Schapendoes is a Dutch sheepdog but should not be confused with the Dutch Shepherd, a very different breed. The Schapendoes is a drover and was used to move the sheep from the farm to pasture and back again. Breed experts say the breed is related to the Puli, the Briard, and perhaps the Bearded Collie.
Schapendoes dogs stand between 15 and 19.5 inches tall and weigh 30 to 40 pounds. They are lightly built and should never be heavy and cumbersome. The skull is broad, the muzzle is short, the eyes are large and brown, and the ears are dropped. The body is slightly longer than the dog is tall at the shoulder. The tail is long. The undercoat is thick and the outer coat is long and wavy. The face is coated and has a topknot, mustache, and beard. All colors are permitted. The coat requires twice weekly brushing to prevent matting.
Schapendoes dogs love to play, and additional grooming is needed when they get wet or pick up dirt, debris, or grass seeds in their coats. These dogs are calm in the house and will adapt to a wide variety of lifestyles. However, they require a good walk and time for play each day. The Schapendoes dog breed is not hyper or high-strung although they are active dogs. They love to play and have a delightful sense of humor. Training can help challenge this breed’s clever mind, and during the training the breed is easily motivated by food.
The Schapendoes dog breed can be stubborn at times or can be distracted by more interesting alternatives to the training. The training needs to be varied and fun. Although socialization is always important, this is not a guardian dog breed. They will announce arrivals to their home but are not aggressive. Schapendoes need an owner who enjoys having a canine shadow; these are companion dogs. The owner should also enjoy grooming the dog. The Schapendoes breed is great with children, is not at all dog-aggressive, and is also good with other pets. The primary health concern is hip dysplasia.