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Dutch Shepherd dog

Original Name: Hollandse Herdershond
A mix of Belgian Shephard and dogs from the Netherlands, Dutch Shepherds are remarkable guard dogs that are not only intelligent, but also strong.

Dutch Shepherds are the perfect companion dog. They are faithful and very attached to their owners, as well as being very gentle to those around them.



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The Dutch Shepherd dog is in the group 1 - that of sheep and cattle herders. As its name indicated, the Dutch Shepherd dog is a shepherd dog originating from Holland. This breed appeared in the dutch provinces of Drenthe and Brabant where they protected herds of sheep in the flooded fields (the good pieces of land were actually saved for the cows and horses) from the end of the 19th century. At this time, little importance was given to the three different varieties that coexisted - short, long and wire hair.

Even though the Dutch Shepherd dog was discovered in the 19th century, the first written trace of its existence goes back to 1875 in a stud book - when the first specimen was registered in the Amsterdam exhibition. But there were still a few years to go before the name "Dutch Shepherd Dog" was given to this breed. The Dutch shepherd club which still exists today, was created in 1898 by 12 people in southern Amsterdam. They gathered together six distinct varieties including a white color and the criteria were quite vague concerning the color and the size. This club progressively reduced the breed to only 3 varieties from 1899 to 1906: short, long and wire hair. As the years progressed, the breed got taller as they started selecting the stud more carefully - not just for their working abilities. Yet, the breed only became well-known in 1970 thanks to the short-haired version. Today, there are a number of enthusiasts in Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and France.

This breed has a long history similar, or even identical to that of the Belgian Shepherd dog. This seems to be the case since Belgium and Holland share a border and there are frequent crossings.
Dutch breeders stopped this breed from becoming extinct at the end of the 19th century. These days, there aren''t many Dutch Shepherd dogs left.

A suspicious and vigilant dog that''s alert and able to handle fatigue and flooding. They make excellent watchdogs. Their nose and courage have made them useful to the police in their home country as well as in the French army.
This dog can rival the German Shepherd or Belgian Shepherd easily, with which it has a number of points in common.

General Appearance

Some say that the Dutch Shepherd dog and the Malinois share similar appearances - but there are still some differences and the Dutch Shepherd dog has its own features. It''s a medium-sized dog of medium weight, a muscular build, powerful and well-proportioned. They are very intelligent and lively. A loyal and affectionate dog, they are also obedient and vigilant. This dog is very talented in a number of sporting and military disciplines - especially in Agility and in search and rescue. The Dutch Shepherd dog has a lot of endurance and can trot for hours and hours - they have a graceful gait and seem to never tire. The have an intelligent expression and an active, lively disposition.
Their look is simple, bare and frank. Their appearance shouldn''t be too light or too heavy.

This dog is affectionate, obedient, docile, vigilant, loyal and trustworthy. They are easy to please, always attentive, active and gifted with a real shepherd dog''s instincts.
This is an extremely obedient dog like all shepherd dogs and very attached to its master. However, the need intense, physical exercise everyday. Their size makes them perfect for long distance running and they are in no way able to be left inside without any regular exercise. They are good watchdogs but they need calm, firm masters. They react instantly which gives them an active, sometimes nervous, nature - still less so than its fellow shepherd dog: the Belgian Shepherd dog. Even though they react fast, they are independent thinkers and their decisions are given the proper consideration. An affectionate dog, they appear suspicious of strangers which is why they make excellent watchdogs for any of their property (house, car, toys, family...)

As for its size, it''s longer than it is high. The males are between 22 and 24 inches tall and the females, 20 - 22 inches.
Their coat comes in three varieties: short-hair, long-hair and wire hair.

Body Parts

Head: the head must be proportional to the body, quite long and massive without wrinkles and dry. Their nose is slightly longer than their head, in a parallel line to the head. The muzzle is moderately pointed with tight, black lips. With the wire-haired variety, the head seems to be more square shaped, but this is just a trick of the eye.

Ears: Quite small. In action, they are erect and leaning forward, high-set and not in a spoon shape.

Eyes: Dark color, medium-sized, almond shaped and slightly slanted and not bulging out.

Nose: Always black.

Teeth: Strong and even. When the jaw''s closed, the upper teeth come into contact with the back of the inside teeth (scissor bite).

Neck: Not too short, dry without a joint and blending into the line of its body.

Body: Solid and the sides are slightly curved. The chest is high but not straight. The sternum leads gracefully into the stomach. The back is short, straight and muscly. The hindquarters are solid, neither long nor straight.

Forequarters: Strong, muscular and big bones. Confident while as the same time as being sufficiently flexible. Shoulders are fixed strongly to the forequarters. The slanting shoulder blade leads onto the long arm.

Hindquarters: They must be strong, muscular with big bones. The joint has a medium angle and gives on to the thigh which isn''t very slanted. The hollow of the knee is quite curved and there aren''t any dewclaws.

Paws: Fingers must be tight together and arched, which stops them having long feet. Nails are black, pads are elastic and dark in color.

Tail: In rest, it is straight or slightly curved. It reaches the shin. In action, it''s held up elegantly. It''s never curled up and never falls to the side.

Special Characteristics for the Three Hair Varieties

The Dutch Shepherd dog is made up of three varieties:
The short-haired Dutch Shepherd dog, which is the most wide-spread
The long-haired Dutch Shepherd dog, which is less wide-spread
The wire-haired Dutch Shepherd dog, which is not at all well represented in the world

Short Hair

Covering the whole body, this hair must be hard, not too short and have a silky under-coat. It''s collar, hindquarters and tip of its tail must be visible.

Color: More or less brindle on a brown (golden brindle) or gray (gray brindle) background. The brindle covers the whole body including the collar, hindquarters and tail. Hair with a lot of black is not accepted - a simple black mask is preferred.

Long Hair

Covering the whole body, the hair must be long, straight, flat, rough to the touch, neither wavy nor curly and with a silky under-coat. The head, ears, paws and forequarters under the knee are covered in short, tight hairs. The front of the hindquarters is covered with hair that''s very developed and which gets shorter towards the bottom (fringes). The tail is abundantly covered all over. No fringe on the ears.

Color: The long-haired Dutch Shepherd dog comes in the same colors as the short-haired one, that''s to say: More or less brindle on a brown (golden brindle) or gray (gray brindle) background. The brindle covers the whole body including the collar, hindquarters and tail. Hair with a lot of black is not accepted - a simple black mask is preferred.

Wire Hair

Covering the whole body, the hair is very thick, hard, tangles with a thick and silky under-coat everywhere except the head. The hair is very thick. The lips are covered in hair (a mustache and beard) not soft but widely open. The eyebrows are bushy and stick out. There is less hair on the head, cheaks and ears. The tail is abundantly bushy all over. They should also have lots of hair on their hindquarters.

Color: Blue-gray, pepper and salt, golden brindle, silver brindle. The brindle coloring appears less on this coat than the other varieties.


An excess of white on the chest or feet, white stripes or marks on another part of the body, the tail is not black (or not black enough), floppy or rounded ears, colors or marks not specified in the standard, an excess of black hair, docked ear or tail, curled up tail are all the faults that a Dutch Shepherd dog could exhibit.

N.B: the males must have two testicles of normal appearance hanging down from the scrotum.

Living with a Dutch Shepherd dog

Family Life

The Dutch Shepherd dog can live well in an apartment if it''s taken out a few times a day, but the best is if it lives in a house.
Any family situation is suitable for them and they get along well with young children.
The master must be athletic and able to dedicate a lot of time for going for walks.

Work Life

As a companion pet, we expect these dogs to be affectionate, loyal, fun-loving and happy.

As a watchdog, the Dutch Shepherd dog can herd animals: these dogs are meant to guide herds from place to place with or without orders from the owner. They can also protect a certain place or act as a watchdog: these dogs stop intruders and malicious people by barking and scaring them away.

Finally, the Dutch Shepherd dog can also be used to help police and security workers. They are used by the police or security agents to warn or catch criminals. In this case, they need special training.

Upkeep and Health

This dog needs daily brushing and maintenance.
As for illnesses, they don''t have any specific tendencies.

It''s quite easy to train a Dutch Shepherd dog.
On the other hand, making them get along with other dogs might pose a problem, even if he has a docile and affectionate character.