Schapendoes dutch sheepdog breed image

Dutch Sheepdog (Schapendoes)

Dutch Sheepdog (Nederlandse Schapendoes) were found in the heathlands of the Netherlands wherever there were flocks of sheep. Shepherds valued the Schapendoes for its intelligence and the tireless pleasure it took in its work. The breed had appeared at agricultural shows but, for reasons unknown, virtually disappeared after that. During World War II, P.M.C. Toepoel, a canine authority, made an effort to re-establish the breed and bred from whatever specimens could be found.

The Dutch Sheepdog Nederlandse Schapendoes is a herding dog which was used for herding flocks of sheep and is still used in the same capacity today. As pasture for sheep is situated mainly in quiet, lonely areas of the country, it is necessary for the Schapendoes to be equipped with great endurance, mobility and speed.

General Appearance: The Dutch Sheepdog Nederlandse Schapendoes is a lightly built, long coated dog with a height at withers of 16 to 20 inches (40 to 50 cm). His movement is effortless and springy. He is a remarkable jumper.

Dutch Sheepdog Schapendoes

Dutch Sheepdog Schapendoes

Dutch Sheepdog Temperament: The Dutch Sheepdog Schapendoes is a normally and harmonically constructed herding dog with an attentive and courageous character. He is intelligent, watchful, jolly, lively, friendly and high spirited. Towards people familiar to him, he develops great affection and loyalty.

Size: Height at withers for dogs: 17 to 20 inches (43to 50 cm) and for bitches: 16 to 18 inches (40 to 47 cm).

Coat: The Schapendoes has a thick coat with sufficient undercoat. The coat is long, a good 2.7 inches (7 cm) or more in the region of the hindquarters. It is not smooth, but lightly waved. Definitely curly, frizzy hair is not permitted. The hairs grow very densely together; they are fine and dry, but above all, never silky. The coat, where it is long, is inclined to stand off in tufts, giving the Schapendoes a large girth, especially at the rear. The Schapendoes has a tremendous top knot, moustache and beard.

Colour: All colours are permitted. Preference is given to blue-grey to black.

Head: The abundant growth of hair gives the head the appearance of looking bigger and, in particular, broader. Skull: almost flat with a moderate frontal furrow and strongly defined superciliary arches. It is fairly broad in proportion to its length, the width is slightly greater than the distance between the stop and the occiput. Stop: clearly defined but not steep. Nose: the bridge of the nose is placed a little lower than the line of the skull. Muzzle: is shorter than the distance between the stop and the occiput. The foreface tapers hardly, remains deep and ends broadly, being only slightly rounded at its end. Seen from the side, with jaw closed, the lower jaw must be clearly visible. Teeth: normally developed scissor bite. Cheeks: the zygomatic arches are strongly prominent. Eyes: the eyes are fairly large, round and set into the socket in a normal position. They are placed more to the front than the side of the head. Their colour is brown; they should not give the impression of being black. The white of the eye should only be visible when the dog looks hard to one side. The expression is open minded, honest and lively. Shape, colour and expression are very characteristic for the breed. Ears: these are set on fairly high and are neither large nor fleshy. They hang free, but not close to the head. They are amply feathered and mobile, but should not protrude beyond the outline of the skull.

Neck: The head is carried high on a strong, clean neck.

Forequarters: The front legs are straight and lightly boned. Good angulation of the front legs should emphasise the fore-chest. Pasterns: Springy.

Body: The Schapendoes is slightly longer than high. The skeleton is fine boned, pliable and elastic. Topline: curved over a strong muscular loin. Chest: deep. Ribs: are moderately to well sprung; they reach far back. Lower loin and belly: not too tucked up.

Hindquarters: Pelvis: in a well-slanted position. Hocks: moderately angulated, well muscled. Metatarsus: short. Feet: the feet are fairly large and elastic, broad and oval in shape. The toes are tightly bunched. The pads are thick and springy, with – plentiful hair between them. Dewclaws are permitted.

Tail: The tail is long, well coated and feathered. The manner and way in which the dog carries his tail is characteristic of the breed. In repose it hangs downwards. When trotting, the tail is carried fairly high and swings slightly curved from one side to the other. When galloping, it is stretched out straight. When jumping, the tail definitely serves as a rudder. When the dog is alert, the tail may sometimes be raised high. It should, however, never be carried stiffly over the back.

Schapendoes Dutch Sheepdog


Gait: In his work, the Schapendoes gallops rather than trots, so his movement must be light footed and springy without excessive use of energy. He must be able to jump well and turn swiftly.

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Disqualification: No Schapendoes which behaves nervously and/or aggressively in the ring will be placed or classified.

Link: Dutch Sheepdog (Schapendoes) club

Schapendoes (Dutch Sheepdog)