The Dutch shepherd is a highly intelligent, alert, and energetic dog originally developed for herding. The common consensus is that the breed descended from the herding dogs used to create the Belgian Shepherd and German Shepherd dog, as they have very close resemblance. The Dutch shepherd also is a loyal and loving family dog. This breed is a great family dog because of the fact that it is easy to train, always alert, active, and smart.
Dutch Shepherd Quick Stats:
- Breed Popularity: Rare
- Life Expectancy: 11 – 14
- Group: Herding
- Height: Male – up 24″ to Female – up to 23″
- Weight: Male and Female – 50 to 70 lbs
- Temperament: Intelligent, Lively, Athletic
- Coat colors: gold brindle, silver brindle and yellow.
History of the Dutch Shepherd:
The dutch shepherd originated in the 1800’s in the Netherlands for herding. Not only did farmers want them to herd the animals but also to watch over the children and stay alert for intruders. Dutch Shepherds are a versatile dog and often referred to as a “Jack-of-all-trades”. They are powerful dogs and even used to pull carts at the time.
Over time most sheep and shepherd dogs ended up replaced and the land used for other purposes. Now they use their skill for different work such as police dogs, search and rescue, and eyes for the blind. There are few farmers that do still use this breed for herding though, which is fulfilling their natural purpose.
Dutch Shepherds can come in many different colors but because of their very similar resemblance to the German shepherd and Belgian shepherd dog, in 1914 breeders decided they should only be brindle. So now most every Dutch shepherd is brindle.
On The Brink Of Extinction:
During World War II breeding took a big pause in the Netherlands because of the fighting. The result almost put this breed into extinction. Most Dutch shepherds starved due to a lack of food. The German military stole some of them because of their strengths, smarts, and easy trainability. They are still a pretty rare breed to this day.
Dutch Shepherd Dog Breed Standards:
The head is proportionate to the body with the skull and muzzle equal length. The eyes are dark almond shape and medium sized. If their eyes show high amounts of blue or yellow this is not right. Their ears are pretty small and stiffly erect. They should not be drooping or flopping over. The skull is never round, it should be flat. The length of the muzzle should be completely straight. Their jaws should be forceful. The nose should be plainly black like the lips should be. No other color showing. Undershot or overshot bite is a fault with this breed. They must have an even set of strong white teeth.
The neck of the dutch shepherd should be not too short with a smooth flow down to the back and no folds. The topline of their body is a gentle transition from the neck. The breeds withers are lightly raised and slope into the back. From the withers to hip-joints it must be firm, straight, and leveled. Their body over all should be firm but not rough. The chest should be deep and long, not thin. Their ribs are slightly sprung. The fore chest has a rather nice development. The dogs abdomen should have a slight insert up. The loin is tight and short, medium depth. The croup of the dog should be sloping down a bit and medium length. The tail lays at rest down or curved. It should be touching the hock.
Shoulder blades are fit with the body and well sloping. The forelegs are muscular and a well length, usually showing a straight line. The upper arm and shoulder blades should be equal length. Elbows of the dog have a good attachment. The dogs forefeet are relatively small ovals. No dewclaws with black nails and black paw pads.
The hind legs have a lot of muscle and are very powerful. The thigh and lower thigh are around the same length. A horizontal line should drop from the point of the rump and meet with the top of the rear foot. There should be no dewclaws. The hind feet, just like the fore feet are oval with arched toes and black nails and paw pads.
Caring For A Dutch Shepherd:
Dutch shepherds are highly energetic dogs and need exercise daily. Herding dogs need the most exercise out of all groups of dogs because of their restlessness. These dogs could herd all day. That’s what they were breed for. That being said, a herding dog like the Dutch Shepherd sometimes gets easily bored if it’s not exercised enough daily. Boredom can lead to all your dogs energy pent up and then result in your dog causing destruction to your home. Avoid ever kenneling this breed as they need lots of room to run around.
When it comes to their coats there are three different types, short hair, long hair, and rough hair. For the short hair types you really only need to focus on brushing them during seasons like spring and fall when they start to shed a lot, just occasionally. For long hair types, brush it about once a week because of all their hair, it can get matted and tangled. Based on how much work or play your dog has been doing it may require more brushing. For the rough hair types, they only require a combing once per month and should be hand-stripped two times a year.
Like all other breeds their nails need to be clipped when you notice they have grown out too much. If you never cut their nails it can cause discomfort while playing or walking. Bathes can be given when you think they are needed. For extra health and comfort you should check their ears for build up of wax that can lead to infections and brush their teeth (you must use dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste). To make it easy you can buy dog dental chews for them.
The Dutch Shepherd is a very healthy dog breed. With few rare health problems. The health problems can depend on the different coat types. The most common is hip and elbow dysplasia which can be found in all coat types. If your Dutch Shepherd is a long hair type then specifically look out for thyroid issues. As for rough hair types be cautious of goniodysplasia.
For this breeds high athletics it should be fed a healthy strong diet. Generally the life span for this breed is 11-14 years but can even pass that if they maintain a fresh diet, starting from a puppy onto an adult. So that you know some healthy food choices for your Dutch Shepherd, check out our article “What Can German Shepherds Eat” since this breed is so similar to the German Shepherd dog. It will also list what is dangerous to your dog, which is very important to know. Don’t forget to always have a supply of fresh, clean water for your dog to get to.
Herding dog are so intelligent making this dog breed easy to train. All herding dog are always eager to please this is why it’s so easy to train these breeds. Obedience training is healthy for this breed because if they are not trained they begin to make there own decisions. They become too independent.
Are Dutch Shepherds Good Family Dogs?
Dutch shepherd are protective loyal dogs. They do great with any people, big or tiny. So no need to worry about them around babies or toddlers. I do prefer that the family who adopts this shepherd is a lively one because the Dutch shepherd will need a lot of attention and exercise.
This breed is generally good with any other pet, but because of their original nature to herd they may chase other small pets around the house like a cat. But if the Dutch shepherd is introduced to this other pet at a young age there will be no problem. This will even drive them to protect that other pet from any harm, like this breed originally did for their farmers sheep.
Overall this breed is very friendly but is a great watchdog for the protection of your family.
How Much Do Dutch Shepherds Cost?
Expect high prices for this breed, as it’s very rare with only about 2000 FCI full breed Dutch Shepherds left. They can cost around $1,000 to $3,500, depending on the fullness of the breed and if they have champion bloodlines. Adoption fees are like any other breed around $300.
You can adopt a dutch shepherd here!
If your looking for more of a purebred of this breed then you can look here!
5 Interesting Facts About The Dutch Shepherd:
- Dutch shepherds were so useful to their farmers because they would get up every morning on their own and herd out the animals then in the evening herd back in the animals on their own.
- The Dutch shepherd has one of the lowest amount of health problems out of every other breed.
- Dutch shepherds are protective of their family, meaning they are very vocal and bark at any intruder.
- The dutch shepherds coat is a brindle and black color that can also range from sandy gold to red chestnut. Too much white or black in their fur is considered a fault to this breed.
- This dog breed has been in many movies like “The Breed”, “Case 39”, “Contraband”, “Django Unchained”, and “Uncertainty.” Even though Dutch shepherds have yet to find big roles in the movie industries, you can find a very popular mixed Dutch shepherd named Little Bear starring in many movies.
Dutch Shepherd Dog Breed Information In Closing:
The Dutch shepherd is a great dog. Very smart, athletic, healthy, and strong. They will protect anyone close to them. They work to please. Take this article into account if you are thinking about getting a Dutch shepherd.
I hope you found what you needed in this article and come back for some more posts about the Dutch Shepherd dog!