The Dutch Shepherd was discovered as a naturally shepherd’s dog living in rural areas. It was developed as an all-farm farm dog, originally operating as a farm guard, drawer, and livestock dog. A famous dog fan wrote about the Dutch Shepherd in 1910: “… there is a great resemblance to a wolf.” Of course this is not entirely true, but it is another aspect that shows that the Dutch Shepherd still has many characteristics of its wild pebbles. Although it is not a widely known breed, the Dutch Shepherd is a loyal companion and capable Working Dog, used as obedience, dog sports, herring, tracking, search and rescue, and police dogs.
Dutch Shepherd is a natural land-breed originating in the Netherlands. Long ago, shepherds and farmers needed a versatile dog, a “”jack-of-all-trades””, well adapted to the rigorous and sparse existence of the time. In addition to his role as a shepherd’s dog, at the farm he kept the chickens away from the kitchen garden, kept the cows together for weaning, and pulled milk-laden carts or drove them to the market. He also saw the children and warned the farmer that if strangers entered the farm.
First breed standard dates from June 12, 1898. In this original standard, any coat color was allowed, but by 1914, it was decided that the Dutch Shepherd should only be brittle so as to distinguish it from other similar breeds of the time, the German Shepherd and the Belgian Shepherd. . Around 1900, sheep herds in the Netherlands, and shepherd dogs that herd them, were mostly replaced by industrialization and restoration of land for other purposes. The versatile skills of the Dutch Shepherd made it suitable for new careers such as police dog, search and rescue, and guide dog for the blind. The breed has retained its original herring ability, and is still used for this purpose.
Dutch Shepherds are medium-sized, muscular shepherd dogs from the Netherlands.
They have a wedge shaped head and almond shaped eyes. Their ears stand straight. The tail hangs down with a slight curve at the end while at rest. The feet have arched toes.
The double coat has a woolly undercoat. There are 3 coat lengths/varieties:
The American Kennel Club (AKC) lists a yellowish brindle color, contrary to the breed standard and breed club.
The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 days The primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time.
The Dutch Shepherd’s coat may be a gold strip or a silver strip. There are also three coat types: short hair, long hair and rough hair. Short hair types will only require topical brushing. Visit the daily brushing during the seasonal shedding period in Spring and Fall. Long-haul dogs have to be groomed once or more per week, if their work level and environment requires it. Types with thick hair require a comb once per month and the coat is hand-peeled twice per year.
Bathing can be done as required. Their nails can be trimmed, if necessary, with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and breakage. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris that may result in infection. The teeth should be brushed.
A very intelligent breed who loves a challenge, the Dutch Shepherd is ready to be obedient. Due to their deep intelligence, this breed does better with shorter training sessions (with little repetition), and they become more driven as the work becomes more mentally stimulating. Without training, this breed will become very independent and begin to make their own decisions, so obedience training is highly recommended. Gifted with a real cowboy temperament, this breed excels in many different areas including, but not limited to, cowboy, odor detection, scent tracking, IPO, obedience, and agility.
Originally bred as an all-purpose farm dog, the Dutch Shepherd has also excelled as a police and military dog. As such, it has been bred for hard work and lots of it. Motivated to do their chosen work, this dog will differentiate between work, play and freezing time, adjusting its energy level accordingly. This breed does not want to be a pet at home; They want to be your partner in life. Provided with proper mental and physical exercise, this dog makes a great pet for an active family familiar with dogs.
Naturally athletic, this breed should be given high-quality food, the amount of which reflects their individual activity level. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large, and extra-large breeds. The Dutch Shepherd is a medium-large breed and can range in age from 11 to 14 years.
What you feed your dog is a personal choice, but working with your vet and / or breeder will be the best way to determine the frequency of feeding as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase longevity. . Clean, fresh water must be available at all times.
Due to being a lesser known breed and due to Dutch breeding regulations, the Dutch Shepherd is generally a healthy breed. As with any breed, occasional incidences of other diseases occur. Current testing is underway to determine if other necessary tests are needed.
Breeders should screen for hip dysplasia in all coat types. Long-haired types should also be investigated for thyroid issues, and thick-haired for gonoidysplasia.
Recommended Health Test from Parents Club