In ancient times the Sshapendoes was a shepherd dog in the Dutch arable lands. Today he is more and more appreciated because of his good nature, extraordinary qualities and suitability for the family dog, and because of its appearance - soft and silky.
The origin of the breed is not clear, but the kinship ties with Border collie and lowland sheepdog is obvious. What we know for sure is that this breed existed in the Netherlands for centuries. As well as many other shepherd dogs, the Shapendoes almost disappeared during the first half of the 20th century. It was restored after World War II and gradually spread in France. The breed was officially recognized by the FCI in 1971
Today the dog is rare even within the Netherlands, where he retained his role as a shepherd dog. The excellent qualities of this dog begin to attract fanciers in other European countries.
This is a long haired dog, muscular, with harmonious proportions, thin and elastic bone. Slightly longer than high as its dorsal line is not straight, slightly curved at the level of the croup. His gait is flexible and lightweight, natural and smooth as with the other shepherds. He loves canter and jumping.
The head is with almost flat skull, which is rather wider than long, although the proportions are compounded by the thick hair. The muzzle is round, has a pronounced stop. The eyes are semi-covered by the hair, rather large, and must be located almost frontally. You should not see their white contour.
His ears are not large, rather thin, set high and hang along. The paws are big and strong, the tail is long, hairy and rich fringes, quite separate from the body.
Shapendoa fur is dry and fine hair. Especially long and heavy in the back (should reach at least 7 cm), but also on the head (they formed bushy eyebrows, mustache and beard) and on the paws. The coat is rough, not silky, slightly wavy without curly.
The colorations are very diverse - gray, black, white with black, maroon, gray-black, more or less white areas. However, the blue-gray color is particularly preferred and considered a traditional for the breed.
The Dutch Shapendoes males are high between 43 and 50 cm, females 40-47 cm. The weight in both sexes ranges from 12 to 18 kg.
Character and behavior
Strong personality with great intelligence and ability for easy learning - these are the typical characteristics of the breed. The Shapendoes is cheerful and playful, fun-loving, an excellent companion dog. Never nervous nor aggressive, he doesn't bark without reason. Loneliness causes him great suffering.
Training and education
The Dutch Shapendoes is very receptive to any dog training. The educational methods should be consistent and not too much authoritarian. Remember that many of the best qualities of the breed can remain unrevealed if the owner does not care about their development.
This breed needs a daily and long walks and the opportunity to enjoy the prolonged contact with nature, at least at the end of the week. Its easy dressage and inexhaustible energy, combined with excellent physical properties make this dog a great competitor in agility.
The Dutch Shapendoes generally has a good health. The only genetic defect is progressive retinal atrophy - the membrane of the fundus becomes sensitive to light perception. This is a pathology affecting mostly older animals and against which, at least for now, there isn't really effective treatment. Therefore, when you are looking for puppies for sale, you should ask the breeder if the parents suffer from this problem. This is easy to check because there is a specific survey (PRA), by which it is established whether the dog is more or less the winner of this shortcoming.
The average lifespan is between 12 to 14 years.
Grooming and care
This is quite a greedy dog and you should be careful with his diet. Moreover, he is able to soften the owner with his pleading gaze.
The fur does not require special care, as it should retain its natural form, and too frequent or too vigorous brushing can damage the undercoat of the dog.
Children and other pets
The Dutch Shapendoes loves children and can play for hours with them.
The way this dog carries his tail is a hallmark of the breed: at rest – it hangs straight down; when running, the tail is high, curved and moving in all directions; at a gallop it is stretched horizontally.