Shoulder height: 55 – 62 cm
Weight: 25 – 30 kg
Age: 12 – 14 years
Color: brindle (dark brown-gold or dark brown-silver), with wire-haired also blue-grey or pepper-salt
Use: working dog, sports dog, companion dog, the family dog
The Dutch Shepherd is an intelligent, docile dog that needs lots of work and exercise. The active all-rounder is not a dog for lazy people. With consistent leadership and physical and mental workload, the Herder is also a pleasant family dog.
Origin and history
The Dutch Shepherd dog has been used in its homeland since the beginning of the 18th century as a reliable helper when working on large flocks of sheep. “Herdershond” means nothing more than a sheepdog. In addition, he served as a protector and guardian of the house and yard. With the decline of shepherding, the Dutch Shepherd was increasingly used for search and tracking work, trained as a police dog or guide dog for the blind. In 1960 it was recognized by the FCI. The breed is not very common in Europe.
The Dutch Shepherd is a medium-sized, medium-weight dog with a strong build. Its body is slightly longer than it is high. He has dark, almond-shaped eyes and erect, pricked ears. The tail is long and carried hanging down when at rest.
The Dutch Shepherd dog is divided into three varieties based on the type of fur: shorthair, longhair, and wirehair, with the shorthair being the most common. The fur of all three coat types consists of a hard top coat and a lot of dense undercoats. The brindle pattern is particularly striking. The flow extends over the entire body. Only in the wire-haired variant does the brindle color not stand out so clearly due to the shaggy coat.
The breed standard describes the Dutch Shepherd as very loyal, dependable, persistent, alert, and active. As a typical herding dog, it bonds closely to its caregiver, is extremely docile, willing to work, and willing to be submissive. Protection is also in its blood. It is vigilant and immediately reports anything that strikes it as strange or suspicious.
The intelligent, docile Dutchman needs a loving, consistent upbringing – without being overly strict – as well as clear, fair leadership. It is considered to be sensitive and adapts completely to his caregiver.
The agile working dog needs meaningful activity and a lot of exercises. It is suitable for dog sports activities such as agility, obedience, or track work as well as for training as a rescue dog, tracker dog, or guide dog. With the right workload, the spirited Dutch Shepherd Dog is also a pleasant and lovable family dog. Underemployed, the sporty all-rounder will quickly look for an outlet.
The long-haired Dutch are generally considered to be somewhat easier to handle, while the rustic, rough-haired variant is said to have a particularly high level of assertiveness.