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

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

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Herding dogs
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
20 - 30 kg
44 - 67 pounds
Life Span:
8 - 10 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 8
5 - 11
Size:
Large dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Cuban Mastiff, Mastin de Cuba
Belgian Laekenois, Belgian Shepherd Dog
Colors Available:
brindle, Brown, fawn, tan
Fawn, Black & Tan, Brownish red
Coat:
Short and smooth
Rough, medium length
Shedding:
Minimal
Minimal, 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, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Low 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.

The Laekenois, from a variety of 4 Belgian Shepherds, and one of the rarest, is a working- or herding breed of dog which originated in Belgium. It is believed to have been around since the Middle Ages. The intelligent dog was also used for sending messages during the 1st World War. In most countries, all 4 of the dogs are considered the same breed with different varieties in coat types, but there are some instances where they are recognized as separate breeds.

An interesting aspect of these dogs is that until the advent of dog shows in the 1900s, the 4 varieties were intermixed, and today purebred Laekenois can sometimes give birth to smooth-coated puppies which can be registered as Malinois.

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.

Temperament

The Laekenois is a highly talented dog, highly energetic and extremely intelligent. He will make a superb family pet with owners who are firm and fair with him. The dog is bright, obedient, protective and somewhat territorial. He’ll guard what he believes is his as he is instinctively protective.

He will get on well with children in the home, and he can also be socialized to get on well with other pets in the home. Of course, the way an owner treats the dog, and any other dog for that matter, brings out different temperaments in a dog. To get the best from him he should be trained and socialized from an early age. He will need plenty of exercise if you don’t want him becoming destructive from sheer boredom.

Looks

The body is well proportioned, muscular and sturdy. He has an alert, intelligent face with erect ears, bright brown eyes and the nose black. The hair is dense on the long tail, but with no feathering like with the other breeds. The most common color is fawn with a reddish undertone. The chest is deep and the legs strong and straight. The Laekenois's medium length rough, wire coat can include colors from fawn to brownish and black in between.

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 lifespan of the Belgian Laekenois is between 10 and 14 years of age, and he is a pretty robust breed, not prone to getting sick easily. However, as with most other dog breeds, he is predisposed to some concerning health conditions.

Epilepsy

A frightening health issue in Belgian Shepherds is inherited epilepsy. It occurs in all four varieties. Your dog will have uncontrollable shaking that can last a few minutes. There are many causes of seizures but it is mostly an inherited disorder.

Eye disorders

The most common eye disease is cataracts.

Hip Dysplasia

This is an inherited disease that causes the joints to develop improperly. He may even have difficulty getting up from lying down.

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.

Grooming

The long, double coat of your Laekenois will need to be trimmed about twice a year otherwise he could look dirty and unkempt. Certainly with the coat he has, you will need to brush him at least twice a week to get rid of all those loose hairs.

Feeding

He is a well muscled, athletic, energetic dog and his food, whether home-made or commercially manufactured, needs to be a high-quality food high in protein and packed full of minerals and vitamins. If you’re not sure about food type, speak to your vet, because as a dog expert, they will advise you on food appropriate to this dog breed and his energy needs. Whether you own a male or female Laekenois, feeding should be such that weight for an adult is maintained around 25–30kg.

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.

The Belgian Laekenois is an energetic herding breed dog, and even though he will do well in an apartment if he is sufficiently exercised, big gardens and farms would be first choice for him. Wherever you offer him a home, make sure to exercise him regularly and give him plenty of attention, as he loves his human family.

He’ll make an exceptional watchdog and because he is so intelligent, he learns easily, responding readily to his owner’s instruction. He’ll protect his human family with his life. Social, lively, attractive and bright, anybody who has owned a Laekenois will vouch for his loyalty and devotion, making him a splendid pet.

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