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Dutch Shepherd Dog Temperament: Who Wants a Fun, Smart, Loyal Dog?

The Dutch Shepherd Dog temperament makes them an excellent companion for a lot of households: these dogs are notorious for their intelligent, obedience, and fun/engaging demeanor. But they can be a handful for inexperienced owners.

Their high need for both physical and mental stimulation tend to be a little taxing for certain owners. In other words, these dogs need an owner who can demonstrate strong leadership and offer a significant amount of attention.

Without these two qualities, a Dutch Shepherd will become downright destructive. It’s best to know whether or not you’re capable of providing these two qualities before you get one. And it’s something we’ll further discuss in the section below.

The Dutch Shepherd Dog Temperament & Personality

An understanding of the following traits will give you a better idea about a Dutch Shepherd’s fit in your household. Before getting one, it’s essential you make sure you’re able to handle the requirements of this particular breed.


Like their relative, the German Shepherd, a Dutch Shepherd will build a significant bond with their family. From this bond, comes a sense of loyalty that’s incredibly apparent with its main handler or trainer.

These dogs will do everything in their power to ensure the safety of their loved ones. In fact, they're protective to the point that they won’t hesitate to risk their lives in the face of danger. As a result, it makes them a fantastic guard dog to have around the house.

In other words, this dog is perfect for a family who’s looking for an animal to keep them safe.

Note: These dogs do have a high prey drive so there will be times when the dog’s barking at a squirrel rather than something genuinely threatening.

But it’s also important you understand that you must show your Dutch Shepherd strong leadership or this loyalty bond won’t form, and their enduring qualities will become problematic rather than useful.


As intelligent breeds go, the Dutch Shepherd dog intelligence is second to none. This high level of smarts makes them incredibly susceptible to training in sorts of areas.

After all, these dogs used to work exclusively for farmers and perform a variety of jobs: herding, protecting the farm, pulling carts of good to market, etc. They became regular stable around farmers because their intelligence made teaching them new things simple.

With the right trainer there’s honestly very little that you can’t train a Dutch Shepherd to do:

  • Agility
  • Search and rescue
  • Obedience
  • Herding,
  • Service Duty
  • Police Work,
  • Regular commands and more

Intelligence can be a double edge sword.

You’ll need to show you Dutch Shepherd dog that you’re their pack leader. If you don’t, he will start displaying his independent streak and using his intelligence to cause mischief around your house.


If you’re looking for a couch potato dog, the Dutch Shepherd dog temperament is the opposite of what you want. These dogs need a lot of exercises, which takes a ton of work to keep up with their needs.

You’ll need to find them a daily source of exercises such as walks, hikes, runs, or even bikes rides. But whatever it is, you should expect to be doing a lot of it. If not, this beautiful dog might turn into a nightmare.

In an ideal case, you should have a big backyard where the dog can run off this energy. It’ll take away a lot of the hassle for you and make their high exercise needs more manageable.

But regardless, the main point is this daily source of exercise is a necessity for taking care of this breed.

Without this daily source, their excess energy builds up, and they become desperate to find an outlet.

Their attention will soon turn to your shoes, pillows, couches, or other items. From there, it becomes a warzone of your valuables flying around the room.

Also never forget that Dutch Shepherd dogs need a constant source of both mental challenges as well: training, puzzle toys, obeying commands or work.

These dogs need challenges, or they’ll become bored and focus their attention toward your things. And as expressed before, nothing good comes out of this scenario.

Animal and Children Friendly

One of the best qualities about these dogs is how great they’re with other dogs and children.

If you have a household with either, this dog shouldn’t have any issue being friendly: it's a well-known fact that Dutch Shepherds are lovely with kids.

You must understand, however, that this wonderful relationship with kids comes from an established pecking order. In other words, the Dutch Shepherd must view the kids as above them in the pack. If they don’t, they might not show their affectionate side with them.

But if you’re adopting, please make sure you get the background information beforehand. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know what happened in their previous home: some of these dogs come from awful situations and aren’t ready to accept a whole family back in their lives.

And regardless, you should have a meeting between your kid or animals on neutral ground before bringing the dog home.

The Dutch Shepherd Appearance

A Dutch Shepherd will often weight between 50-70 pounds regardless of their gender. Their height will tend to vary between 22 and 25 inches.

But the most interesting part of a Dutch Shepherd’s appearance is their coat.

With these dogs, there are three different types of coat possibilities short-hair, long-hair, or rough hair. And to give you a better idea of how each might look, we’ll break it down further below:

Short-haired Dutch Shepherd Dog

This type will have short hair that's hard, tightly fitting, all over their body, and with a woolen undercoat. Its ruff, breeches and tail plume will also be noticeable.

Long-haired Dutch Shepherd Dog

Just like the short-haired type, a long-haired Dutch Shepherd will have hair that’s tightly fitting and all over its body. But it’ll be the longer, harsher, and won’t be curly or wavy. The coat will have apparent ruff and breeches, as well as the tail, being well-covered.

On the other hand, the feet, head, ears, and hind legs will be short and heavily coated. And lastly, the front legs will have a well-developed coat; it will begin to shorten in length as it goes down toward their feet. It’s also essential we note that their ears will have no fringe as well.

Coarse-haired Dutch Shepherd Dog

The Coarse-haired Dutch Shepherd Dog will have a heavy, harsh messy coat and a dense undercoat. These two coats will be all over their bodies except for their head. On the head, the upper and lower lip will be covered with hair as well the whiskers, beard, and both eyebrows.

But the hair on their cheeks and top of the head will be less apparent. This fur configuration will make the head seem square like in its appearance. Concerning the tail, it’ll be covered entirely with hair much like the Long-haired Dutch Shepherd Dog.

A Brief Retelling of the Dutch Shepherd Dog History

Originating in The Netherlands, the Dutch Shepherd is a natural land-breed. Centuries ago, farmers/shepherds needed a dog that could do a multitude of jobs around the farm. And from that need, the Dutch Shepherd was born.

On a long list of jobs, the Dutch Shepherd was most known for herding cows and sheep, keeping the chickens from the garden, pulling carts of goods to market, and upholding watchdog duties.

After nobly serving farmers for centuries, the Dutch Shepherd got their first breed standard dates on June 12, 1898. At this point, these dogs’ coats were allowed to be any color; however, this made them similar to other breeds like the German and Belgian Shepherd.

As a result, it was decided in 1914 that the Dutch Shepherd’s coat would only be brindle. It’s also essential we note that their purposes have changed significantly over time. At the beginning of the 20th century, sheep herding in The Netherlands had become industrialized.

With this drastic switch, the need for these dogs became almost non-existent. In fact, these dogs almost-became extinct around the year 1940s and 1950s due to the Second World War: many bloodlines of the breed were utterly wiped out during this time.

But thanks to their versatility, there was a resurgence, and this breed became useful in other jobs: search and rescue, police dog, and being a guide dog. And of course, these dogs are still used for their original purpose, herding, as well.

A Guide to Training a Dutch Shepherd

The Dutch Shepherd dog temperament makes them one of the easiest breeds to train. Most owners even enjoy the process, unlike what’d you expect with some other dogs. But the main reason for their training agreeability is their high level of intelligence.

In fact, their intelligence is so high that experts believe they’re the smartest shepherd of all. Let’s be honest; that’s pretty impressive given how many things a German Shepherd can learn. However, their willingness to be train doesn't mean training still won’t take some time.

The key is to establish yourself as their pack leader. These dogs must understand their place within your family. If they don’t, they’ll resort to establishing dominance by growling and biting, which will only cause issues.

Given this issue, you must start their training as soon as possible. These dogs tend to work best with training sessions that are short and with little repetition. Their smarts make it easier for them to grasp new concepts; therefore, repetition can become annoying to them.

With this in mind, when you effectively establish your leadership have some fun and move onto more exciting tasks. After all, these dogs are capable of doing some incredible things.

The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan a world-class Dog Trainer from New Zealand is worth taking a look at. This online resource has hundreds of fun informative dog training videos that can help you learn the basics and more.

An Intro to the Dutch Shepherd Dog Health Issues

If you do decide a Dutch Shepherd’s a good fit, there’s some good news: these dogs tend to be at significantly low risk of picking up health issues. However, when they do, the following ones are usually the culprits:

All coat types:

Long-haired types:

You can keep up with most of these health issues with regular vet visits. But for the hip dysplasia, you should try to get one of these dogs that have OFA certified parents. If your dog has parents with this certification, the risk of dysplasia decreases drastically.

And if you have a Long-haired Dutch Shepherd, it’s essential you stay wary of any thyroid issues. As a result, you should make sure your dog’s regularly screened for these issues to ensure everything’s okay.

Note: Don't let the many issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely Canaan pet from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expentancy.

The Dutch Shepherd Dog Grooming Requirements

As you know by now, the Dutch Shepherd can come in three different coat types. With this in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that each one has a bit different grooming requirements.

For instance, the Short-haired Dutch Shepherd dogs will require the least amount of maintenance. These dogs will only need periodic brushing most of the time; however, during their shedding periods in the fall and spring, you should brush them daily.

As for the Long-haired Dutch Shepherd, they require a bit more upkeep with them needing grooming once per week. This grooming requirement can even increase depending on their working conditions

If you have them herding sheep through heavy mud, their going to need more frequent grooming. And lastly, the Coarse-haired Dutch Shepherd will need a combing about once per month.

The coat also will require a hand stripping two times a year to ensure it stays in pristine condition. Otherwise, all the other requirements fall under general care and aren’t coat or breed specific

  • Trim nails once a month
  • Check ears regularly for build-ups
  • Teeth need regular brushing

Finding Your Dutch Shepherd

Once you decide a Dutch Shepherd dog temperament is the right fit, there’s another choice you must make: adopt or buy. Either choice is a worthwhile option to explore as people have gotten incredible Dutch Shepherds in both circumstances.

Dutch Shepherd Dog for Adoption

Although the Dutch Shepherd is a rather rare breed, there are plenty of them up for adoption around the US. A route you could look into is the North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue, which should point you towards ideal situations.

But there are other options available to you as well such as Adoptapet.com or Petfinder.com. Each will give you a list of available Dutch Shepherds in your area that’s looking for a home.

You can even go to your local shelter or humane society and have a look around. It never hurts to let these organizations know that you’re looking for a specific dog. If you do, they can quickly alert you to a new arrival of your preferred breed.

But in any event, you should use the following questions to ensure you’re ready for this responsibility:

  1. Does he/she have a high energy level?
  2. How old is he/she?
  3. Are there any biting incidents you need to know about?
  4. Is he/she good with other animals?
  5. Does he/she have any issues with certain people such as men, children, or strangers?
  6. What is his/her personality like?
  7. How well-trained is he/she? Is he/she housetrained?
  8. Are there any health issues?

The answers to these questions will give you a better idea of the dog’s background. From this information, you’ll be able to determine if they’ll be a good fit in your household.

Honestly, any background information you get should make the transition a much easier process. And if you do decide it’s a good situation, it’ll cost up anywhere from $50 to $500 dollars.

Whether it’s closer to $50 or $500 will ultimately depend on the organization you’re dealing with: shelters tend to lean toward the $50side, while Dutch Shepherd dog rescues are closer to the $500 dollar side.

Dutch Shepherd Dog For Sale

If you think buying is more your style, there area few Dutch Shepherd dog breeders throughout the US. You should search through the American Kennel Club’s database that way you know you’re dealing with a reputable breeder.

However, even if you find a breeder on there, it’s still essential you make sure everything’s up to code. You should set a meeting with a breeder at their facilities to ensure they’re reputable: not someone trying to make a quick buck.

Once you’re at the meeting, being aware of the following warning signs should keep you away from the awful breeders:

  • Numerous litters of Dutch Shepherd dog puppies or other dogs on the property at the same time.
  • They always have puppies for sale.
  • You can buy a puppy online with a credit card.
  • Give you the option of buying a puppy without papers for a lower price.

After you ensure everything feels right about the situation, you should expect to spend between $1000 to $1200. This price range is the standard price breeder will charge you for a Dutch Shepherd dog puppy.

Conclusion: Is the Dutch Shepherd the Right Dog For You?

If you’re looking for a high-energy, running companion, the Dutch Shepherd dog temperament is an ideal fit for you. But remember it’ll take an owner with strong leadership to get the most out of the relationship with this dog.

If this doesn’t sound like you or you’re worried that it’ll require too much attention, you should look elsewhere. These aren’t the dogs for an owner looking for a dog that takes care of itself.

These are the dogs for an owner looking for a loving companion who will challenge them every day.