Welcome all dog lovers! Are you a big fan of Shepherd dogs? If it is an absolute YES, then this article is totally prepared for you. Even though not well-known as their Northen European cousins like the German and Belgian Shepherds, Dutch Shepherd dogs own many outstanding features that really worth your attention.
It’s time to find out more about these “herding” companions!
Basic information about Dutch Shepherds
Table of Contents
Well, in this part, WewPet is gonna give you a general picture of these shepherds so that you can realize them when they cross your path.
Before discovering their appearances, let’s have a look at where they came from!
Back to history
As the name has described, the Dutch or Holland Shepherd dog breed originated from rural areas in the Netherlands. Back to the 19th century, like other types of herding canines. they were excellent and reliable companions of farmers in those areas.
Their main responsibility was to watch over flocks of sheep to ensure that they would be in line and away from crops. What’s more, they were great “shields” protecting the herds from any potential threats of predators such as powerful bears or dangerous wolves. They never hesitated to sacrifice themselves for the safety of the farms.
It is simply understood that these herding dogs were jack-of-all-trades on the farm. They did not only keep an eye on the flocks of sheep, but they also kept the hens away from the kitchen garden or even supervised the herd cows milking and pulled the milk carts. As a result, after being trained properly, they would play an important role in the peaceful life of those residents.
Unfortunately, by the 1900s, these pooches were unwanted as they used to because there was a significant decrease in the number of sheep. In the period between the 1940s and 1950s, this breed came into extinction. Why? Sheep flocks disappearing in the Netherlands was a reason. Besides, the residents could use more and more modern farming machines for their farm stuff; the Holland Shepherd dogs, thus, were lack of demand.
Also, during the Second World War, they did stop conducting the breeding programs of this breed and take them for service in the German military. Moreover, the serious lack of food resulted in the death of many dogs in this period.
Until now, this problem seems to be somewhat better. They are known as excellent police dogs as a search or watchdogs that are very helpful for the blind. Whether it is the past or present, they are truly trainable pooches that ready to devote their lives for serving.
However, nowadays, this dog breed originating from the Netherlands still remains rare. Their special features deserve to be recognized more than that.
What do they look like?
The Holland Shepherds are well-muscled and medium-sized dogs. Like other herding dog breeds, male Holland ones are rather larger than their female counterparts. Their average height is between 21.5 and 24.5 inches, and they frequently weigh around 42 to 75 pounds.
Have you ever considered them as their famous cousins, the German Shepherds? They look quite the same, right? Nevertheless, the unique characteristic of this breed is its brindle coat that no other shepherd dogs have. This is actually the first clue which you should notice to recognize a Dutch Shepherd puppy.
Their brindle marks can come into two main colors: gold or silver refers to the background color. You can see that the silver marks are nearly white, while the gold color ranges from a light fawn to a deep red.
There are also many healthy stripes on their coat, including black or dark colors. These shepherds can vary in density, from few stripes to lots of stripes on their bodies. Actually, these stripes are frequently almost black even though many shepherd fanciers do not desire it and consider it as a fault.
How about types of the coat? Well, there are three main types (all with a wooly undercoat):
- Short-haired: Those pooches own smooth coat with a feathered tail.
- Long-haired: They often appear in straight, thick, feathered legs and a well-coated tail.
- Wire-haired: The coat is full of thick, rough and medium-length curls.
They are not popular as their cousins, the German and Belgian Shepherds; but it does not mean that they are not one of the best shepherd dogs on earth!
Loyal and affectionate
The Dutch Shepherds are born to serve and they are happy with it. Inheriting those special characteristics of their ancestors, these canines are truly great family companions. What they care for is the safety of their owners and their family members. It is persistent and nothing can change.
Strong as they seem, they need love and affection. For the most part, that is the basic thing that a family pet wants, right? Therefore, this kind of herding dog will really appreciate it when you spend time playing with them. In their language, if you give them certain attention, then this means you love them. So try to express your emotions with these powerful dogs!
For them, you are the most important person in this world. As a result, when a stranger enters their territory or when they feel some potential threats, they tend to loud barks and keep a careful eye on that person. In case you do not want your dog to become dangerous for other people, early socialization training is very important. This will help him calm down and behave properly.
It is the most suitable word to thoroughly describe a jack-of-all-trade Holland Shepherd. In the past, they did really well on the farm, which made them truly great farm companions of the Netherlands residents. Until now, their value is more than that. Police dogs, guide dogs or candidates in dog competitions, nothing can defeat them.
Friendly with kids
That sounds unbelievable for those seem-to-be-dangerous canines, right? But it is the truth. With their special love for your family members, they tend to get on well with even the small children that do not know how to treat a dog, especially the big one, properly.
However, it is recommended to let your shepherd pooch and your little kids play with each other under careful supervision in order to avoid certain unexpected accidents.
How can I take care of a Dutch Shepherd?
Caring for a pet, especially a shepherd that requires many activities, is never easy at all. There is much essential knowledge that you have to prepare before adopting a shepherd dog. Don’t worry! WewPet is here to give you a lot of useful information. Let’s have a look!
Your Holland Shepherd frequently sheds during the spring and fall periods. The quantity of shedding can be reduced as long as he is cared for carefully. When it comes to grooming, the different requirements depend on what type of coat your pooch owns.
For this type, it is compulsory to give your pet daily careful brushing, of course apart from during his shedding period (as mentioned before, it is spring and fall).
This type does not require frequent brushing as much as the short-haired dogs. It is acceptable to have him groomed once a week.
Due to their rough curls, you need to be more careful when grooming your dog. Giving him weekly brushing is better than nothing.
As you may know, Rottweiler dogs own the most powerful bite in the dog world. But do you know who ranks second? That is the Dutch Shepherd dog. To keep their teeth healthy and avoid several dental problems, you should brush their teeth regularly.
Besides, their paws, which can be used as an effective weapon, grow so quickly that it is necessary to give him frequent trimming to prevent any cracking, splitting or unexpected injuries.
What’s more, their ears! This part is prone to get infection unless you weekly check and clear the interior debris or wax buildup.
Since their coat is water-resistant, they do not require frequent bathing, except for their activities in the mud.
Food diet and exercise
These shepherds are really playful and able to run for the whole day. As a result, it is recommended that their diets should be formulated for active and mid-to-large sized canines. If you still find it hard to give them the adequate quantity of proteins, vitamins and other minerals, then asking a veterinarian for advice is a wise choice because dogs at each stage need different nutrients to grow up.
Also, fish oil is very helpful to keep their coat shiny and their skin healthy. Therefore, you can add some fish oil supplements to their meals.
Remember that they are really energetic creatures, so you should build and give them daily activities and exercises that suit their active instincts. Their cup of tea is to run, run and run.
Perhaps a good long walk, running or hiking per day and some vigorous play sessions such as 30-to-60-minute fetch or flyball are the minimum quantity your shepherd needs. In case he is not given enough exercise, then he is likely to be bored, destructive and prone to certain health problems relating to his bones and his overall development.
Fortunately, these dogs are somehow a very healthy breed. They have the smallest potential to suffer from hip dysplasia compared to other shepherds. As long as they are given healthy diets, adequate exercises, regular veterinarian checkups, and especially, your endless love, these herding dogs can enjoy their life up to 15 years.
Do you still worry about the training process? It is always the most difficult step because if left untrained, a shepherd can turn to be an aggressive and fearful canine, right? Training a dog requires lots of your time, effort and patience. But believe us, it will give you the most memorable experiences.
These Holand Shepherds are naturally intelligent and trainable. They are born to serve and learning new things is their pleasures. It explains why they are chosen to be the most competent of all shepherd dogs and why they do so well when it comes to agility, guard duty, herding and field trailing.
Due to their smart instincts, you need to be their leader so that they would follow what you say. The training process needs to be conducted as soon as they are still a Dutch Shepherd puppy. To make them feel secure, the first and basic thing you should do is to build and bond your relationship. Don’t scare, beat or do anything cruel that makes them afraid of you.
During this process, a stubborn streak with your patience and a proper approach can give you success. Of course, your dog should learn his place within your family unit, which makes him feel like he is also a member of this home. Positive reinforcement tactics instead of aversive methods are what you need to use to teach your pooch.
Rewards or treats seem to be indispensable to motivate a shepherd. Nothing is better than doing well and then given their favorite treats such as a piece of meat or an apple, right? Stick with it and you will be surprised by how obedient your shepherd is.
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If you are passionate about a shepherd and looking for a family pet that devotes himself to protect your family, keep you active for all day and provide loyal, affectionate and obedient companionship, then it is a Dutch Shepherd. Adopting any kind of pet has its pros and cons; however, as long as you can overcome all those obstacles, we ensure that it will give you precious memories that you want to keep for your whole life.