Breed: Herding dog
Height: Male: 57-62 cm, Female: 55-60 cm
Weight: Male: 28 kg, Female: 23 kg
Coat Type: Long, short or coarse
An old herding breed of Dutch dogs, the Dutch Shepherd has its ancestry dating back to The Netherlands, before the 20th century. A loyal, active and powerful dog, it is an obedient member of a family and of a drug detection, bomb detection or rescue team. Dutch Shepherd is a well-muscled dog with a typical shepherd temperament, always eager to please and oblige. It is a very loving, honorable and energetic dog and has sober habits. The dog can be found in three varieties: long-haired, short-haired and wire-haired. The shorthaired variety is widely spread in Holland, while the wire-haired is less common and the longhaired is very rare. Read through the following lines to know more about the Dutch Shepherd dog breed.
The Dutch Shepherd is quite similar to its Belgian cousin, the Belgian Shepherd. It has more German shepherd blood in its lineage though. Although the Belgian Shepherds have become popular in the United States and northern Europe, the Dutch Shepherd is not common outside the Netherlands. Even in Netherlands, its number is limited to around 400 dogs being registered every year. This dog breed was originally bred as an all-purpose farm guard, herder, cart-puller, guard, police and security dog. It evolved in the early 1800s in southern Netherlands, in the province of Brabant and in neighboring Belgium, which was a part of the Netherlands at that time.
The long-haired Dutch Shepherd has long, straight, flat and harsh hair. The shorthaired ones have fine and dense hair, while the wire-haired varieties have hair that is of medium length and wiry. All the three variety of dogs have the same color shades that can vary from shades of brindle, including grey, yellow, silver, red or gold brindle, to blue. The Dutch Shepherd has a muscular and symmetrical body. It has a long muzzle and the teeth are strong and regular. It has dark eyes that are slightly slanting and the ears are relatively small and stiffly erect. The tail is slightly curved.
Dutch Shepherds can compete with all the shepherd dogs in various characteristics, such as agility, catch, obedience competitions, guard work, herding, field trailing and companionship. They are vigilant, watchful, trustworthy, faithful, reliable, undemanding, intelligent and desirable to work. They are enthusiastic workers, affectionate, sober and very loyal to their handlers and family. They are friendly, loving, playful and energetic. They stop unknown visitors on their tracks, while greeting known family friends enthusiastically. The short-haired dogs are most common in defense/ police dog trials.
No significant health problems are associated with Dutch Shepherd dogs.
Regular grooming is required by both long and short-haired Dutch Shepherds. They should be regularly combed and brushed to remove the dead and lose hair. The wire-haired Dutch Shepherd should be plucked professionally twice a year. To give a finishing touch, the hair should be clipped in a few places. It should never be brushed; moderate combing with a coarse comb is sufficient, if necessary. The Dutch Shepherds should be bathed only when necessary; else, the coat will lose all the natural oils in the skin.