Icelandic Sheepdog vs Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren) - Breed Comparison

Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren) is originated from Belgium but Icelandic Sheepdog is originated from Iceland. Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren) may grow 21 cm / 9 inches higher than Icelandic Sheepdog. Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren) may weigh 20 kg / 45 pounds more than Icelandic Sheepdog. Both Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren) and Icelandic Sheepdog has almost same life span. Both Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren) and Icelandic Sheepdog has almost same litter size. Both Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren) and Icelandic Sheepdog requires Moderate Maintenance.

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Working dogs
Height Male:
61 - 66 cm
24 - 26 inches
40 - 45 cm
15 - 18 inches
Height Female:
56 - 61 cm
22 - 25 inches
40 - 45 cm
15 - 18 inches
Weight Male:
29 - 34 kg
63 - 75 pounds
9 - 14 kg
19 - 31 pounds
Weight Female:
27 - 32 kg
59 - 71 pounds
9 - 14 kg
19 - 31 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 10
4 - 8
Other Names:
Belgian Tervueren Chien de Berger Belge
Iceland Dog, Icelandic Spitz
Colors Available:
Fawn, red, grey with black overlay
black, cream or chocolate., tan and white, Grey and white or tan and white
Dense with long, straight outercoat
Short or long, straight or wavy
Moderate, Constant, Seasonal
Moderate, Seasonal
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Moderate Maintenance
Moderate Maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


Referred to as the ‘Terv’, this dog from Belguim was created in the late 19th century. He is one of 4 varieties of Belgian Shepherd and he has a long, fawn colored coat. It was in 1892 that the first show for Belgian Shepherds took place and it was the Tervuren variety that won.

Breeders of these dogs gave each of the four varieties their own name, and the name Tervuren comes from a Belguim village. This is where M.F. Corbeel bred dogs, believed to be the foundation of the Tervuren breed.

In World War I, many of these dogs were used by the military for war related jobs. Some of these dogs were imported to America for breeding and in 1959 it was considered a separate breed from other Belgian Sheepdogs.

There are quite a few different dog breeds that fall under the name of Spitz-type dogs, and in fact they have a number of similar characteristics, one of which is that they have some wolf-like features. They typically have the thick coat with undercoat and the erect, pointed ears and slanted eyes.

There is definitely a strong link between the Spitz type dogs and wild wolves. The tail too is feathery and can curl over the back of the dog.

The Icelandic Sheepdog, a native dog to Iceland, is a Spitz type dog which originates from the dogs brought to Iceland by the Vikings. The dogs have always been used to herd sheep, and they resemble dogs found in graves in Sweden and Denmark.

The dog at one time was facing extinction in the late 20th century, but in 1969, the Icelandic Dog Breeder Association was established to restore and preserve the breed. The Icelandic Sheepdog gained AKC recognition in June 2010.


Attractively Elegant

The Tervuren is a medium to large sized, well muscled dog achieving heights of up to 66cm. He has an attractively elegant, regal look to him. The dog has a double coat which is weather resistant. The overall length of the coat which is fawn to mahogany is medium to long and the outer coat is straight with black tips. The males have almost like a mane of hair around the neck that you won’t necessarily find with the females. The tail is long and feathery

The Tervuren is Full of Beans

The Belgian Tervuren is alert and intelligent. His has a long-shaped face with a black mask and upright ears that are sharp and receptive to every sound. He is a herding dog and is full of energy – used to having a job that keeps him busy.

If you don’t want your Tervurens to become destruction, you will need to keep him busy and not just keep him cooped up in the back yard. This particular dog breed is a devoted, loyal pet and forms a strong bond with his human family. However, he will need to be trained and socialized if you want him to behave well around children and pets in the home.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a smallish to medium sized dog standing at 40 to 45cm in height and he can weigh anything between 9 and 14kg.

His double coat can be short or long, straight or wavy and in a mix of colors such as grey and white or tan and white, black, tan and white, cream or chocolate. Even though they come in a number of predominant colors, these colors are always accompanied by white markings.

He has a longish muzzle, much like the wolf, giving him an alert, foxy appearance. He has a muscular, rectangular body with strong, straight legs with dewclaws on both the front and hind legs.


Your social, energetic dog will require socialization and training which does him the world of good, turning him into a well-adjusted, obedient dog.

He is an intelligent dog, and training him won't be difficult as he is eager to please. These are social dogs which love being part of the family and they don't like being left outside day after day with little human intervention. He is a lively, confident breed, gentle and not at all aggressive.

Health Problems

Your Tervuren is a robust, healthy dog breed and with the right food, love and attention, you’re not going to have major health concerns with him. Skin allergies, eye problems and hip dysplasia might be something you want to be aware of.

Skin Allergies

A dry, itchy skin with incessant scratching from your pet might require a visit to the vet. If left untreated, an itchy skin and a scratching dog can lead to secondary skin infections and even hair loss. Check for allergies or fleas, and remember that apart from medical management of fleas and ticks, dogs with a dull coat will require a supplement with omega 3 fatty acids.

Hip Dysplasia

A common skeletal disorder with malformation of the hip brought on by environmental- and genetic factors. Recognizing the signs of hip dysplasia is important for your dog to help him with pain.

Your pet will reach 12 to 14 years of age with good care and is regarded as a generally healthy dog breed. However, they can be prone to a few health conditions, and these include hip dysplasia and diabetes.


Mercifully for your pet, diabetes is considered a manageable disorder. When your pet doesn’t produce insulin or can’t utilize it normally, his blood sugar levels rise, resulting in hyperglycemia.

If left untreated, your pet can land up with a host of complicated health problems. Diabetes can be classified as either Type 1 or Type II, with the more common form in dogs being Type 1.

Caring The Pet

Regular Brushing is Required

Your Terv is a double-coated dog and he will shed his hair throughout the year. Brushing him at least twice in the week will be necessary to get rid of the hair he sheds. Apart from brushing him and keeping his beautiful coat shiny and healthy, other grooming needs will include clipping his nails and dental hygiene. Brushing his teeth 2 or 3 times a week with specialized dog toothpaste and toothbrush will help with keeping plaque and bacteria at bay.


Speak to your vet about feeding your Tervuren puppy as he will need at least 4 bowls of food while he is so tiny. By the time he is a year old, he will be able to have 1 or 2 meals a day. Always make sure you feel him high quality food which can be home-made food or commercially manufactured food.

To ensure he doesn’t suffer with any skin allergies, he will need to have some raw meat mixed into his food from time to time. Always provide fresh water for him and make sure to wash the bowls out often.


Feed your energetic Icelandic Sheepdog a diet which is appropriate for his age and activity level. Don't just feed him the best commercially manufactured dog food, but give him some cooked chicken, brown rice and vegetables mixed into his kibble as a tasty treat. Also, dogs are carnivores, so include some raw meat into his diet from time to time. Clean, cool water should always be available.


The Icelandic Sheepdog has a thick double coat, with the outer coat being longer and the hair being shiny and glossy. These dogs shed quite a bit with seasonal shedding too so twice-weekly brushing will be necessary to keep the fur free of loose hair. His nails should also be checked regularly and his teeth should be brushed a couple of times a week too.


Icelandic Sheepdogs are athletic, active dogs that require a lot of exercise to keep them in good physical shape.

He loves all kinds of games and outdoor activities, one of which will be going with you for a walk every day. He makes a wonderful companion for those people going on long hikes.


With his beautiful face and lustrous coat, this is a pet that you’re always going to be proud of. Not only that, he is active too, a great watchdog and a fantastic family companion.

To keep your Tervuren spritely and contented, ensure he has a high quality diet designed for active herding dogs. He is intelligent too and training and socialization will turn him into an exceptional pet for you. Provide him with lots of human companionship, give him nutritious food and see that any ailments he has are attended to by the vet and you’ll have your attractive pet around with you for up to 12, 13, 14 or 15 years.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is such a good all-round family pet. He is alert, intelligent, social, playful, loyal, loving and brave.

He is friendly too, getting on well with children and any pets you have in the home. He is essentially a working dog, so you shouldn’t think of owning him as a pet if your lifestyle is centered around the TV and the couch for the best part of the day.

This is an energetic dog who wants lots of action during the day. He is a dog that badly wants to be part of the family and in exchange for looking after him well, he’ll promise to be an exceptional pet.

Comparison with other breeds

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  40. Icelandic Sheepdog vs American Bully - Breed Comparison
  41. Icelandic Sheepdog vs Abruzzenhund - Breed Comparison
  42. Icelandic Sheepdog vs Affenpinscher - Breed Comparison
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  44. Icelandic Sheepdog vs Aidi - Breed Comparison
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