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Nederlandse Herdershonden Club

The Dutch Shepherd

The Dutch Shepherd comes in three varieties; the short-, long- and roughhaired. It is a medium sized, medium weight dog; the dogs are 57-62 cms high, the bitches 55-60 cms. A dog weighs on average 28 kgs., a bitch on average 23 kgs. The colours vary from silver to gold brindle and in the roughhaired variety the colours blue-grey and pepper-and-salt are allowed.

The breed is an old land-breed, of Dutch origins. In times gone by, shepherds and farmers needed a versatile dog. A jack-of-all-trades, with few demands and adapted to the harsh and sparse existence of the time.

From those working dogs the Dutch Shepherd Dog as we know it today, evolved. This also explains the character traits that have been preserved virtually unchanged to the present day.

Al well known dogfancier wrote about the Dutch Shepherd Dog in 1910:”…. bearing a great resemblance to the wolf.” Of course this is not entirely true, but it is another aspect that shows that the Dutchy still has many of the characteristics of its wild forebrears.

The breed standard mentions about disposition” affectionate, obedient, tractable, alert, faithful and reliable. The breed standard also mentions
“intelligent expression and lively temperament”. And this intelligence and temperament should not be underestimated.

Wolves live in packs with a leader. The other animals in the pack each have their own place, their rank. Our Dutch Shepherd Dog has a strong sense of ranking.

It is not a dog for everyone. It needs clear guidance and leadership. If that leadership is not given, the dog will try to take over. The dog cannot be blamed for this and it is even desirable to some extent, since it comes from all of those traits that the true working dog needed.

There is even the legendary story of a Dutch Shepherd Dog who returned an entire herd of lambs to the farmer, after the farmer had sold the lambs and they had been taken elsewhere.

The dog’s character traits mean that it needs to be raised consistently, especially since these traits will need to be guided in the right direction. It is not necessary to treat the dog hard or harshly. It is very sensitive to the tone of your voice and the moods in the home. A strong “no” will mean more to the dog than jerking it’s chain.

In all part of our country there are clubs that provide for obedience training or other branches of sport such as fly-ball and agility. The “Dutchy” learns fast and may therefore quickly display signs of boredom. This means that the training should contain enough variation to keep the dog occupied. The dog needs an environment that is active; without that it will not be alert, happy and active. Long walks, perhaps alongside the pushbike, joining in car trips, it will appreciate all action and thus stimulated and guided it will develop into an enjoyable companion.

The Breed Club
The Dutch Shepherd Dog Club was founded in 1898 and is one of the oldest breedclubs of our country.

Several activities are organised throughout the year, such as clubmatches, litter-days, lectures, variety-section meetings etc.

There are three breeding advice committees, a magazine and groups where the Dutch Shepherd Dogs can follow trainingcourses.

In 1998 the Centenary Book “Allemaal Hollanders” (“Dutchies All”) was published with information on history, character and training the Dutchy.

For more informations you can contact:
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Tel: + 31 (0)621700705

Rasvereniging voor
Langharige en
Hollandse Herders

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