When you look at the Belgian Tervuren and Groenendael, you might think they are the same breed. After all, there are so many similarities between them.
Right now, we are going to give you an overview of the Belgian Tervuren and Groenendael. Once you have read this article, you will be able to tell the difference between these two Belgian Shepherd dogs, being more familiar with their distinctive appearances and other characteristics.
If you’re thinking about adding a Belgian Shepherd dog to your family in the near future, it’ll be helpful to know these differences. This way, you can make the right decision for the dog and your home!
Comparing Belgian Tervuren vs Groenendael
|Size||22-26 inches tall; 45-75 pounds||22-26 inches tall; 60-75 pounds|
|Appearance||Medium-sized body with a long muzzle and a strong, lean body. Can come in a variety of colors, including cream, grey, fawn, brindle, silver, mahogany, and black.||Medium-sized body with a long muzzle and a strong, lean body. Only comes in black, but can sometimes have white markings on the forechest and toes.|
|Ancestry||Originated in Belgium; bred as a working dog for herding and guarding instincts.||Originated in Belgium; bred as a working dog for herding and guarding instincts.|
|Behavior||Loving, affectionate, and doesn’t like being alone. Has herding and guarding instincts, but does have the ability to relax as well. Wary of strangers, but will warm up to them quickly.||Loving, affectionate, child-friendly, and doesn’t like being alone. Likely to be a no-nonsense dog that continues working even without instruction from the owner. Relatively slow to warm up to strangers and will not tolerate them acting too familiar.|
|Health||Overall healthy, but can be prone to many conditions, including elbow and hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, and allergies. Can also be prone to osteochondritis dissecans, Von Willebrand’s disease, and autoimmune thyroiditis, particularly if obtained from an irresponsible breeder.||Overall healthy, but can be prone to many conditions, including elbow and hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, and allergies. Can also be prone to hypothyroidism, pannus, and hemoangiosarcoma.|
|Lifespan||10-12 years||10-12 years|
Belgian Tervuren vs Groenendael: Key Differences
The key differences between the Belgian Tervuren and the Groenendael are size, appearance, ancestry, and breeding. Other differences include behavior, health, and lifespan. The Belgian Tervuren and Groenendael have many common traits. This is to be expected, considering that they have fairly similar lineages. They are both Belgian Shepherd dogs. Many believe that they only split off into two breeds because they have fur of different colors.
The Groenendael is a bit heavier than the Belgian Tervuren on average, even though they tend to be about the same height. Additionally, the Groenendael is typically all black, while the Belgian Tervuren can be a variety of colors.
While the Belgian Tervuren can relax and take a break from their herding and guarding instincts, the Groenendael tends to be more no-nonsense and more likely to always be a working dog.
Let’s go into some more depth about these differences now.
Belgian Tervuren vs Groenendael: Size
One somewhat significant difference between the Belgian Tervuren and the Groenendael is their sizes. Although they are both medium-sized dogs, the Groenendael is slightly heavier.
While the Tervuren has an average weight range of 45 to 75 pounds, the Groenendael tends to fall into a narrower range of 60 to 75 pounds. They both tend to be about the same height, at 22 to 26 inches tall.
Belgian Tervuren vs Groenendael: Appearance
Both dogs are medium-sized, with long muzzles, strong and lean bodies, and long, dense coats.
However, while the Groenendael is always fully black with a long coat (sometimes with white markings on the forechest and toes), the Tervuren can come in different colors.
Typically, the Tervuren is fawn to mahogany, with black tips on their hair. However, the Tervuren can come in a variety of colors. These include combinations of fawn, cream, grey, brindle, mahogany, silver, and black.
Belgian Tervuren vs. Groenendael: Ancestry and Breeding
Both the Belgian Tervuren and Groenendael come from Belgium. In fact, they are each one of the four varieties of Belgian Shepherd, the other two being the Laekenois and Malinois. The Tervuren is actually more closely related to the Groenendael than the other two Belgian Shepherds.
The Tervuren would come in various colors, including fawn, grey, red, and black. In contrast, the Groenendael was always black. It is thought that these were once the same breed, and they were only split apart into two breeds because of the different colors of their coats.
In fact, all of Belgian Shepherds were initially considered to be one breed, as they were primarily bred for their herding and guarding abilities.
Belgian Tervuren vs Groenendael: Behavior
Both breeds are loving, affectionate, and don’t like being alone. They enjoy attention and want to please their owners. However, the Belgian Tervuren is more likely to be jealous when the owner gives attention to another. Though both breeds are relatively good with children, the Groenendael is more child-friendly.
The Belgian Tervuren has strong instincts for guarding, herding, and driving. However, unlike the Groenendael and other Belgian Shepherd dogs, the Tervuren has the ability to relax and not be so intense all the time. The Groenendael is more likely to be stubborn in this way and continue his or her work even without instructions from the owner.
Although the Belgian Tervuren is somewhat wary of strangers, they warm up to people fairly quickly once they see that they are friends. The Groenendael, in contrast, is fairly slow to warm up to strangers. They will not tolerate too much familiarity from them.
The Groenendael is a fairly quiet dog and does not bark often. In contrast, the Belgian Tervuren is known to bark and howl frequently.
Belgian Tervuren vs. Groenendael: Health
Both Belgian Tervurens and Groenendaels are generally healthy dogs. However, they can both suffer from elbow and hip dysplasia, as well as progressive retinal atrophy and hereditary cataracts. Both of these breeds may also deal with epilepsy and allergies.
The Belgian Tervuren can also be prone to osteochondritis dissecans, Von Willebrand’s disease, and autoimmune thyroiditis. The Groenendael may be more likely than other breeds to face hypothyroidism, pannus, and hemoangiosarcoma. These are more likely if you buy the dog from an irresponsible breeder.
Regardless of the breed, you should take your dog to the vet for a checkup at least once every year. It’s important to make sure that there is nothing wrong.
Belgian Tervuren vs. Groenendael: Lifespan
The Belgian Tervuren and Groenendael dogs have similar lifespans, with both breeds typically living around 10 to 12 years.
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