|Sensitivity to strangers
|Affection for family
|Suitable for first-time owners
|Ease of grooming
The Dutch Shepherd is a balanced dog as is almost always the case with cattle guarding breeds.
Among the many types of sheepdogs that exist, the Dutch Shepherd is not one of the best known. We can also say that this is a rather undervalued breed, which could gain more notoriety in the coming years.
As its name suggests, the Dutch shepherd comes from the “land of windmills”. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about this Central European breed with very ancient origins, by analyzing the physical characteristics and temperament of this cattle guardian from Holland.
Let’s start by providing the general information about the breed, beginning with its name. The Dutch Shepherd Dog is also known as Hollandse Herdershond. This dog breed is currently certified and classified by the AKC and the FCI.
There are 3 types of Dutch Shepherds that differ according to their coat:
- Short-haired Dutch Shepherd
- Long-haired Dutch Shepherd
- Hard-haired Dutch Shepherd
The short-haired Dutch Shepherd is probably the most common dog, so our article will focus mainly on it.
As mentioned above, this breed is not very extended outside its country of origin, except for the Scandinavian countries. In Sweden, Denmark and Finland, the Dutch Shepherd is a very popular breed, especially the short-haired variety.
Dutch Shepherd: Origins
Now that we have placed this breed within the “canine geographical map”, we will try to go into detail in the family tree of this Dutch dog to understand how far back in history its ancestors can be traced.
Although there is not much certainty about the origins of this breed, it is believed that they are very old. It is likely that over the years it has also been known as Hollandse Herdershond. However, the breed is unmistakably linked to Holland, as there are several records that show how it traveled with Dutch traders on merchant ships. It is also evident that it has a kinship with its “neighbor”, the Belgian Sheepdog.
This breed was particularly well known and used in the lovely Dutch countryside, which included farms of various sizes and whose economy often centered on sheep and other livestock. Our four-legged friend was used as a skilled and reliable guardian of the mandrakes. Today, it maintains this reputation.
Dutch Shepherd: Physical Characteristics
Let’s take a look at a photograph of this breed to understand its physical characteristics, and how it differs from other types of sheepdogs. This breed is mid-sized and is endowed with all the characteristics of the Cattle Dogs, that is, it is massive and muscular, but this does not mean it is small and robust.
It has a confident and agile gait. In its work, it stands close to the cattle in order to control them step by step. There is not much difference between females and males in terms of weight. An adult Dutch Shepherd weighs around 55/66 lbs (25/30 kg). This breed is 22-24 inches (57-62 cm) tall.
This dog’s legs are rather short and rounded, but they are the support of an absolutely solid and well-balanced body. The head and muzzle have a slightly elongated shape. Its nose, although noticeable, is not very large.
Their ears are usually raised and folded forward. The eyes are dark and almond shaped. let’s talk about the coat of this shepherd: the coat is brindle, often on a tawny-blackish base. However, it is quite common to find specimens with golden or silver tones.
If we consider the breed standard in a strict sense, the following characteristics are considered as defects: the tail or the ears too curled or the excess of white hairs on the chest and legs.
Dutch Shepherd: Temperament
What is the Dutch shepherd’s temperament? When interacting with a specimen of this breed, you will realize that it is a very balanced dog, as is almost always the case with breeds that guard livestock. In fact, these types of dogs are suitable for teamwork. In addition to being diligent, they are easy to train. They learn quickly and are devoted to their work. Loyal and reliable could be the words that best describe them.
The Dutch Shepherd Dog learns quickly and develops a broad view of everything around it. Obedient and loving, this Shepherd is suitable for family environment. It is affectionate with everyone, even with “human puppies”.
All these qualities make it suitable also for other activities that go beyond herding livestock. For example, the Dutch Shepherd can be widely used in rescue, i.e., suitable for Civil Protection. But it is also good at working as a police dog!
Dutch Shepherd: Health
You should know that the Dutch Shepherd is not a pretentious dog. On the contrary, it is an easy to handle, rustic and truthful breed. It adapts to rural and simple living conditions without any problem. It is not aggressive towards anyone.
You must take into account that, as its original work of caring for livestock was carried out outdoors, it is not possible to keep it locked up in an apartment. It is recommended that this dog can be in contact with nature.
That said, a house with a backyard would be ideal. If this is not the case, you should take it for walks at least two or three times a day.
On the other hand, the Dutch Shepherd is “healthy as a fish”. It is a breed that falls ill very little, and which is not prone to frequent hereditary diseases. In addition, no particular diet should be followed. In short, this is a dog that will not give you worries… but a lot of love! In this sense, it is really a pity that it has not yet received the recognition and appreciation it deserves far from the Netherlands.
Dutch Shepherd: Puppies
Where can you find a specimen of this breed? As you can imagine, there are not too many places. However, it is certain that there are specialized and registered breeders in the United States, Australia and England. Also, with a little patience you can find your puppy in Canada, South Africa, and India.
Dutch Shepherd: Price, Breeders, and Puppies for Sale
How much does a puppy of this breed cost? Let’s just say that you will have to spend a reasonable amount of money, considering the many advantages that this dog breed offers. Currently, a regular certified specimen costs between 900 and 1200 dollars, about 700-1000 English pounds.
Over the last few years, this breed has been growing steadily, although it started from a very small number. Did you know that this breed can become more popular thanks to you?
If the aspects and characteristics mentioned in this article made you fall in love with the Dutch Shepherd… pass on the news! It could be the four-legged friend you are looking for. Now that we have clarified all the most important aspects, you can go in search of your new 4-legged friend, who is surely waiting for you.