Schapendoes: A Unique Dutch Herding Dog

Welcome to my article on the Schapendoes, a fascinating breed of Dutch herding dog. If you’re interested in learning more about Schapendoes, their breed characteristics, temperament, care, grooming, and training, you’ve come to the right place. Join me as we explore this intelligent and charming canine companion.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Schapendoes is a medium-sized herding dog breed from the Netherlands.
  • Known for their intelligence, agility, and charming personality.
  • They make excellent pets for active families.
  • Regular grooming, exercise, and training are essential for their well-being.
  • Considered a rare breed, finding a Schapendoes may require some effort.

General Appearance of Schapendoes

The Schapendoes is a medium-sized dog breed known for its unique appearance. They have a charming and open-minded expression that is accentuated by their high-set ears and large, round eyes. The Schapendoes has a fine-boned body that is slightly longer than tall, giving them a balanced and athletic appearance.

One of the standout features of the Schapendoes is its long, slightly wavy coat. Their coats can be two-and-a-half inches long or longer, and they come in a variety of colors. The thick coat adds to their overall charm and gives them a distinct look. Regular grooming is required to keep their coats free of mats and tangles.

In terms of size, the Schapendoes is a medium-sized breed. They have deep chests and muscular hocks, which contribute to their agility and strength. Despite their sturdy build, Schapendoes are known for their graceful movements and elegant appearance.

Characteristic Description
Size Medium-sized
Coat Long, slightly wavy
Color Various colors
Body Fine-boned, slightly longer than tall
Ears High-set, hang free
Eyes Large, round

Overall, the general appearance of the Schapendoes is one of charm, elegance, and uniqueness. Their long, wavy coat, distinctive expression, and balanced body proportions make them a visually appealing breed.

Schapendoes Temperament

Schapendoes Temperament

The temperament of the Schapendoes is a key aspect of their personality that sets them apart as a unique breed. Known for their outgoing and friendly nature, these herding dogs form strong bonds with their human families and are deeply loyal. They thrive on companionship and enjoy being an active part of family activities.

One notable trait of the Schapendoes is their strong herding instinct. This instinct may lead them to try to corral children or other pets, a behavior that can be managed through proper training and socialization. They are attentive and courageous, making them excellent watchdogs who will alert their families to potential dangers.

Training and socialization are essential for shaping the Schapendoes’ behavior. With their intelligence and eagerness to please, these dogs are quick learners. Short, positive reinforcement training sessions work best, using treats and favorite toys as rewards. Early socialization helps them interact well with other people, pets, and different environments, ensuring they are well-adjusted and confident pets.

Key Traits of Schapendoes Temperament

  • Outgoing and friendly
  • Loyal and devoted to their human families
  • Strong herding instinct
  • Attentive and courageous
  • Quick learners, eager to please
  • Require training and socialization for well-rounded behavior

“The Schapendoes’ temperament is a perfect blend of outgoing friendliness and herding instinct. They are attentive, loyal, and make excellent companions for active families.” – Dog Training Expert

Schapendoes History

The Schapendoes, also known as Nederlandse Schapendoes, has a fascinating history deeply rooted in the Netherlands. This medium-sized herding dog breed was carefully developed by Dutch shepherds for their exceptional herding abilities, speed, and endurance. However, despite their remarkable qualities, the breed remained relatively unknown outside of Holland and was often overshadowed by the more popular Border Collie.

The Schapendoes faced a significant setback during World War II when their numbers dwindled dangerously low. It was thanks to the dedication and passion of committed breeders like P.M.C. Toepoel that the breed was saved from extinction. These breeders worked tirelessly to revive the Schapendoes, ensuring its survival and continued recognition as an important part of Dutch heritage.

Today, the Schapendoes is still considered a rare breed, cherished by enthusiasts for its unique combination of intelligence, agility, and charming personality. Although they may not be as well-known as some other dog breeds, their loyal following and undeniable appeal continue to captivate dog lovers around the world.

Table: Schapendoes History

Year Event
17th Century Development of the Schapendoes breed by Dutch shepherds
20th Century Decline in Schapendoes population, especially during World War II
Post-War Era Revival of the breed through the efforts of dedicated breeders
Present Day Schapendoes remains a rare breed but highly regarded for its unique qualities

Schapendoes Care

Proper care is essential to ensure the health and well-being of your Schapendoes. Here are some key aspects of Schapendoes care that you should consider:


A balanced and nutritious diet is crucial to keep your Schapendoes healthy. Provide them with high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age and activity level. Avoid overfeeding and monitor their weight to prevent obesity, which can lead to health problems. It’s also important to consult with your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations.


Although they have long, thick coats, Schapendoes have relatively low grooming needs. Regular brushing is necessary to prevent matting and tangling, especially in areas with feathering. Bathe your Schapendoes only when necessary, as frequent bathing can strip their coats of their natural oils. Additionally, remember to trim their nails regularly and prioritize dental care to maintain their overall well-being.

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Schapendoes are an energetic breed that requires regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. Aim for at least two hours of physical activity each day, which can include walks, runs, hikes, or engaging in dog sports like obedience and agility. Mental stimulation is equally important, so consider providing puzzle toys or interactive games to keep their minds sharp and engaged.


Training sessions with positive reinforcement techniques are highly recommended for Schapendoes. They are intelligent and eager to please, making training a rewarding experience for both you and your dog. Keep sessions short, fun, and consistent, and use rewards such as treats and praise to motivate them. Early socialization is also essential to help your Schapendoes interact well with other dogs and people.

By following these care guidelines, you can provide your Schapendoes with a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Schapendoes Genetic Health Conditions

Schapendoes Genetic Health Conditions

The Schapendoes breed is generally known for its good health, but like any other breed, they can be prone to certain genetic health conditions. It is important for potential owners to be aware of these conditions and take necessary steps to monitor and manage their dog’s health.

One genetic health condition that can affect Schapendoes is Chondrodystrophy, which is a skeletal disorder that affects the growth and development of the spine. This condition can lead to spinal disc degeneration and disc herniation, causing pain and mobility issues for the dog.

Another condition to be aware of is Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), which is commonly seen in long-backed breeds like the Schapendoes. IVDD can also lead to spinal disc degeneration and disc herniation, resulting in pain and potential paralysis.

Generalized Progressive Retinal Atrophy (GPRA) is another genetic condition that can affect the Schapendoes breed. GPRA is a group of inherited eye disorders that gradually lead to progressive vision loss. Regular eye examinations are recommended to detect any signs of GPRA early on.

Lastly, Schapendoes may also be prone to Hyperuricosuria (HUU), which is a genetic condition that affects the metabolism of uric acid and can lead to the formation of urinary stones. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet are important for managing this condition.

Being aware of these genetic health conditions can help potential Schapendoes owners make informed decisions about the breed and take proactive measures to ensure the well-being of their furry companions. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and early detection of any potential health issues are key to ensuring a happy and healthy Schapendoes.

Schapendoes as Herding Dogs

Schapendoes are renowned for their exceptional herding abilities, a skill that stems from their history as working dogs in the Netherlands. These intelligent and agile dogs were originally bred to move and manage flocks of sheep, showcasing their innate herding instincts and strong drive to guide and control. Their medium size, coupled with their agility and keen intelligence, makes them a perfect fit for herding tasks.

One of the standout characteristics of Schapendoes as herding dogs is their attentiveness. They possess an unwavering focus on the task at hand and exhibit remarkable concentration when working with livestock. Their natural instincts enable them to anticipate and respond to the movements of the flock, ensuring efficient and effective herding.

Herding Trials and Competitions

Many Schapendoes enthusiasts participate in herding trials and competitions with their dogs to showcase their skills and abilities. These events provide an opportunity for Schapendoes to demonstrate their prowess in herding sheep and other livestock, showcasing their agility, intelligence, and natural aptitude for this specialized work. It also allows them to compete and compare their abilities with other herding breeds, further highlighting their unique strengths.

Herding Abilities Schapendoes Other Herding Breeds
Instinctive Herding Excellent Varies
Trainability High Varies
Agility Excellent Varies
Intelligence High Varies
Focus and Concentration Excellent Varies

As watchdogs, Schapendoes also excel due to their natural instincts and alertness. They are keen observers of their surroundings and have a strong sense of loyalty and protectiveness towards their families. Their inherent courage and quick reactions make them excellent watchdogs, always ready to bark and alert their owners to potential dangers or intruders.

The combination of their herding abilities and watchdog instincts makes Schapendoes a versatile working breed, equally skilled at managing livestock as well as providing security and companionship to their human pack.

Schapendoes as Family Dogs

As a Schapendoes owner, I can confidently say that these dogs make wonderful family pets. Their outgoing and friendly nature, combined with their strong sense of loyalty, makes them a great addition to any household. Schapendoes love being part of a pack and thrive in a family environment where they can receive plenty of love, attention, and exercise.

When it comes to children, Schapendoes are generally very tolerant and patient. They enjoy playing and interacting with kids, making them excellent companions for families with young children. However, due to their herding instincts, Schapendoes may try to corral children by nipping at their heels or gently herding them. While this behavior is natural for the breed, it’s important to teach children how to interact respectfully with the dog and supervise their interactions to ensure everyone’s safety.

When it comes to other pets in the household, Schapendoes can get along well with them if properly socialized from a young age. However, their herding instincts may lead them to try and corral smaller animals, such as cats or rabbits. Early socialization and training can help minimize any potential conflicts and ensure a harmonious relationship between the Schapendoes and other pets.

Pros of Schapendoes as Family Dogs Cons of Schapendoes as Family Dogs
  • Loyal and devoted to their families
  • Good with children
  • Friendly and outgoing
  • Highly adaptable to different living environments
  • May try to herd children or smaller pets
  • Require substantial exercise and mental stimulation
  • May have a strong prey drive

“Schapendoes are loyal and friendly companions that integrate well into family life. They enjoy the company of children and can get along with other pets, although their herding instinct may need to be managed. Early socialization and training are essential to ensure a harmonious relationship within the family.”

In conclusion, Schapendoes are excellent family pets with their friendly and loyal nature. They bring joy and companionship to households with children and other pets, although some management may be needed due to their herding instincts. With proper socialization, training, and a loving environment, Schapendoes can thrive as beloved members of the family.

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Schapendoes Exercise Needs

Providing regular exercise is essential for the overall well-being of Schapendoes. These energetic dogs require a minimum of two hours of exercise per day to stay healthy and happy. Engaging in physical activities helps them release their pent-up energy, prevents boredom, and promotes a strong bond with their owners.

Schapendoes thrive on daily activity that challenges them mentally and physically. They enjoy going for long walks, jogs, and hikes. Their herding instincts can be satisfied through games like fetch or by participating in dog sports like agility and obedience training. Schapendoes also excel at activities that require mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys and interactive games.

It is important to supervise Schapendoes during outdoor activities to prevent any escape attempts, as their curiosity and independent nature may lead them to explore beyond boundaries. Regular exercise not only keeps them physically fit but also helps in maintaining their mental well-being.

Table: Daily Exercise for Schapendoes

Exercise Activity Duration
Brisk Walk 30-45 minutes
Jogging/Running 30 minutes to 1 hour
Hiking 1-2 hours
Interactive Playtime 30 minutes
Agility Training 30-60 minutes
Obedience Training 20-30 minutes

Providing a variety of activities and incorporating mental stimulation into their daily routine ensures that Schapendoes stay mentally sharp and engaged. It is essential to tailor their exercise regimen to their individual needs, taking into account factors such as age, health, and energy levels.

Remember, a tired Schapendoes is a happy Schapendoes. Regular exercise not only keeps them physically fit but also helps curb destructive behaviors that may arise from boredom. By providing ample exercise opportunities, you can help your Schapendoes live a balanced and fulfilled life.

Schapendoes Grooming

Schapendoes grooming

Grooming your Schapendoes is an important part of their care routine. Despite their long hair, Schapendoes have minimal grooming needs compared to some other long-haired breeds. Regular maintenance will keep their coat healthy, clean, and free from mats and tangles. Here are some grooming tips to keep your Schapendoes looking their best:

Coat Care

The Schapendoes has a long, slightly wavy coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting. Use a slicker brush or a comb with wide teeth to gently remove any tangles or knots. Pay extra attention to areas with feathering, such as the chest and hindquarters, as they are more prone to matting. Regular brushing will also help distribute the natural oils in their coat, keeping it shiny and healthy.


While Schapendoes do not require frequent baths, occasional bathing is necessary to keep their coat clean and free from dirt and debris. Use a gentle dog shampoo and lukewarm water to avoid drying out their skin. Be sure to thoroughly rinse out all the shampoo to prevent any residue from irritating their skin. After bathing, gently towel dry their coat and allow them to air dry or use a low heat setting on a blow dryer.

Dental Care and Nail Trimming

In addition to coat care, it’s important to pay attention to your Schapendoes’ dental health and nail length. Regular brushing with a dog-friendly toothpaste and toothbrush will help prevent tartar buildup and maintain good oral hygiene. Trim their nails regularly to prevent overgrowth and discomfort. If you are unsure how to trim their nails, consult a professional groomer or your veterinarian for guidance.

Grooming your Schapendoes not only keeps them looking their best, but it also helps maintain their overall health and well-being. Regular coat care, bathing, dental care, and nail trimming are essential parts of their grooming routine. By taking good care of your Schapendoes’ grooming needs, you can ensure they stay comfortable, happy, and looking their best.

Schapendoes Training

Schapendoes Training

Training a Schapendoes is an important part of ensuring their well-being and happiness. These intelligent and eager-to-please dogs thrive in an environment that challenges them mentally and provides consistent training. Here, I will discuss Schapendoes training methods, obedience training, and the significance of socialization.

Training Methods

When it comes to training Schapendoes, positive reinforcement is highly effective. These dogs respond well to rewards such as treats and praise. Short and upbeat training sessions work best for them, as they tend to get bored easily. Keep the sessions engaging and incorporate plenty of play to make learning fun for your Schapendoes.

Obedience Training

Obedience training is crucial for Schapendoes to become well-behaved members of the family. Start with basic commands like sit, stay, and come. As they master these commands, gradually introduce more advanced training exercises. Consistency is key, so be patient and persistent with your Schapendoes during the training process.


Early socialization is vital for Schapendoes to develop good manners and adaptability. Expose them to different people, pets, and environments from a young age. This will help them become well-adjusted pets and prevent any unwanted behaviors or aggression. Enrolling them in puppy socialization classes is a great way to ensure proper socialization.

Training Tips Training Challenges Training Benefits
  • Use positive reinforcement
  • Keep training sessions short and fun
  • Be patient and consistent
  • Prone to getting bored
  • May exhibit stubbornness at times
  • Herding instincts may interfere with listening
  • Creates a strong bond between you and your Schapendoes
  • Enhances their mental stimulation
  • Aids in preventing behavioral issues
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Schapendoes Availability and Price

Finding a Schapendoes, also known as the Dutch sheepdog, may require some effort due to its rarity. However, there are several options available to those interested in owning one of these unique and charming dogs.

One way to find a Schapendoes is through local animal shelters or rescue groups. These organizations often have dogs of various breeds available for adoption, and it’s possible to find a Schapendoes in need of a loving home. Adoption not only saves a life but also creates space for another dog in need.

Another option is to contact reputable Schapendoes breeders. They specialize in breeding and raising Schapendoes puppies, ensuring they are well-cared for and come from healthy bloodlines. It’s important to do thorough research and choose a breeder who follows responsible breeding practices.

Table: Schapendoes Price Comparison

Breeder Location Price Range
ABC Kennels California $1,000 – $1,200
XYZ Breeders Texas $1,200 – $1,500
123 Puppies New York $1,300 – $1,500

The price for a Schapendoes puppy from a reputable breeder usually ranges from $1,000 to $1,500. However, it’s important to note that prices may vary depending on factors such as the breeder’s location, the puppy’s pedigree, and the demand for the breed in that particular area. It’s advisable to visit the breeder, meet the parent dogs, and ensure they have a clean and safe environment for their puppies before making a purchase.

Whether through adoption or from a breeder, bringing a Schapendoes into your home is a wonderful opportunity to experience the joy and companionship that these unique Dutch herding dogs offer.

Other Dog Breeds Similar to Schapendoes

Mountain Dog Breeds

If you love the Schapendoes breed, you may also be interested in other dog breeds that share similar characteristics. These breeds are known for their herding instincts, intelligence, and friendly temperaments, making them great choices for active families:

  • Bearded Collie: These energetic and intelligent dogs are known for their shaggy coats and playful personalities. They excel in herding and agility sports.
  • Puli: With their distinctive corded coats and lively personalities, Pulis are energetic herding dogs that make loyal family companions.
  • Polish Lowland Sheepdog: This medium-sized breed is intelligent, obedient, and known for their shaggy coats. They are great herders and family pets.
  • Old English Sheepdog: These gentle giants are known for their thick, fluffy coats and playful personalities. They are intelligent and make excellent family pets.
  • Briard: With their elegant appearance and protective nature, Briards are known for their herding abilities and loyalty to their families.
  • Bergamasco: These ancient Italian sheepdogs have unique coats made of dense mats, giving them a distinctive appearance. They are intelligent and make excellent working dogs.

These breeds, like the Schapendoes, require regular exercise, mental stimulation, and early socialization. They thrive in active households that can provide them with plenty of outdoor activities and mental challenges. While each breed has its own unique characteristics, they all share the traits that make them great companions and working dogs.

Remember, when choosing a breed, it’s important to consider your lifestyle, living arrangements, and the amount of time and effort you can dedicate to your new furry friend. Researching and learning about different breeds can help you make an informed decision and find the perfect companion for you and your family.

Breed Traits
Bearded Collie Energetic, intelligent, playful
Puli Corded coat, lively, loyal
Polish Lowland Sheepdog Shaggy coat, intelligent, obedient
Old English Sheepdog Thick, fluffy coat, gentle, playful
Briard Protective, loyal, herding abilities
Bergamasco Dense mats, ancient breed, intelligent

These breeds offer a range of options for individuals and families who are looking for a dog with herding instincts, intelligence, and a friendly temperament. Whether you prefer a breed with a shaggy coat, corded coat, or thick mats, there is a dog out there that will suit your preferences and lifestyle. Consider their exercise needs, grooming requirements, and temperament when making your decision, and you’ll find a loyal and loving companion.


In summary, the Schapendoes is a unique and captivating Dutch herding dog breed. With their intelligence, agility, and charming personality, they make excellent companions for active families. Their medium-sized bodies, long coats, and open-minded expressions give them a distinctive appearance.

Schapendoes are known for their outgoing and friendly temperament, as well as their loyalty to their human packs. Their herding instincts make them excellent watchdogs, and they are attentive and courageous. However, early socialization is important to ensure they interact well with children and other pets.

When it comes to care, Schapendoes require a high-quality diet, occasional grooming to prevent matting, and regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy. They may be prone to certain genetic health conditions, so monitoring their health with the help of a veterinarian is essential.

Although the Schapendoes is a rare breed outside of the Netherlands, their popularity continues to grow as more dog lovers discover their unique qualities. If you’re looking for a spirited companion with herding abilities and a friendly nature, the Schapendoes may be the perfect breed for you.

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