Schapendoes: The Ultimate Dog Guide


The Schapendoes are a charming breed with deep roots in the Netherlands. Often referred to as the “Dutch Sheepdog,” this breed’s history is as rich as its personality. Their evolution from working dogs to delightful companions is a story worth telling.

Aspect Details
Origin Netherlands
Größe Medium
Coat Type & Color Long, thick, ranging from straight to slightly wavy. Commonly grey or blue.
Temperament Cheerful, intelligent, friendly, and energetic
Lebenserwartung 12 bis 15 Jahre
Grooming Needs Regular brushing to prevent matting and tangling
Common Health Issues Hip dysplasia, certain eye conditions
Diät High-quality dog food suitable for age and activity level
Exercise Needs Daily exercise like walking, fetch, and agility training
Ausbildung Benefits from positive reinforcement and consistency

Physical Characteristics of Schapendoes

General appearance and size

The Schapendoes is a medium-sized dog, showcasing a lively expression. With their thick, tousled hair, they have an endearing, slightly unkempt look that many find irresistible.

Coat type, color, and maintenance

The breed’s coat is long, and thick, and can range from straight to slightly wavy. It’s designed to protect them from the elements, which is a testament to their working heritage. The color can vary but commonly includes shades of grey or blue. Regular brushing is necessary to prevent matting and tangling.

Common physical traits specific to the breed

One of the distinguishing features of the Schapendoes is their large, bushy tail and their strong, yet nimble, legs, reflecting their herding lineage.

Temperament and Personality of Schapendoes

General behavior and personality traits

Known for being cheerful, intelligent, and friendly, the Schapendoes are a breed that’s easy to love. They are often described as energetic and agile, with a natural herding instinct.

Interaction with children and other pets

Their gentle nature makes them excellent companions for children. They are also typically good with other pets, though early socialization is beneficial.

Social needs and common behaviors

Being a social breed, they thrive on human interaction and can become despondent if left alone for extended periods.

History and Origin of Schapendoes

The breed’s origins in the Netherlands

Originating in the Netherlands, the Schapendoes were initially bred for herding sheep, hence the name which translates to “sheepdog” in Dutch.

Role in herding and other work

Their agility and intelligence made them particularly adept at herding, and they were often seen working in the fields of the Netherlands.

Evolution into a companion dog

Over time, as industrialization reduced the need for herding dogs, the Schapendoes transitioned into a companion role, endearing themselves to families with their friendly nature.

Health and Wellness of Schapendoes

Common health issues and genetic predispositions

While generally healthy, the breed can be predisposed to certain conditions like hip dysplasia and eye issues. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are essential.


With proper care, Schapendoes can live anywhere from 12 to 15 years.

Diet and nutritional needs

A balanced diet is crucial for this energetic breed. Owners should ensure they are fed high-quality dog food appropriate for their age and activity level.

Exercise requirements and best practices

Daily exercise is vital to keep Schapendoes happy. Whether it’s a long walk, playtime in the yard, or agility training, keeping them active is crucial.

Training and Socialization of Schapendoes

Importance of early socialization

Like all dogs, the Schapendoes benefits from early socialization. Introducing them to various environments, people, and other animals from a young age can help ensure they grow into well-adjusted adults.

Training techniques that work best with Schapendoes

Positive reinforcement methods, like treats and praise, are highly effective. Their eagerness to please makes them relatively easy to train, though consistency is key.

Tips to address common behavioral issues

Addressing any undesirable behaviors early on and with patience is essential. If challenges persist, seeking the help of a professional dog trainer can be beneficial.

Care and Maintenance of Schapendoes

Grooming requirements and tips

Their long coat requires regular grooming to prevent mats. Brushing several times a week and periodic baths will keep their coat in top condition.

Bathing frequency and techniques

Bathing every few months, or as needed, is typically sufficient. Use a dog-specific shampoo and ensure they are thoroughly rinsed and dried.

Nail trimming, ear cleaning, and other regular maintenance

Regular nail trims prevent overgrowth, and cleaning their ears can help prevent infections. As with all breeds, dental care is also essential.

Activities and Exercise for Schapendoes

Recommended physical activities for the breed

Beyond walks, they enjoy activities like fetch, agility courses, and even herding exercises, tapping into their natural instincts.

Mental stimulation and interactive games

Puzzle toys, obedience training, and interactive play can help keep their minds sharp.

Benefits of agility, herding trials, and other dog sports

Such activities not only provide physical exercise but also offer an outlet for their intelligence and herding instincts.

Breeding and Puppy Care for Schapendoes

Essential considerations Before breeding

Prospective breeders should be knowledgeable about the breed’s health and genetics. Ethical breeding practices are crucial to ensure the health of both the parents and the puppies.

Finding reputable breeders and understanding breeding standards

Always research and choose breeders who adhere to high standards and prioritize the health and well-being of the dogs.

Puppy development stages and care requirements

Understanding the various stages of puppy development can aid in training and socialization. Regular vet visits, a balanced diet, and consistent training are essential during this period.

Adoption and Rescue of Schapendoes

Benefits of adopting a Schapendoes

Adoption offers a loving home to a dog in need and can be a rewarding experience for the adopter.

Finding Schapendoes-specific rescue organizations

There are organizations dedicated to rescuing and rehoming Schapendoes. They can be an excellent resource for those looking to adopt.

Preparing your home and family for a rescued dog

Ensuring your home is safe and welcoming, and educating family members about the breed’s needs can ensure a smooth transition.

Living with a Schapendoes

Adapting to the breed’s needs in urban vs. rural settings

While they can adapt to various living situations, they do best with ample space to play and exercise.

Traveling with your Schapendoes

If traveling, ensure they are safe and comfortable. Familiar items like their bed or toys can help ease anxiety.

Tips for a harmonious household

Routine, training, and plenty of love and attention will ensure a happy and harmonious life with your Schapendoes.


The Schapendoes are a delightful and spirited breed. Their rich history, combined with their friendly and energetic nature, makes them a beloved companion for many. Ensuring they are cared for, trained, and loved will guarantee a rewarding relationship with this unique breed.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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