This is a medium sized dog breed with light build. Because of the shaggy coat, the Schapendoes does look heavier than actually is. The average height is between 40-50 cm which is 15-20 inch and weight is typically between 12-25 kg, which is 26-55 pounds. Females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
The most distinctive feature of the Schapendoes is definitely its coat, which is completely natural, without any need of trimming. The coat length can be up to 10 cm and it is lightly wavy. You can find Schapendoes in any color combination, but the preferred coat color for the show ring is blue-gray to black.
Schapendoes has clear topknot, eyebrows, beard and moustache. They have lively expression in their large round brown eyes. The heavily feathered ears are set high hanging freely away from the head. And again, because of the abundant growth of the hair, the head is looking bigger and broader than it actually is.
The Schapendoes is just an amazing high spritited, friendly and intelligent companion. It is a very playful breed, so he makes great companion for older kids. They are also pretty active, so you can be sure, that you will never be bored with the Schapendoes.
Originally, this breed was used as a herder, but it is not the typical herding dog that use its teeth to herd the flock. The Schapendoes nudge the animals with his nose and shoulders to turn them whichever way he needs them. Just like all the sheepdogs even the Schapendoes is bright, clever and independent. Which is why they are quick learners, but not pushovers to train and they need patient and firm trainer.
This breed does not like to be left alone for long periods of time and you must stimulate Schapendoes mind and body every day. It can be task oriented playtimes, regular training sessions, long walks or hikes. Or you can try some dog sport, for example agility or herding trials.
Typically a courageous breed, the Schapendoes should never be agressive, which is a reason why this breed is not the best guard. They are just too friendly for this kind of a job.
The Schapendoes has very descriptive name, because it can be translated to Dutch Sheepdog, which is exactly what it is.
The Schapendoes is a breed developed in Netherlands. Earlier, in the 18 and 19th century, the name Schapendoes was not associated with a breed, but it refered to a type of a dog, a local working dogs that were used for variety of tasks and that were very popular in the country.
During the second world war, this type of a dog almost went extinct. And this is a time when the Schapendoes we know today was developed. The modern breed descends from the few survivors of second world war. The breed was officially recognized by the Dutch national kennel club in the 1952.
There are few breeds that are considered as related to the Schapendoes. For example the Bearded Collie, Old English Sheepdog, Briard, Bergamasco, or Polish Lowland Sheepdog. If you like shaggy coated dogs, you can check all those breed, you will definitely love them.
Health and grooming
This is usually a very healthy dog breed with only rare health problems. Sometimes they can suffer from hip dysplasia, allergies or progressive retinal atrophy. The average lifespan is between 12-15 years.
Believe it or not, it is not extremely hard to groom Schapendoes. Seasonally, they do shed a lot and during that time they need frequent brushing. Otherwise, he needs to be brushed once a week to make sure his coat does not tangle. The coat can be left natural without any trimming or stripping. Just like with all dogs you should regularly check their eyes, ears and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
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