Dutch Shepherds are not as well known as their cousins, the German Shepherd and the Belgian Shepherd, yet this breed makes an ideal family dog while retaining the skills and agility of a working animal. Listen to one of our professional breeders:
"According to the standard of points, the Dutch Shepherd Dog is an ideal dog. The qualities the dog required for its work with the shepherds have been retained. However, proper training and education is required to allow this dog to develop its character to the fullest. This breed is very social, has a great sense of the natural order in the pack and loves being in company, or rather, in its pack."
The Dutch Shepherd Dog originated in the Netherlands. They are sturdy, hardy, and obedient, yet independent and most of all, reliable. They are fiercely loyal to their pack, highly intelligent, and totally trustworthy. There are three coat-types: short-haired, long-haired and wire-haired. The short and long-haired varieties require minimal grooming, except in the molting period. Brushing once a week should suffice. The rough-haired variety requires professional trimming twice a year. They have a variety of coat colors. These dogs can be found herding sheep, guarding home and hearth, in rescue work, police work, and drug detection. They are a great family pet and guard dog. They weigh 65 to 67 lbs. and stand 22-25" at the shoulders.
The low countries, notably Belgium and the Netherlands, have bred farm dogs for centuries, seeking multi-purpose animals with the intelligence and stamina to accomplish many tasks, especially herding and guarding. The Dutch Shepherd is the result of such breeding on the Netherlands side of the border; the Belgian Shepherd evolved on the other side of that border. Today, the Belgian Shepherd has become recognizable throughout the Americas, but the Dutch Shepherd remains rare even in its own country.
While many people won't correctly identify a Dutch Shepherd on sight due to unfamiliarity with the breed, they will most assuredly know they are looking at a Shepherd of some kind. The long muzzle, erect ears and tail with its slight curve, deep belly, and chest are the trademarks of all shepherds, and the Dutch display their traits with muscle and agility.
There are three types of Dutch Shepherd determined by which kind of hair they have. Long haired, the rarest, refers to those with straight long hair; rather than being soft or silky as on some dogs, on long haired Dutch Shepherds the hair is harsh to the touch; coarse in texture, it lays flat against the dog's body. Short haired Dutch Shepherd, (the majority of dogs in the Netherlands are this type) feel much softer; their fur is fine and smooth, with the density expected of dogs bred to herd and guard. The wire haired variety don't appear as often; unknown whether that's because of human preferences or genetics. They have mid-length hair (as compared to the long and short haired Dutch Shepherds) which is wiry overall.
There's no difference in colors among the hair types: blue or gold, gray, red, silver and yellow brindle. As with most breeds, blue is the rarest; the brindles predominate.