Originally bred for herding sheep or other livestock, the Dutch Shepherd is a versatile medium-sized dog that can also be used as a search and tracking, companion, guide, farm, guard, and a police dog. It comes with a muscular, well-proportioned body, a smart expression, and a lively disposition. Depending on its coat, the Dutch Shepherd can be distinguished into short-haired, long-haired, and rough-haired varieties.
|Other Names||Hollandse Herder, Dutchie, Hollandse Herdershond|
|Coat||Short-haired: Close-fitting, hard, wooly undercoat
Long-haired: Long, well fitting, straight, wooly undercoat
Rough-haired: Dense, harsh, tousled, wooly undercoat
|Color||Brindle, golden or silver base, small amount of white may appear on the chest or toes|
|Category||Herding, Working, Sheepdog|
|Size of Litter||6-10 puppies|
|Temperament||Athletic, alert, friendly, playful, obedient|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Country Originated in||Netherlands|
|Competitive Registration/Qualification Information||ACR, ACA, AKC/FSS, CKC, APRI, FCI, UKC, NKC, DRA|
First found as natural sheepdogs inhabiting the countryside of The Netherlands, the Dutch Shepherds were used by farmers to prevent flocks of sheep from coming near the crops and keep hens away from a kitchen garden at the farm. The original breed standard, established in 1898, allowed these Shepherd dogs to have any coat color. However, in 1914, brindle was accepted as the standard color to distinguish it from Belgian and German Shepherds.
Its population declined in the mid-twentieth century because modern farming techniques were adopted and its breeding programs were stopped after the Second World War. With permission from the Dutch Breed Club, several other breeds like the Malinois and Laekenois were used in breeding to diversify the population. Although their numbers have currently improved, the Dutch Shepherds are still considered rare, gaining recognition from UKC in 1995 and AKC’s Foundation Stock Service in 2012.
Gifted with the real sheepdog disposition, the Dutch Shepherd is characterized by loyalty, reliability, and watchfulness. Known for being an active working dog, it can perform any task independently. Loving, faithful, and willing by nature, it makes an excellent companion for its handler and family. When herding flocks of sheep, it can get along well with other dogs and work together. It does not display any signs of fear, shyness, or viciousness when subjected to unprovoked attacks.
Socialization: Your Dutchie may be a little reserved with strangers, needing proper socialization. After bringing home a Dutch Shepherd puppy, introduce it to new sights, smells, sounds, and come up with different types of people, noises, places, and textures. Walk your pet on tiles, carpet, and hardwood, have it meet a young person, an old person, or a person with sunglasses. Make sure that these new experiences are fun and positive to your pup.
Obedience: Since Dutch Shepherds can be independent or unresponsive by nature, you need to train your dog in a calm and authoritative way. Avoid issuing obedience commands like “sit,” “stay,” or “down” in a harsh or loud voice. Make sure that you do not repeat any command like “sit, sit, sit!” because it could tune your Dutchie out and teach it that the first few commands are a “pretense.”
Be sure to provide your Dutch Shepherd a balanced diet with a mix of broth, water, dry and canned foods. You may give a small quantity of fruits, vegetables, cheese, and cooked eggs.
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