Dutch Schapendoes - Origin, Character and Behavior

Dutch Schapendoes: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Dutch Schapendoes is a dog originating from the Netherlands...

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The Dutch Schapendoes is a dog originating from the Netherlands, where, due to its intelligence and agility, it was traditionally used as a herding dog. Over the years, the Schapendoes has become an excellent companion dog thanks to its cheerful and affectionate character. Want to learn more about the Dutch Schapendoes? If this is the case, continue reading this breed sheet from PlanèteAnimal in which you are presented with all the most important characteristics of this breed.


  • Europe
  • Netherlands

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group I


  • Average


  • 45-55

Adult Weight

  • 10-25

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Very loyal
  • Smart
  • Active

Ideal for

  • Shepherd
  • Sports

Hair type

  • Long
  • End
  • Dry

Origin of Dutch Schapendoes

The Dutch Schapendoes is a sheepdog originating from the Netherlands. It was a very popular breed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but during World War II it was on the verge of extinction. With the end of the war in 1945, the serious development of this breed began, until the establishment of the Schapendoes Breed Club of the Netherlands in 1947.

Since its origins, due to its great constancy, speed and agility, it has been a shepherd dog used for guarding flocks of sheep. His ability to jump and his intelligence to act independently make him a great sheepdog.

Characteristics of Dutch Schapendoes

The Dutch Schapendoes is a long-haired, medium-sized dog with a slight build. Females usually weigh between 12 and 20 kg and measure between 40 and 47 cm, while males weigh between 12 and 25 kg and measure between 43 and 50 cm.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) classifies it in group 1, sheepdogs and cattle dogs. Specifically, it is part of Section 1, Sheepdogs.

Here are the main characteristics of his breed standard:

  • The head: it has an abundant coat on the head which makes the head appear much larger than it actually is. In addition, the frontonasal depression (stop) is well developed, although not abrupt.
  • The eyes are large, round and brown, and occupy a rather frontal position on the face. The eyes, open, loyal and lively, are very characteristic of this breed.
  • Ears: high insertions and hanging on either side of the head. They have a long coat and are quite mobile.
  • The neck: strong and slender, it is attached to a body with a light and flexible frame.
  • Tail: long and well covered with hair.Its position varies according to the state of the animal. Thus, when the dog is at rest, the tail hangs very low. At the trot, he carries her rather high and she sways from side to side. At a gallop, he carries it horizontally in order to redirect the jump.
  • Fur: This is without doubt one of the most striking characteristics of Dutch Schapendoes. His hair is long, wavy, thick, fine and dry.

Colors of Dutch Schapendoes

The coat of the Dutch Schapendoes can be any color (white, black, gray, tan, chocolate), but the most common shades range from greyish-blue to black.

Character of Dutch Schapendoes

As a good sheepdog, the Dutch Schapendoes is an intelligent, cheerful and lively dog. He has a sweet and lively character, but at the same time, he has a great temper. In addition to being a good herding dog, it is also an exceptional companion animal that will develop unfailing loy alty to its guardians.

Caring for Dutch Schapendoes

Like all other dog breeds, the Dutch Schapendoes needs basic care to be he althy:

  • Grooming: The coat of the Dutch Schapendoes should not be cut, as it has a protective and insulating function. In order for the coat to be he althy and tangle-free, it should be brushed once a week. Its claws grow quickly and need to be trimmed regularly. His ears should be cleaned weekly and his teeth should be brushed every 2-3 days.
  • Exercise: The Schapendoes is a very active dog that needs daily exercise in order to be physically and mentally he althy. In addition to a few long walks a day, they need good mental stimulation around the house, as they are easily bored dogs.
  • Food: The diet of a Dutch Schapendoes can be commercial or homemade, but in either case, it should be appropriate for the animal's age and activity level.If you have any doubts, it's over here: Dog food or homemade dog food: which is better?

Education of Dutch Schapendoes

The Dutch Schapendoes is a clever and intelligent dog that loves to learn. In general, this is an easy breed to train, as they have a strong desire to please. However, they tend to be rather stubborn, so positive training should be continuous and disciplined. They are also intelligent dogs and able to make decisions on their own, so it is not uncommon for them to try to trick their trainers if given the chance.

The breed is suitable for families with children and other pets, although it is important to socialize them properly from a young age to avoid unwanted behavior as adults. The Schapendoes is a dog that likes to work. In addition, due to its intelligence and ability, it is an ideal breed for canine sports such as agility or flyball.

Find out how to start in Agility!

Dutch Schapendoes He alth

In general, the Dutch Schapendoes is a he althy breed. Its life expectancy varies from 12 to 15 years. However, like any other breed, Schapendoes are not free from disease. One of the most common is progressive retinal atrophy, an inherited condition caused by a genetic mutation.

Where to adopt a Dutch schapendoes?

The Dutch Schapendoes is not a common dog in France, so adopting is not easy. If you want to include a dog of this breed in your family, you can contact a breed club to help you with your research. Either way, remember that what's really important when adopting a new family member isn't that they meet any breed standard, but that you can adapt to their needs. and his way of life.

Pictures of Dutch Schapendoes

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