Country of Origin: The Dutch Shepherd, also known as the Hollandse Herdershond, is very closely related to the Belgian Shepherd and both breeds originated from the same general gene pool of herding dogs that also produced the German Shepherd. The Dutch Shepherd, like it's other counterparts, is a jack of all trades. The breed was and still is utilized as a farm guard, herder, cart-puller, guard, police and security dog. While the Dutch Shepherd has a wide range of talents, they are a relatively rare and unknown breed. Even in the Netherlands numbers are low and the Dutch Shepherd's wire haired variety's numbers are dangerously low. Separate divisions of the Dutch Shepherd based on coat texture came about when dog shows began 100 years ago.
Size: The female Dutch Shepherd will typically reach heights of 21.5-23.5 inches tall while the male will typically reach heights of 22.5-24.5 inches tall. The average weight of the Dutch Shepherd is 50-70 pounds.
Coat: The Dutch Shepherd is divided by three categories based on coat texture. The long-haired variety exhibits long and straight hair that lays flat against the body and feels harsh to the touch. The short-haired variety's hair is moderately short and feels hard to the touch. Lastly, the wire-haired variety exhibits medium length dense hair that appears more curly than wiry. The Dutch Shepherd may exhibit heavy white markings on the chest and feet, which is undesirable for the show ring. The most common coat colors are brindle with shades of silver and gold as well as brindle with dark striping. A blue brindle variety is listed for the wire-haired version of the Dutch Shepherd as well. The most common coat variety for the Dutch Shepherd is the short-haired.
Character: The Dutch Shepherd is an intelligent, happy and affectionate breed. They are very eager to please and enthusiastic about their work. The Dutch Shepherd is territorial and will protect their owner and the family. The Dutch Shepherd is regarded highly in activities such as catch, agility, guard work, field trailing, obedience competition and companionship.
Temperament: The Dutch Shepherd is very friendly, energetic and loving. They are regarded as excellent companions and will be very happy to spend his off time lounging or playing with the family. The Dutch Shepherd is known to get along well with children, provided that the dog sees the child as ranking above him in the pack. The Dutch Shepherd will greet family friends with enthusiasm and will be happy to make new friends, provided they are well socialized. However, the Dutch Shepherd makes a wonderful guard dog, as they will be quick to protect against unwanted intruders. The Dutch Shepherd is also known to get along very well with other dogs as well as non-canine family pets, though it is best if the puppy is raised with them.
Care: The Dutch Shepherd requires grooming on a regular basis. Both the long and short-haired varieties will need to be brushed and combed regularly to remove any dead hairs. However, the wire-haired variety will need to be professionally plucked 1-2 times per year and should never be brushed. Although, combing on occasion with a coarse comb is fine as long as moderation is used. The all-weather coat of the Dutch Shepherd will lose it's natural oils if it is bathed too often, so give baths only when necessary.
Training: The Dutch Shepherd is very intelligent and eager to please making training this breed a relatively easy task. The Dutch Shepherd is known to pick up commands quite quickly. It is necessary for the owner to be firm and consistent and exert their place as leader.
Activity: The Dutch Shepherd will be happiest when they have a job to do, as this breed requires both physical and mental exercise. The Dutch Shepherd makes an excellent jogging companion and will be happy to run next to you or alongside your bike. Regular daily walks in addition to other outdoor activity will be best for the Dutch Shepherd. The Dutch Shepherd will also benefit from regular drills throughout the week in place of herding duties.
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