The Dutch Shepherd resembles the Belgian Shepherd Dog in coat type and physical characteristics, sans color. His original herding abilities still intact, the Dutch Shepherd is lively, energetic and active with plenty of stamina, reflected in his physical appearance: his body is medium-sized, powerful and well-muscled and is slightly longer than tall.
A breed native to the Netherlands and dating back to 1898, the Dutch Shepherd was originally used as a sheepdog and all-purpose farm dog. Versatile and multifunctional, the Dutch Shepherd also is used as a companion and guard dog. By 1900, industrialization overtook flocks of sheep, and also consequently the shepherd dogs that herded the sheep, were largely replaced by industrialization and the repossession of land for alternate uses. Hence, the Dutch Shepherd was used for other tasks, such as police and military work. Regardless, he retained his natural herding ability to this day and is still often used for this purpose. The United Kennel Club welcomed the Dutch Shepherd into its Herding Group in 1995.
Intelligent, independent and determined, the Dutch Shepherd can have a mind of his own, but nonetheless is devoted, eager to please and obedient toward his owner. He is loyal and steadfast, serving as a vigilant watchdog. Proper socialization is a must for this relatively reserved breed.
The Dutch Shepherd’s brindle coat can be one of three types: short-hair, long-hair or rough-hair. All shed seasonally and thus require weekly brushing on average. Regular teeth brushing, ear cleaning and nail trimming, as well as the occasional bath, also are a must. The Dutch Shepherd thrives on having a job to do but is capable of turning the on-off switch for work, play and relaxation. He should be given plenty of mental and physical stimulation, and is an excellent fit for an active household with other dogs. Obedience training is recommended for the intelligent, independent Dutch Shepherd; without it, he may become high strung.