The Dutch Shepherd, dog also known as Dutch Herder is widely known in his homeland. The official club of the breed (Nederlandse Herdershonden Club) was founded in 1898 and although this dog is very similar to the Shepherd dog of Belgium, the Dutch Sheepdog comes from different varieties of dogs.
There are three types - short hair, long hair and a rough coat. Short haired and long haired dogs are golden and gray in color. The dogs with rough coat have salt and pepper colored hair.
In the latter part of the 1800s, there was no big difference between the Belgian, German and Dutch Shepherds. All of them were sheepdogs and while differences existed in many aspects, there were numerous crosses between them. In the past most of the German shepherd were brindle, but after several years of selection, tiger color is ejected from the genetic pool of this breed.
Dutch Shpehreds are distinguished as very good guards of cattle and fine police dogs.
The body is well built and proportionate. The head is powerful, medium long with a rounded forehead and well-defined stop. The muzzle is of medium width and slightly blunted. The nose is large, square and necessarily black in color, regardless of the staining of the coat. The eyes are large, dark colored and covered by heavy hair. The ears are relatively large, hanging down. The neck is fairly long and well muscled. The back is straight and not very long. Legs are of medium length, straight, well muscled with plenty of hair. The feet are strong, with thick and hard pads and arched toes. The nails must be black. The tail is of medium length, let down, reaching the hocks and curled at the end.
The height varies from 55 to 64 cm and weight - from 25 to 30 kg.
Character and behavior
The Dutch Shepherd is extremely good natured dog that easily lends itself to training. Strongly attached to his master, he quickly became the darling of the family. Because of his calm temperament and obedience he has become a popular pet and companion. A true, vital and durable dog with a developed intellect, incorruptible, mistrustful of strangers, vigilant, brave and wonderful friend ready to defend his master at the cost of his life. These dogs possess very well-developed defensive reflex.
Training and education
Dutch Shepherds are responsive to learning and are especially good in memorizing voice commands. In some countries they are still used to guard flocks of sheep, but are mainly used for protection of state borders and help the police.
This dog has a very good general health and is only prone to hip dysplasia. The average lifespan is about 12-15 years.
Grooming and care
The breed can be grown in the apartment, but needs daily walks and various exercises. Dutch Shepherds are susceptible to training, quickly understand what is expected of them and will be happy to perform the tasks they are given. Appropriate owners for them are active families with experience in growing dogs. Their fur needs combing, but relatively rare, bathing is not recommended unless absolutely necessary.
Children and other pets
These dogs get along very well with older children and other pets.
The number of the Dutch Shepherd was significantly reduced due to modern farming technologies which eliminate the need of shphered dogs. In the 1940s and 1950s the breed was almost extinct. During the World War II a lot of dogs died, or were stolen and taken to Germany. Many bloodlines became untracable.
Today, the Dutch Shepherd is a rare breed and puppies for sale can be found mainly in the Netherlands. The Breed Club try to encourage every single owner to breed the dogs, increase the number and preserving the health.