Dutch Shepherd: A Complete Guide

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The Dutch Shepherd is the family pet you are looking for: reliable, smart, and always up for a quick game of Frisbee.

Originally being used as a farm guard and herder of sheep in the Netherlands, this cousin of the German Shepherd got its name from its profession.

The Dutch Shepherd is an intelligent and trustworthy pure-breed that is used as police dogs, guide dogs for the visually impaired, training dogs for competitions and most importantly, as family pets.

It radiates energy and is a delight to train and play with. Once trained, it will become your most loyal and intuitive friend.

This dog requires the least amount of care, barring its athletic needs, as it is known for its low levels of barking, drooling and being harmful to its friends.

This active breed is the jack of all trades, being an excellent learner who loves a challenge and responds well to positive reinforcements.

This guide will lead you through any questions you have about the Dutch Shepherd, be it its temperament, diet, exercise needs, or cost of living, and help you make an informed decision regarding whether or not this dog will be suitable for you.

The Dutch Shepherd – Before You Buy…

A close up of a Dutch Shepherds face
The Dutch Shepherd is a multi-talented and clever breed.

Choosing a friend that is suitable to your specific needs is tough, and before deciding upon the Dutch Shepherd as your choice, there must be some questions that arise in your mind, including:

  • Can I afford a Dutch Shepherd?
  • How can I find a reputable breeder?
  • Is the Dutch Shepherd the right choice for me?

This in-depth guide will help you select your new family member wisely.

What price are the Dutch Shepherd puppies?

The Dutch Shepherd is priced on a medium scale of $1000 to $1200.

Alternatively, if you adopt a Dutch Shepherd from rescue homes, the cost would be somewhere around $50 to $500.

Including food, medical costs, treats and toys, the annual cost of keeping the Dutch Shepherd can be somewhere around $400-$800 depending on the quality of products and services.

How to find reputable Dutch Shepherd breeders?

Finding the best breeder for your new pet is an important step towards beginning your journey.

More often than not, many eager buyers often miss out on getting their little pups because of the confusion surrounding the idea of how to approach the right breeder that can provide a Dutch Shepherd in accordance with their preferences.

If you are thinking of adopting a Dutch Shepherd, there are non-profit organizations such as the North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue, which help find new families for this breed.

Moreover, the local shelter may also be a good place to start your search. You can also dig up breeders on Google, reading up on their history, their reviews given by other people, and the variety of dogs available.

However, if you want a trained Dutch Shepherd for purposes such as for the visually impaired, you may start your search by recommendations of acquaintances in your social circle that are dog owners.

When getting a Dutch Shepherd from a breeder, always ask for health clearances for hips and eyes.

If you’re buying a Dutch Shepherd online, don’t forget to ask for recent pictures of the dog you are getting, and observe if the breeder has an actual interest in the well-being of the dog or is just looking to make money.

3 Little-known facts about the Dutch Shepherd

A light brown Dutch Shepherd standing in grass
The Dutch Shepherd is dependable, lively and energetic.

Here is some novel information regarding the Dutch Shepherd that you must know before you decide to open your doors to it:

  • The Dutch Shepherd requires weekly brushings with occasional baths to keep its coat in perfect health.

Although they have moderate shedding levels, you must have a vacuum cleaner at hand if you have this bad boy residing in your home.

The wire-haired coats should only be combed and are recommended to be plucked by professionals once in a while.

  • They are adaptable to apartment life.

Although they are the happiest within a family home with children to play with and a yard to play in, they can also be adapted to the apartment setting if trained properly and taken on frequent jogs in the nearby park.

They are not very noisy so you don’t have to worry about their constant barking disturbing you.

They will also prove to be a commendable companion on your morning jogs.

  • This is a highly versatile and trainable dog.

This versatile dog is extremely smart and has a high level of adaptability with a strong sense of smell.

They are highly trainable and loyal, hence can be used for security purposes as well as in the military.

Physical Traits of the Dutch Shepherd

A Dutch Shepherd looking to the side
The Dutch Shepherd is always up for a quick game of Frisbee.

The Dutch Shepherd has a double coat, consisting of a topcoat and a woolly undercoat to keep them warm. The topcoats come in a variety of three different types:

  • Long hair – long, harsh hair that is straight and flat. This type of coat does not have curls or waves. It has light hair on its head, feet, and ears with a heavily coated tail.

The long-haired Dutch Shepherd is less commonly found nowadays.

  • Short hair – these smooth hairs cover the entire body in a close-fitting manner. This type of coat consists of a feathered tail.

This category of the Dutch Shepherd is most frequently found.

  • Wirehaired/Rough-haired – the rarest and cutest of all the other types of coats, the wire-haired coat consists of strong eyebrows, a mustache and a beard around the mouth and nose.

The medium length hairs are curly, tousled, and harsh to the touch and cover the tail.

With almond-shaped eyes and a muscular build, these herding dogs have a slightly downward-crouching tail, erect ears, and arched toes.

The Dutch Shepherd has a brindle coat, meaning it gives off a striped effect.

Their color choices range from a variety of shades of gold or silver brindle such as gray, blue, and gold with occasional white or black markings.

The American Kennel Association (AKC) also lists a possibility of a yellow coat for the Dutch Shepherd.

How big is a full-grown Dutch Shepherd?

Dutch Shepherds are medium-sized dogs that usually weigh between 50 to 70 pounds (23 – 32kgs), with fully-grown males reaching up to 22.5 to 24.5 inches of height and females reaching up to 21.5-23.5 inches.

What is the life expectancy of the Dutch Shepherd?

The life expectancy of dogs usually depends on their size, with smaller size dogs such as the Boston terrier and the Chihuahua having a longer average lifespan.

The Dutch Shepherd, being a medium-sized dog, is lucky in terms of the years ahead of it and would have a longer time period to spend with its human friends.

The life expectancy of a Dutch Shepherd is an average of 13-15 years, which is higher than the average life expectancy of dogs, which is usually around 10-12 years.

Hence, you can enjoy a long, prosperous time with your little athletic friend; matching countless memories over the span of 12-12 years and watch your kids grow old with it!

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Dutch Shepherd

The Dutch Shepherd is one of the agilest and most competent dogs in terms of its trainability, intelligence, loyalty, and companionship.

This cunningly smart breed will not only be your best friend but your protector from strangers and your playmate. Its positive and eager attitude rubs off on you, creating an aura of love around you.

The Dutch Shepherd learns and follows new commands easily once you have established yourself as its leader, as it is a fairly independent dog that needs to be socialized initially to submit to authority.

However, once taught, it will prove to be an extremely loyal, sober and obedient friend who will be eager to learn all the tricks you have dreamt of teaching your new buddy!

They are a pleasure to train and are also commonly used on police and military duty due to their intelligence, sniffing abilities, and overall alertness.

They have a very open and interactive personality due to which they quickly become friends with children and others alike.

However, they are fiercely protective of their owners and will act as a guard dog, and if need be, protect you from any intruder that tries to trespass your territory.

You don’t have to worry about the Dutch Shepherd getting along with any existing dogs you may have, because this breed is a delight to have around for humans and other dogs alike as it gets on well with others.

Lastly, like all of us, this cute pup loves to bask in the attention of others, often found looking for a cuddle or scratch from their human friend.

Its love for attention is second only to its love for learning new things and exploring its capabilities as well as the world around it.

Dutch Shepherd’s Diet

This sporty fellow requires a lot of energy, hence it should be fed a high-quality diet with balanced proportions in accordance with the amount of exercise they get daily.

As they are medium-sized dogs, 2 to 3 cups of food daily will be more than sufficient for them. You should also keep in mind their water intake.

Fish oil supplements are often recommended for Dutch Shepherds to provide nutrition to their skin and coat so that they look fresh and healthy.

How much Exercise does a Dutch Shepherd need?

As stated throughout the article, the Dutch Shepherd is a highly athletic and fun-loving dog that needs constant exercise to burn off its energy.

The breed possesses the agility, speed, and intelligence that it needs to exercise frequently through long walks, hikes, running and playing games like flyball, Frisbee and fetch regularly.

If the right outlet to use its energy is not provided, it may become restless and turn towards the home environment to release it, resulting in destructive behavior such as tearing and damaging furniture.

Hence, exercise is a vital part of the Dutch Shepherd’s lifestyle, as it needs at least an hour of daily exercise.

So, if you are a couch potato whose heart sinks at the prospect of a long hike or daily runs in the park, chances are you may not get along too well with the Dutch Shepherd.

As it is a herding dog that needs to exercise its mind along with its body, you may have to run drills twice a week to keep your Dutch Shepherd content.

The Dutch Shepherd Health and Conditions

The Dutch Shepherd is usually an immensely healthy breed with a few occurrences of diseases and a low hereditary disease rate.

Most of the genetic diseases it has inherited are commonplace among dogs, such as allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, and cryptorchidism.

The breed is rated a 3/5 on the healthy scale, with hip and elbow dysplasia being common with its kind.

For the long-haired Dutch Shepherd, tests for thyroid are recommended, and for its wire-haired counterpart, Gonio dysplasia tests are suggested by doctors.

Apart from these, the Dutch Shepherd is a relatively healthy breed as compared to other dogs, so you need not worry about its health, except about the basic routine dental checkups and weekly brushings.

My final thoughts on the Dutch ShepherdA Dutch Shepherd lying down

This multi-talented and clever breed is the American dream: dependable, lively and energetic.

If you want a ray of happiness around you all the time, go out and run towards your new Dutch Shepherd.

If you are sporty, playful and in search of an exercise partner, this dog will be your best bet. It is easy to train, hence is recommended to experienced pet owners and first-timers alike.

However, if you are lazy and require a low maintenance pet just for the sake of the company and nothing else, this dog may not be the one for you.

We truly hope that this guide helped you understand the challenges and benefits of owning a Dutch Shepherd and has left you with diminished doubts about your decision!

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