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Belgian Sheepdog

Belgian Sheepdog Dog Breed

Aliases: Belgian Shepherd, Belgian Groenendael, Chien de Berger Belge

Life Span: 10-12 years
Litter Size: 6-10 puppies
Group: Herding, AKC Herding
Color: Solid black. Some small amounts of white allowed on the chest and the tips of the back feet toes.
Hair Length: Medium
Size: Large
Shedding: Moderate Shed, Heavy Shed
Male Height: 24-26 inches (61-66 cm)
Male Weight: 65-75 pounds (29-34 kg)
Female Height: 22-24 inches (56-61 cm)
Female Weight: 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg)
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - Low Risk

The Belgian Sheepdog ranks #103 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it). 

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #103  289  3.1%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

The Belgian Sheepdog has been very fortunate in avoiding some of the poor breeding practices that have resulted in many genetic conditions that are problematic in other breeds. The most commonly seen health conditions in the Belgian Sheepdog include:

  • Epilepsy - a seizure disorder often seen in various levels of severity from a few seconds of rigidity to full out seizures. Can be treated with medication in most cases.
  • Hip dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia - a hereditary condition of hip and elbow joint problems and degeneration. All breeding stock should be checked and certified to prevent transmitting this genetic condition.
  • Skin Allergies - can be environmental or food related. Can be treated by careful monitoring and antihistamines.

All dogs including the Belgian Sheepdog require regular vaccination and worming as well as at least a yearly vet check-up.