The Dutch Shepherd: Old Breed, New Interest

The Dutch Shepherd is not a commonly sought after breed among typical dog owners. While their unique talents come to life in the fields of police and military work, they are increasing in popularity for their protective nature and loyal disposition.

Known as a “working” dog, the Dutch Shepherd comes in three varieties, long, short, and wire-haired. They tend to be brindle in color or shades of gold and silver. The typical weight of a Dutch Shepherd is 50-70 pounds. They have a life expectancy of 12-15 years. Their bodies are sleek and muscular. They are excellent in areas of agility, catch, obedience competitions, guard work, herding, field trailing and companionship. Their protective nature makes them the ideal guard dog while their love and loyalty allows them to fit in well in a family setting. Maintaining a strong pack leader position is key in keeping this intense dog under control while providing regular opportunities for them to exercise such as daily walks, fetch, biking, and hiking. They tend to do well in all types of weather. Snow or sun they will be up for a run and playing about outdoors.

The Dutch Shepherds are very similar to the Belgian Shepherds. While they differ slightly in size and color, they both originate in the continental herding dogs that also created the German Shepherd around the same time as the Belgian and Dutch Shepherd. The breed evolved in the early 1800s in the southern part of the Netherlands. The Dutch Shepherd is almost unknown outside Holland where it is valued for its ability as a herder and for its quick reflexes. Originally an all-purpose farm guard, herder, cart-puller, guard, police and security dog.

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