Dogo Cubano vs Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) - Breed Comparison

Dogo Cubano is originated from Cuba but Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) is originated from Belgium. Dogo Cubano may grow 11 cm / 4 inches shorter than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael). Dogo Cubano may weigh 16 kg / 36 pounds more than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael). Dogo Cubano may live 4 years less than Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael). Both Dogo Cubano and Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) has almost same litter size. Dogo Cubano requires Low maintenance. But Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) requires High maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Cuba
Belgium
Height Male:
48 - 55 cm
18 - 22 inches
60 - 66 cm
23 - 26 inches
Height Female:
48 - 55 cm
18 - 22 inches
56 - 62 cm
22 - 25 inches
Weight Male:
42 - 46 kg
92 - 102 pounds
25 - 30 kg
55 - 67 pounds
Weight Female:
42 - 46 kg
92 - 102 pounds
23 - 30 kg
50 - 67 pounds
Life Span:
8 - 10 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 8
6 - 10
Size:
Large dog
Large dog
Other Names:
Cuban Mastiff, Mastin de Cuba
Belgian Groenendael, Belgian Shepherd, AKC: Belgian Sheepdog
Colors Available:
brindle, Brown, fawn, tan
Black
Coat:
Short and smooth
Dense double coat
Shedding:
Minimal
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:
Low maintenance
High maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
Yes

History

The Cuban Mastiff which came from Cuba, was developed from breeds of Mastiffs, Bulldogs and cattle dogs, with the breed being thought to be extinct since the end of the 19th century.

The Dogo Cubano had a number of roles to fulfill in its day and they were used for guarding stock, for dog fighting and for chasing runaway slaves. After the abolishment of slavery, the large dog had no real role and it died out.

Known also as the Cuban Mastiff or Mastin de Cuba, there isn’t much accuracy as to its origins, with the most common story for their origin being that they are descendants of the Molossus.

The dogs were later introduced into Western Europe, becoming fairly common in England and Spain. The dog was also was also mentioned in the works of canine authors Stonehenge and George Wood.

Looking 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

The Dogo Cubano was generally similar to other Mastiffs and stood at rough 48 – 55cm in height and weighing in the region of 45kg.

He was a large dog, powerfully built, muscular and strong. Images of the dog show that it had strong, straight legs with a long tapering tail and medium-sized floppy ears that were sometimes cropped upwards and close to the head.

The dog breed came in a variety of colors such as brown, tan, fawn and brindle. The muzzle was broad and short and black. The dog had pronounced jowls with its face being fairly wrinkly.

Temperament:

This large dog was known for being a courageous, independent and aggressive dog. He became attached to his owner, showing protective characteristics .In those days the dog would have received simple training and certainly if such a large dog still existed today, it would have to receive training and socialization as well.

The Dogo Cubano was an intelligent dog and easily trainable, requiring an owner with a firm hand. Being an aggressive breed, the dog possibly wouldn’t have been the best companion for children. He also wouldn’t have got on too well with pets in the home as he was trained to be a fighter in his day. Independent and strong-willed, the dog would not have suited a novice dog owner.

Large, Strong and Well Proportioned

With 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

The Dogo Cubano was a generally healthy breed, but just like with most other dog breeds, they were also prone to some of the more common dog problems. The chances of him getting sick were slim though.

When the dog first originated, there were unlikely to have been health clearance certificates, but today, you’d want health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.

The reason for this is that hip dysplasia is a heritable condition, seen more often in large dogs, where the thigh bone doesn’t fit into the hip joint properly. The dog suffers with pain and discomfort and the condition can lead to lameness with the dog.

Gastric Torsion or Bloat is a life threatening condition that affects large dogs like the Dogo Cubano and those with deep chests. The stomach is distended with gas and it can twist.

The gas can’t escape and blood flow is hindered. The dog vomits, is lethargic and weak, and immediate veterinary help will be required.

The 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:

The Dogo Cubano was a large dog, so if he did become used to living in the city, he would have adapted better to life in the country.

He wasn’t a dog requiring too much exercise but he would have needed to go for walks. They were used as guard dogs long ago, and if he had been in existence today, you wouldn’t have been able to include him in your jogging and cycling as he was a dog that could easily overheat.

Diet:

Not all dogs require the same amount of food. Long ago the Dogo Cubano wouldn’t have had the same variety of dog foods available today. Maybe the dog in those days was fed the same kind of food that his owner ate.

Today, if these dogs were still around, they would require the best quality ‘large dog breed’ kibble.

The better the dog food, the more nourishing it is and the healthier the dog is. The Dog Cubano would likely have been a dog that drooled, leaving quite a bit of backwash in the water bowl, so it would have been important to wash out the drinking bowl and to regularly replace it with cool, fresh water.

The 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

The Dogo Cubano was bred to be a guard dog as well as for dog fighting, but this large dog, with training and socialization, no doubt became a loyal and devoted family pet.

It was actually a social dog, being aggressive towards other dogs. He would be described as a dog better suited to a home with older children.

He was protective with his human family but not very active, being too big to be leaping around like other dog breeds. It is a pity that this large dog has disappeared as he had some good qualities.

Your 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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