Type: Herding Dog

Height: 16 - 20 inches.

Weight: 33 lbs.

Life Span: 14 years is average.

Litter Size: 5 puppies is average.

Country of Origin: Netherlands

Activity: High

Watch-dog: High

Guard-dog: Low

Description: The Schapendoes, is a friendly, high-strung breed native to the Netherlands. They are large sized dogs with a lot of shaggy fur, but a demeanor that is quite welcoming. Schapendoes are intelligent, lively and courageous, and used to be known as a dog of commoners. For this reason, the Schapendoes was never over-bred, and retains almost no health problems. A Schapendoes is longer than it is tall, with medium length drop ears, a long tail, and long shaggy fur. They have a wide skull and short muzzle. They have large round eyes that are often covered in a brow of fur. The coat is slightly clumpy, thick and wavy. They have long feathering on the ears and tail as well. Schapendoes are brave, independent and can sometimes be stubborn. They make a playful and affectionate companion, however, and have been adored for their ruffled, unkempt look. They have served well as a sheepdog, and have been referred to as the Dutch Sheepdog, distinguished from the Dutch Shepherd. Schapendoes are cheerful as well as hardy, and make a great contribution to a rough-and-tumble type of family.

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Other Names: Dutch Sheepdog, Dutch Schapendoes

Colors: All colors are acceptable, but blue grey and black are preferred.

Coat: Long, dense, harsh and with a tendency to wave. It will mat if not brushed out.

Temperament: Schapendoes are lively, active, and fun-loving. They are very playful, and will play tirelessly with children. They are friendly, cheerful and intelligent. Brave and courageous, this breed has been kept as a sheepdog for a long while. They are gentle, can be independent minded, and stubborn. They are affectionate with friends and family, and not an aggressive breed. They make excellent watchdogs. They can be a bit high-strung. They have a lot of energy and like to do a job. They have strong herding instincts. They are good natured, easily trained and reliable.

With Children: Yes, good with children. They are a source of endless playfulness.

Special Skills: Sheep herder and family pet.

Care and Training: The fur can get rather matted when they are puppies, so frequent brushing should occur. They have naturally shaggy and unkempt fur, but it does require brushing to remove tangles and mats. The Schapendoes' ears should be checked regularly for infection and/or to remove debris. They have rather shaggy ears which can attract sticks and other debris. Nails and teeth should be checked periodically. This breed is somewhat energetic, but gets most of its exercise from jumping, running, playing or herding. They get much exercise if they have a job to do, or a child to play with.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving

Special Needs: Attention, exercise, grooming, and a job or activity to do.

Living Environment: The Schapendoes needs a place to run and play. They have a lot of energy and need to expel it. The best owner for this breed would be an active, dog-experienced owner living a rural or suburban home.

Health Issues: Hip dysplasia. This is a rather healthy breed.

History: Their root stock is said to be the same as that of the Briard, Puli, Bearded Collie and the Bergamasco. The breed has never been well known, and is still rare outside of its native country. Schapendoes were known as a breed of the commoners in the late 19th century and early 20th century, not associated with royalty and therefore not highly populated. This served as a good thing for the breed, seeing as how they have not been over-bred and have minimal health problems. Schapendoes' numbers dwindled around the time of World War I, however, with English Border Collies replacing the breed and their popularity low. Despite this, fanciers brought the breed back. Publicist and inspector P.M.C. Toepoel was a fan of the breed and rallied others to help bring the Schapendoes' numbers back up. Due to his interest and efforts, the breed was in its first dog show in the 1940s. Kennels have kept its numbers not extensively high for good reason, and large kennels of this breed are said to only hold up to four or five at a time with puppies. Today the breed is known in several European countries, and is rarely used as a herding dog.

First Registered by the AKC: 2005

AKC Group: Herding Group

Class: Herding

Registries: FCI, AKC