Difference Between Belgian Tervuren and German Shepherd

Belgian Tervuren vs German Shepherd

Of the two, the Belgian Tervuren and German shepherd, one is a dog breed while the other is a variety of a breed. In addition, there are interesting differences between Belgian Tervuren and German shepherd such as the countries of origin, body shape, coat colours, standing poses, and temperaments mainly. This article discusses most of the important distinctions between them with their characteristics described.

Belgian Tervuren

Belgian Tervuren (aka Tervuren) is a medium size dog breed that has been originated in Belgium. Tervuren is one of the four varieties of the original dog breed of Belgian shepherd (other varieties are Malinois, Greonendael, and Laekenois). Their body shape is unique among all the shepherd dog breeds; it is square-shaped with a length as equal as the height. A purebred male Tervuren should measure between 61 and 66 centimetres while a female should be around 56 – 61 centimetres (22 – 24 inches) as their heights at withers. The weight of a female could range from 25 – 30 kilograms while a male would be between 29 – 34 kilograms. The muzzle is mostly darkened or blackened, and the ears are erect.

Tervuren’s unique appearance has been accompanied with the presence of some extra-long hairs around the neck, which is more like a mane than not. Purebred Belgian Tervuren dogs are available in mahogany colouration with a significant overlay of black colour. However, the colourations could vary depending on the standards stipulated in different kennel clubs. They are highly active and hardworking animals. In fact, they can get destructive or hyperactive when they are not used well enough to spend the enormous amount of energy that they want to let out. These dogs form serious bonds with the owners and very protective of their owners.

German Shepherd

It would be important to discuss some of their characteristics before dig into the differences. As the name indicates, the German shepherd dogs (GSD) originated in Germany. There are other commonly referred names to GSD apart from Alsatian such as Berger Allemand, Deutscher Schäferhund, and Schäferhund. The German dog breeder Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz (1864 – 1936) developed this breed for the purposes of herding and guarding of sheep because of strength, intelligence, and obedience of GSDs.

German shepherd dogs are working dogs with a large body and a fearsome appearance. A well-built adult male has about 30 to 40 kilograms of weight while a female weighs about 22 to 32 kilograms. They are about 60 – 65 centimetres in height and males are slightly taller than females. They have a long square cut muzzle with a black nose, and their ears are large and mostly stand erected. Their fur coat is long and has different colourations viz. red, tan, brown, black, tan & black, red & black… etc. However, black and tan varieties are popular and common.

Because of their higher intelligence, armed forces keep German shepherd dogs for security purposes viz. bomb finding. They are extremely loyal to the owner family and mostly be friendly with children. German shepherd dogs are aloof towards strangers, which is an advantage to keep them as guard dogs. Their lifespan is generally 10 to 14 years, and they maintain a serious personality throughout their lifetime.

What is the difference between Belgian Tervuren and German Shepherd?

• Belgian Tervuren is a variety of a breed, whereas German shepherd has full status of a breed.

• German shepherd is larger and heavier than Belgian Tervuren.

• Tervuren has a square shape body with a flat back, whereas German shepherd has a rectangular shape with a sloping back.

• Tervuren has a mane, but the German shepherd does not have.

• German shepherds are available in a range of colours, but Belgian Tervurens come in mahogany with a blackish overlay.

• German shepherds can be more intelligent than Belgian Tervurens.

• Belgian Tervuren is more energetic than the German shepherd.