Breed Type: Dutch Shepherd
Country of Origin: Holland
Size: Medium
Also known as: Hollandse, Holland Shepherd, Herdershond
Males: Height:  27-62 cm Weight:  28 kg
Females: Height: 22-24 cm Weight:  23 kg
Exercise Requirements: Active & Vigorous
Care Requirements: Low
Lifespan: 12-14 Years
Best Suited as: Family Companion, Police Dog, Guard/Watch Dog, Medical Assistance Companion, Farm Worker

The Dutch Shepherd breed of dogs is a strong one and often seen fulfilling roles as police, security, or military dog.  They are highly muscular and extremely intelligent with an affectionate and loyal nature that makes them great companions for dangerous working conditions.  They are also highly obedient and emotionally undemanding which again makes excellent working dogs.  They’re very faithful and loyal natured with vigilant traits that also make Shepherds great household companions, especially as a family guard dogs.  Easy to train and fiercely loyal, Dutch Shepherds are a great choice for a household as long as they can get plenty of exercise and be challenged mentally and physically.

Dutch Shepherds are a medium-sized breed with average weight around 25 kg.  They are well-muscled and are as strong as they appear to be.  They are quite active dogs, clearly intelligent and full of life.  Their coat may be short or medium in length with a rough texture to the hair.  The head is long like their bodies with a smooth, unwrinkled face.  Their ears sit high on the head and usually point straight up – even more so when they are on alert.  Negative emotions may cause ears to pin back to the head.  Eyes and nose are black as are its nails and footpads.  The Shepherd’s teeth are obviously strong with potential for good bite down when needed.  Tail is long, slightly curved that will tilt slightly up when active and alert or hang straight when relaxed.  Dutch Shepherds are multi-colored with blue-gray peppered with salt color, or silver or golden-toned brindle although blue-gray is more common.

The Dutch Shepherd breed has all the character traits that are traditionally inherent to the Shepherd breeds.  Their loyalty and faithfulness are fierce which makes them excellent guard dogs as well as service dogs.  With an extremely affectionate personality as well, it is easy to see why they are in high demand as military, service, guard, and other working types of dog but also as an excellent household choice whether living in the city or in rural communities.  They can be great family dogs loyal and protective to all members of the household but will usually choose one specific person to attach a little closer to than the others.  They are an obedient breed and extremely intelligent so also very easy to train.  Dutch Shepherds need to be exercised both mentally and physically as they get irritable when bored.  They love to work in whatever roles they are needed including farm and ranch needs or various security-related jobs.

Dutch Shepherds were originally bred in Holland as working dogs – specifically as farm dogs to help with livestock herding and protection.  They also trained easily to pull small carts around the farm.  They were not officially recognized as a pure breed of dogs until the later 1800’s but were frequently painted in portraits or landscape scenes throughout the 19th century.

Care and Grooming:
These Shepherds have the typically rough coats that most Shepherds carry but it is very low in maintenance and grooming needs except during shedding season when it needs to be regularly brushed to remove the tufts of fur shed from both topcoat and wool-like undercoat.  The fur on the feet and between the pads tends to grow faster than the rest of their coat and needs an occasional trim.  Those with longer coats usually show a longer feathering of the hair around the ears, neck, chest, and legs that might also need trimmed more frequently than those with short coats.  Nail trimming is typical depending on how much outdoor exercise they get to wear down the nail length naturally.

As with all other breeds, Dutch Shepherds also have genetic health issues to watch for with the most common ones involving hip and leg disorders such as hip and elbow dysplasia.  They also are known for developing degenerative disc diseases as well as thyroid malfunction.  Overall, however, Dutch Shepherds are a strong, healthy, and vibrant breed with low to average healthcare needs unless they develop any of the disorders Shepherds are known to be more at risk for although even at that point, because of their affectionate and gentle nature with loved ones, they accept care quite well.

Suitability as a Pet:
The Dutch Shepherd is most suited for an active household and lifestyle and loves nothing more than to be a working dog putting in long hours each day whether as a police dog side by side with its human partner, or as a farm dog working with livestock, etc.  These Shepherds need to be active and busy in order to be at their best.  They are wonderful dogs for a household including children as they are quite gentle with and protective of their family members so definitely do a great job at keeping everyone as safe as possible.  Even though loyal and protective, Dutch Shepherd also love to play and are quite willing to join in any physical games, sports, or just roughhousing with their owners.  In-home settings they are alert but relaxed and cheerful until something or someone unknown enters their domain and then they quickly become vigilant and on guard.  They enjoy learning and are very social with their loved ones which can include other pets within the home easily.

Training Dutch Shepherds is fairly easy as they are so intelligent while also eager to please their owners.  They are capable of learning just about anything physical or agility related which is why they are often used as military and protection dogs.  They learn best if their training is consistent with firm boundaries, but without any harsh methods or yelling which confuses their instinctive affection for their trainers and/or owners.  Mean, punitive discipline should never be used and won’t even be called for if trained properly as Dutch Shepherds so love to please their owners.

Dutch Shepherd Dog Organisations in Australia
No club information listed

Dutch Shepherd Dog Organisations in the UK
North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue

Dutch Shepherd Dog Organisations in the US
North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue

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