Updated 02-09-2023

Dutch Shepherd

The Dutch Shepherd is an intelligent, extremely trainable multi-talented dog that was first employed by shepherds in the Netherlands for general farm tasks. They work as service animals, family-friendly pets, and police dogs in the modern world.

The Dutch Shepherd and German Shepherds or Belgian Shepherds may appear to be very similar when you look at them. This is so because these closely related breeds only recently began to diverge, only a little more than a century ago. Dutch Shepherds are recognised to be among the healthiest and simplest to train shepherd breeds, while being less common than many other shepherd breeds.

They have gorgeous brindle coats in three different varieties. A Dutch Shepherd would fulfil all of your needs if you wanted a dog that would perform admirably in competitions, serve as a watchdog, keep you active, adore your family, and offer devoted, affectionate, submissive companionship.

For a complete list of Dutch Shepherd dog breed characteristics and information, see below.


  • The Dutch Shepherd has three different coat types: wire hair, long hair, and short hair. The majority of Dutch Shepherds utilized in law enforcement have short hair, and wire-haired Dutch Shepherds are generally relatively uncommon.
  • The coat color was once the primary distinction between Dutch Shepherds and German Shepherds or Belgian Shepherds. Since then, all three breeds have acquired more distinctive characteristics and breed criteria.
  • After World War II, when breeding was banned in the Netherlands and many canines were seized to serve in the German troops, Dutch Shepherds were almost driven to extinction.
  • Dutch Shepherds have fewer health issues than other shepherd dogs.
  • The Dutch Shepherd makes a great guardian and is devoted to its owners' families. Although they are not known for being particularly noisy, they will bark if an outsider enters their domain.
  • The Dutch Shepherd's coat is brindled, with hues ranging from red chestnut to sandy gold. A flaw is considered to be too much black or white in the fur.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easy-going," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

The playful nature of certain dogs never fades away, and they're always ready for a game, whereas the reserved and serious tendencies of other dogs develop through time. Think about how many times a day you want to play fetch or tag with your dog, and whether or not you have children or other dogs who can act as substitutes.

Personality Appearance


In the same way as working dogs, such as those that herd sheep, are bred for intelligence and decision-making, working dogs like those who run all day need to exercise their bodies. The two most common activities that a bored pet engages in are digging and chewing, both of which require mental stimulation. There are several ways to keep a dog's brain active, including obedience training, interactive dog toys like tug of war, and dog sports like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

Energy-draining dogs are always on the lookout for a new activity. There are several jobs that require a lot of stamina from dogs, such as herding livestock or recovering prey for hunters. Children are more likely to engage in activities such as jumping, playing and exploring new sights and smells as a result of this change in their environment

A low-energy dog is more like a couch potato than a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Think about your level of physical activity and whether or not you find a hyperactive dog irritating before making your final choice.

Easy To Train

Easy to train dogs can more easily form associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward than dogs that are more difficult to train. Dogs that require more time, patience, and repetition are more difficult to train.

Getting your dog interested in training will require incentives and games because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" mentality when it comes to learning new things.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others form deep bonds with one individual but are uninterested in the rest of the family; still other types shower their entire family with affection. Canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and develop stronger ties, regardless of their breed or upbringing.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Dog friendship and human friendship are two entirely different things. The fact that a dog is friendly with humans doesn't mean it's immune to aggression or aggression from other dogs; some canines choose to play rather than fight; others will just run away. The type of animal isn't the only consideration. Dogs who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother at the age of six to eight weeks are more likely to be socially competent.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others ``blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a deshedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighborhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


21 to 25 inches


50 to 70 pounds

Life Span

12 to 15 years


As you might expect, the Dutch Shepherd was originally bred to be a working dog for shepherds. Dutch Shepherds were employed on farms throughout rural Holland for a variety of tasks. Sheep and other livestock could be herded by them, and they could also pull carts, keep birds out of the gardens, and serve as watchdogs.

Although the breeds have varied a little more in the last 100 years and have their own breed standards, there was initially not much to distinguish Dutch Shepherds from German Shepherds or Belgian Shepherds except from coat color. Modern times have seen a rise in the rarity of the Dutch Shepherd. Modern farming methods rendered these dogs obsolete for herding and other farm duties, and breeding in the Netherlands ceased during World War II.

Numerous dogs starved to death, and the German military also took some of the highly trainable canines for use in the armed services. After the war, breeders resumed the work of breeding Dutch Shepherds and mingled in dogs of unknown provenance. Despite the breed's continued rarity, Dutch Shepherds are utilized as guiding dogs, search and rescue dogs, and for law enforcement. They still possess their herding skills from their time on farms and participate in dog sports.

Personality & Temperament

The Dutch Shepherd is without a doubt one of the most intelligent breeds in existence today. They are renowned for their versatility and ability to excel in a variety of various tasks. They take pride in what they do and will work hard to fulfil any responsibilities that are given to them. They are easy to train because they are docile and eager to please.

They can be fiercely loyal to their family, but if socialised from an early age, they will happily make friends with strangers. Although loyal to their master, they won't think twice to go into guard dog mode if they sense any threat. As long as they are exposed to other creatures from an early age, they usually get along well with them.

When not working, they are jovial and content, relaxed, and make loving pets. In this breed, aggressiveness and shyness are negative characteristics, thus the perfect Dutch Shepherd will be self-assured and well-behaved.


The Dutch Shepherd is a robust breed with little care requirements for its owners. You will need to watch how it interacts carefully. Don't attempt to compel socialization. Make it appear organic. The coolest thing about it will be taking it to the neighborhood park. The continuation of its usefulness and appreciation is the second crucial factor. It will ultimately become boring if you don't offer it anything to do. Boredom is the death of furniture for any breed.


We need to be careful of a number of conditions in Dutch Shepherds. These consist of:

Hip Dysplasia

Although Hip Dysplasia has been identified in the Dutch Shepherd, it is a lot less serious problem than it is in the German Shepherd, the Dutch Shepherd's near kin. As an animal ages, hip dysplasia, a crippling orthopedic ailment, causes chronic osteoarthritis.

Animals that have it should not be used for breeding and should be screened for it using x-rays. About 5–8% of Dutch Shepherds are estimated to be affected by this illness.

Elbow Dysplasia

This is a disorder that comprises numerous anomalies that can occur in the developing elbow. Dogs with the condition will display signs of discomfort and frequently have lameness on their front limbs. Imaging can diagnose the problem, and surgery may be beneficial in some circumstances. Elbow dysplasia is estimated to affect 3% of the population.

Atopic Skin Disease

Allergic skin disease is one of the most common reasons a pet will be brought into a veterinarian clinic for treatment. Dogs with the condition typically experience flare-ups of varied severity throughout their lives. Common symptoms include watery eyes, rashes, and itchy skin. There are numerous drugs that each have varying degrees of success.

Masticatory Myositis

a swelling of the muscles close to the mouth that makes it difficult to open the mouth and causes jaw pain. Biopsies can confirm the condition, and with the right care, it has a good prognosis.


Technically speaking, this illness is known as chronic superficial keratitis. Blindness will result if the grayish-pink coating that may cover one or both eyes is not removed. Most often, lifelong medical care is necessary.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Food is not properly digested when inflammatory cells invade the gastrointestinal tract, which can cause dogs to vomit, get diarrhea, and lose weight. It can be challenging to diagnose, and it can take a long time to decide on a course of therapy, which is likely to involve lifetime medication and a change in diet.

Gonio Dysplasia

The wire-haired Dutch Shepherd population has been known to suffer from this extremely uncommon condition. Although it is unknown if it is genetic, breeding animals should undergo screening tests. It will result in fluid accumulation inside the eye, which could eventually lead to blindness.

Recommended Health Test

  1. OFA Hips and Elbows
  2. Thyroid (for the long-haired)
  3. Gonio Dysplasia (for the rough-haired)


Due to their high level of energy, Dutch Shepherds need a lot of high-quality protein to build strong muscles. Protein will also give your dog energy and make it feel fuller for longer, preventing it from begging for food. We advise choosing companies that don't use a lot of chemicals or dyes by reading the ingredients list. It should have actual fruits and vegetables as well as chicken, beef, turkey, or other meat. Omega-3 fatty acid-fortified products can lower inflammation and aid to create a lustrous, healthy coat. Probiotics can assist in restoring intestinal harmony and lowering the incidence of diarrhea and constipation.


There are three different coat lengths for the Dutch Shepherd, and each requires a different level of maintenance. Long hair needs to be brushed three times a week or more, especially during the spring and fall shedding seasons, whereas shorter coats just need to be brushed once a week. Some owners may even hire a professional groomer to maintain the long coat's manageability and tangle-freeness every few months.

To assist reduce the onset of dental illness, we advise physically brushing your pet's teeth as often as possible. You should also trim the nails if you hear them clicking on the floor.


Your Dutch Shepherd is a hard-working dog with plenty of energy. In order to ensure that your dog receives enough exercise, we advise blocking off at least one hour each day. It prefers taking long walks, but it also likes to chase a frisbee or gallop after a tennis ball. It will be much simpler to divide the hour into smaller, simpler-to-manage segments if there are several family members present.


Dutch Shepherd training is simple and incredibly intelligent. Your dog will become more accustomed to a schedule if you hold brief training sessions every day at the same time. It will be eager to pick up new skills and show up prepared and attentive. Your dog will be entertained and think you are too if you give it plenty of treats and affection as positive reinforcement. Consistency, patience, and establishing a light, pleasant atmosphere are crucial to success. Even though this breed is intelligent, it may still take your pet a few weeks to pick up a new skill.

Children And Other Pets

Dutch Shepherds are very devoted to their family, especially to young ones. They are great watchdogs because they usually get along well with people they know and only bark or act wary around strangers.

As with any dog, kids should always be watched when playing with Dutch Shepherds to prevent fun from getting out of hand. To prevent incidents, it's important to teach kids how to properly handle animals.

Additionally, Dutch Shepherds typically get along with other canines and animals. Early socialization training can support Dutch Shepherds' inherent friendliness and ensure that they maintain their composure around unfamiliar people and animals.


The Dutch Shepherd should start socialization at a young age. Additionally, you should begin obedience training as soon as you can to cement your position as the pack leader. Even though the Dutch Shepard is recognized for being a working dog and is adored as a pet, they still require proper training.

To establish a long and happy relationship, early training and socialization of your puppy is vitally essential. Therefore, start training your Dutch Shepherd right away or at the very least enroll them in training courses.

Breeds Similar to Dutch Shepherd

  1. Griffonshire
  2. Australian Shepherd
  3. Anatolian Shepherd
  4. Coton Eskimo
  5. Havachon