Dutch Shepherd

60-70 lbs
Hollandse Herdershond, Dutchie

The Dutch Shepherd is a very intelligent breed that is not well known. Many who have had the pleasure of owning a Dutch Shepherd liken him to a workaholic. He lives to work, whether he is herding sheep, doing therapy work, agility, obedience or even police work. The Dutch Shepherd is not recommended for the first time dog owner. He requires daily exercise and training that provides him with enough physical and mental stimulation that he does not become overly bored. If he does not get the attention or exercise he needs, the Dutch Shepherd can easily become destructive. For the experienced dog owner, the Dutch Shepherd makes a wonderful companion.

Herding, Protection
Date of Origin

Dutch Shepherd Health

Average Size
Male Dutch Shepherd size stats
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 65-70 lbs
Female Dutch Shepherd size stats
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 60-70 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Sensitive to Anesthesia
Minor Concerns
  • Goniodysplasia
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Blood
  • Blood Test
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Dutch Shepherd Breed History

Many people often mistake the Dutch Shepherd and the Belgian Shepherd since they share a very similar breed standard. The main differences are coat color, size and proportion requirements. Although the Dutch Shepherd’s origins are somewhat muddied, it is suggested that they descend from the same herding dogs that also created the Belgian Shepherd and German Shepherd. He was originally bred in the early 1800s in the southern part of the Netherlands. The largest population of Dutch Shepherds was found in Brabant which bordered Belgium. The Dutch Shepherd’s original purpose was a farm dog, guard dog, cart dog, herder, security or police dog. The Dutch Shepherd is virtually an unheard of breed outside of Holland. In Holland, he is still valued as an excellent herding dog. The number of Dutch Shepherds has decreased over the years. In the 1940s and 1950s, the Dutch Shepherd was almost extinct because modern farming reduced his need on the farm. During World War II all breeding was stopped in the Netherlands. Many dogs died from starvation or were taken into Germany for use in the German military. This caused many of the Dutch Shepherd bloodlines to become extinct. The Dutch Breed Club began actively trying to resurrect the Dutch Shepherd and added new blood to the gene pool by using the Malinois. After a time, the cross breeding was stopped by the Dutch Breed Club. The Dutch Shepherd is still a rare breed. The United Kennel Club officially recognized the Dutch Shepherd in 1995. In 2012, the American Kennel Club allowed the Dutch Shepherd to begin being recorded in its Foundation Stock Service. This is the first step toward the breed being officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Dutch Shepherd Breed Appearance

The Dutch Shepherd is well muscled and medium sized. He comes in several different colors including brindle, gray brindle, silver brindle, gold brindle, blue gray, and salt and pepper. He has an intelligent expression and comes in three different coat types: short, long and wire-haired. Short-hair coat should be close fitting to the body, harsh in texture with a woolly undercoat. Longer hair should be visible around the ruff, breeches and tail. Long-hair coat should be straight, long and harsh to the touch with no curl or wave. The ruff, breeches and tail should be profusely coated. Wire-hair coat is harsh, tousled and very dense. There is a dense undercoat everywhere except his head. His coat should be close to the body. He will have a beard and two well defined eyebrows.

Dutch Shepherd Breed Maintenance

The Dutch Shepherds require a lot of physical and mental exercise to be a happy, well-adjusted companion. Provide lots of opportunity for him to play, run and perform a specific job. Since he is a herding breed, he should not be let off leash when out of his yard. He does require regular grooming, although the long-hair and wire-hair variety will require much more intensive grooming than the short-hair variety. A steel comb and natural bristle brush will be needed to remove any dead and loose hairs in the short and long-hair variety. The wire-hair variety will need to have his coat plucked twice a year. If you are unsure as how to pluck his coat, you can take him to a groomer who is familiar with the process. You should never use a brush on a wire-hair Dutch Shepherd. 

Dutch Shepherd Temperament

The Dutch Shepherd is a very competent dog. He can easily excel in agility, obedience, guard work, herding, catch and field trailing. As he becomes more popular within the United States, he is also doing well in conformation events. The Dutch Shepherd is happiest when working and requires a good deal of mental and physical stimulation. He is friendly, playful and full of energy. He is also cunning and can outsmart his owner when given the opportunity. He is great with children as long as he sees children as higher in the pecking order than him. He will be loyal to his family, especially his handler. He is not the right dog for the inexperienced dog handler. 

Dutch Shepherd Owner Experiences

5 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Extremely loyal dog, very good guardian. Intelligent and affectionate but only with us.
3 months ago
2 Years
2 People
House & Yard
backpacking, travel, walks in desert
Owned 8 German Shepherds before this, and they were family and protection dogs, as well as traveled overseas. This Dutch Shepherd would not be for everyone, as is stated here. He is extremely energetic, outrageously smart, likes most people, and is VERY stubborn.
9 months, 2 weeks ago
14 Months
2 People
House & Yard
Fetching tennis balls
Smart fast learner with lots of energy and lots of love to give.
1 year, 1 month ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd