long days of hard work. They have a handsome face with dark, sparkling eyes and a thick coat which gives rise to spectacular shedding at least once a year. In terms of color, they are predominantly black but some are black and white.

Belgian Sheepdog Growth and Weight Chart by Age

All pups develop and grow at different rates but there is usually a ‘normal’ range that you can expect. However, you need to bear in mind that pups are born at different weights depending on factors such as litter size, genetics, and the health of the mother dog. Then, environmental factors, diet, and genetics determine how fast they grow. You should be taking your Groenendael pup to your vet for regular checkups to make sure that they are well and growing as they should.

AgeMale WeightFemale Weight
Birth5-10 lbs5-10 lbs
1 Month10-20 lbs10-15 lbs
6 Weeks15-21 lbs12-18 lbs
2 Months19-27 lbs 15-19 lbs
3 Months22-30 lbs18-21 lbs
4 Months29-33 lbs24-28 lbs
5 Months34-41 lbs28-35 lbs
6 Months38-45 lbs32-39  lbs
7 Months43-50 lbs36- 43 lbs
8 Months46-55 lbs38-45 lbs
9 Months48-57 lbs40-49 lbs
10 Months50-60 lbs 42-51 lbs
11 Months52-62 lbs 43-53 lbs
12 Months54-64 lbs 45-54 lbs
2 Years60-75 lbs 45-60 lbs

When Will My Groenendael Stop Growing?

After 12 or 18 months most dogs of this breed have stopped growing in height and length. However, many continue to gain weight and fill out for a few more months.

How Big Will My Belgian Sheepdog Be When It’s Fully Grown?

Belgian sheepdogs have a body shape that is described as balanced, square, and elegant. They are strong and muscled but are never bulky. The AKC Belgian Sheepdog Breed Standard specifies that males should be between 24 and 26 inches in height whilst females should be 22 and 24 inches high. On average, adult males weigh between 60 and 75 pounds and females weigh 45 to 60 pounds on average.

When Should My Belgian Sheepdog Be Spayed or Neutered?

Get advice from the breed experts and your vet on when is the best age to spay or neuter your dog. There are health risks associated with both early and late neutering/spaying. This is a larger breed and some research has suggested that early spaying/neutering of larger breeds can increase the likelihood of some cancers. Most have the procedure by the time they are 18 months or two years of age.

When Should My Belgian Sheepdog Be House Broken?

Belgian sheepdogs are not particularly hard to housebreak but it is still possible to get it wrong. These are sensitive dogs who will react badly if you are harsh with them when they poop or pee in the ‘wrong’ place. Always praise them (and reward them) when they go potty outside and ignore accidents. Take them out regularly and always after naps and meals.

When Should My Groenendael Stop Eating Puppy Food

Continue to feed your pup with the food provided by your breeder until they have settled in. Then you can transition to another brand gradually, over a period of 10 days. However, choose a puppy food that is suitable for this active breed. Most food brands recommend that pups stop eating puppy food at about one year old. Again, make the transition gradually. Pups need three meals a day but older dogs need just two.

When Will My Belgian Sheepdog Start Losing Teeth?

By around six months, a Belgian sheepdog pup will have all of their adult teeth. The exact age that this process starts is variable but is often around four months. You may spot puppy teeth around your home and your pup may chew everything!

When Should I Start Training My Belgian Sheepdog?

You can start with some simple training as soon as you bring your Belgian sheepdog home. According to the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America, these dogs are smart but very sensitive. If you use harsh correction and training techniques, they will not forget it and will not trust you. Use consistent, positive reinforcement to show them what you expect them to do.

Early socialization is also important with this breed because they can be suspicious of new people and new situations. Your puppy needs to have the chance to experience all sorts of new people, dogs, and environments so that they can grow into a confident and even-tempered dog.

What Cues Should I Teach My Belgian Sheepdog First?

This breed is most suitable for someone who has experience in dog training. If this is your first dog, it would be wise to get some professional support and guidance. That said, these are highly intelligent dogs who learn very quickly. Most owners start with simple verbal commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘down’ and then build on these skills.

When Will My Belgian Sheepdog Calm Down?

Puppies and juvenile dogs of all breeds can be challenging. The Belgian Sheepdog Club of America recommends that you maintain a relationship with your breeder and get to know your local (and national) Belgian owners club. You will benefit from the wealth of experience they have to offer. This is a highly energetic and active dog who never really calms down! They excel at agility, flyball, and search and rescue. That said, if you scan Belgian sheepdog owner’s posts on forums you will find that their experiences are very mixed. Some claim that their dog calmed down a little from about a year old but others had dogs that did not calm down at all until they were three years old.

Common Health Issues Your Belgian Sheepdog Might Experience

This is a healthy breed with a lifespan of around 10 to 12 years. Along with most other dog breeds, they can be prone to dental problems. You should get your pup into the habit of having their teeth cleaned daily. You should also check their ears for signs of infection. If your Belgian sheepdog does need an operation, they can be very sensitive to anesthesia so this is something that you must talk over carefully with your vet. Some other potential health problems include:

  • Epilepsy- the onset is usually between two and three years of age but many cases can be controlled with medication.
  • Gastric carcinoma- causes chronic vomiting and weight loss.
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia – the incidence is low but they have been seen in this breed.

Pictures of Belgian Sheepdogs as Puppies

Belgian Shepherd puppy laying down with blurred background

Belgian shepherds are cute as pups.

©iStock.com/Ekaterina Gorokhova


Pictures of Belgian Sheepdogs at 6 Months

a black dog of the Belgian Shepherd Groenendael breed plays and runs in a field on a spring meadow on a sunny day against a blue sky.

Juvenile Belgian sheepdogs are full of energy.

©Lena_Sokolova/Shutterstock.com

Pictures of Fully Grown Belgian Sheepdogs

black belgian shepherd

Groenendaels excel at agility sports.

©Andraž Cerar/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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