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Dutch Shepherd

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Extremely intelligent and very friendly, Dutch shepherds are highly trainable dogs which are fabulous companions. They need constant mental stimulation and a generous amount of exercise and so potential owners must be sure that they can devote an appropriate amount of time to their pooch. It can be hard to track down a Dutch shepherd puppy as these dogs are now rare but those who manage to find one will enjoy a wonderful relationship with their dog.

Which breed group is the Dutch shepherd in?

Breed group: none- not recognised by the Kennel Club

Dutch shepherd breed history

Originating in Holland, the Dutch shepherd was a naturally occurring sheep dog in rural areas. These dogs are similar to German shepherds and Belgian shepherds. When the first breed standard for them was written, it was decided to allow only brindle dogs as this would distinguish them from similar breeds. Dutch shepherds were farm dogs utilised for herding, pulling carts and acting as watchdogs. Modern farming practices largely eliminated the need for such dogs and breeding ceased during World War II. Some dogs were taken to serve in the German military, but they remain rare to this day. Dutch shepherds are used for police work, search and rescue, Cadaver dogs and guide dogs as they are highly trainable.

Dutch shepherd breed characteristics

There are three varieties of Dutch shepherd; longhaired, shorthaired and wire-haired. Coat type varies but, in all cases, these dogs should be brindle in colour. These dogs have firm bodies and boast muzzles which are slightly longer than their flat forehead. Their dark eyes are almond-shaped and their medium-sized ears are carried erect. Tails are carried slightly curved. Dutch shepherds have deep chests and oval feet with arched toes.

These versatile dogs excel at agility and obedience competitions, farm work and guarding. They are keen workers and excellent companions with affectionate natures. They love playing and are very smart. Dutch shepherds are wary of strangers but are very friendly towards people they know. They get on well with other dogs and most animals.

  • Lifespan: 13-15 years
  • Height: up to 62cm
  • Weight: up to 32kg
  • Longhaired, shorthaired or wire-haired
  • Brindle in colour
  • Hard working
  • Intelligent
  • Good guard dog
  • Friendly
  • Affectionate
  • Can be wary of strangers
  • Get on with other dogs
  • Low maintenance

Health issues with the Dutch Shepherd

Dutch shepherds are very healthy dogs which are prone only to the following conditions:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Inflammatory Myopathy

What is the Dutch Shepherd bred for?

Dutch shepherds were originally bred to be utility dogs for farmers but are now popular choices for police forces and search and rescue roles.

What sort of owners does the Dutch shepherd suit?

Friendly, loyal and playful, Dutch shepherds are excellent companions and pets. Their natural willingness and impressive intelligence mean that they are easy to train. They get along with other animals and are good with children as long as they have learnt their position in the family pecking order. These dogs need mental stimulation and a plenty of exercise. As such, they are best suited to owners who have plenty of time to devote to them and who are at home all day. Dutch shepherds relish homes in the countryside and families who take them for long walks. They would be excellent choices for owners looking for a dog to enter into agility or obedience competitions.


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