Dutch Shepherd originated in Holland as an all-purpose farm and herding dog. The breed was a protective guardian of the flock of sheep and the farm, as well as a herder. These shepherds are now working as search and rescue dogs, military and police dogs, and in the sports of Schutzhund, obedience competitions, and agility. Several organizations register the Dutch Shepherd, and their standards vary slightly.
The Dutch Shepherd dog should be at least 21.5 inches tall but no taller than 27.5 inches, with weight in proportion to height. The Dutch Shepherd dog’s body is slightly longer than the dog is tall at the shoulder. The ears are upright. The tail is long. The Dutch Shepherd coat may be short (hard and smooth with a dense undercoat), long (sturdy with a dense undercoat), or rough (tousled with a dense undercoat). Brindle coloring is preferred, but some other colors are acceptable.
All three coat types shed and need regular brushing, especially during the spring and fall when shedding is at its worst. Dutch Shepherds have a strong prey drive and need to work. They require vigorous daily exercise. Although walks are great for training and socialization, the Dutch Shepherd dogs enjoy a run or a training session on the agility course. A Dutch Shepherd who doesn’t get enough exercise will use her energy in other ways that could be destructive.
Wary of strangers and very intelligent, this breed needs early and ongoing socialization and training. They need to meet a variety of people of all sizes, shapes, and ethnic backgrounds so they can function well in society and learn to make good choices. The Dutch Shepherd needs an owner who can be the dog’s leader and who likes to do things with his dog.
The Dutch Shepherd dog breed needs to work. She is good with kids when raised with them and when the kids treat her with respect. She can be good with other dogs but can also be bossy. This is a healthy breed.