The Dutch Schapendoes is a medium-sized dog breed with a thick, wavy coat that gives it a charming appearance. In addition to its distinctive appearance, the Schapendoes is intelligent, lively and shows loyalty and affection towards familiar people.
The breed has a medium size and a light structure. The weight ranges from 12 to 25 kilograms, while the height is between 40 and 50 centimeters. The life expectancy of the Dutch Schapendoes is 12 to 15 years. The breed belongs to Group 1 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which includes shepherd dogs and cattle dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs).
Breed history in brief
The Dutch Schapendoes is a breed that emerged at the end of the last century and the beginning of the present in the Netherlands, mainly in areas with heathland and sheep flocks. This breed belongs to the versatile group of long-haired herding dogs, along with other breeds such as the Bearded Collie, the Puli, the Owczarek Nizinny, the Bobtail, the Briard, the Bergamasco and the German Shepherd Pudel. These breeds have a densely furred head and share a common ancestry with mountain dogs.
Schapendoes were rescued from near extinction during World War II by the quinologist P.M.C. Toepoel, who sparked interest in the breed and spearheaded its breeding.
The Schapendoes is a lightly built dog with a head covered with abundant fur, which gives it the appearance of being larger and broader than it really is. Its eyes are large, round and brown in color, while its ears are moderate in size and mobile. The Schapendoes' tail is long and, at rest, hangs down, but during trotting it is carried high, swinging from side to side. During gallop, it remains horizontal. When alert, the tail may be raised, but should never be carried straight over the back.
The coat is thick and long, especially in the region of the hind legs, slightly wavy and without noticeable curls. The coat grows close together, is thin and dry. This breed has an impressive topknot, as well as a beard and mustache. As for color, all shades are permitted, although a blue-gray to black shade is preferred.
The Schapendoes is a dog with an exceptional temperament. It is intelligent, cheerful, friendly and vigilant, showing great loyalty and affection towards people it meets. Its energy and alertness make it an excellent herding dog and also a loyal and affectionate companion for the whole family.
Common health problems
The Dutch Schapendoes breed is characterized by good health. However, they are prone to develop certain disorders or pathologies such as dwarfism, retinal detachment, hereditary nephritis, osteochondrosis, thrombocytopenia, cataract, diabetes mellitus, glaucoma, hemophilia A, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, hypothyroidism, pulmonary stenosis and von Willebrand's disease.
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