The origins of the breed that is known today as the Dutch Shepherd Dog can be found in the province of Brabant in the 19th century where shepherds needed agile, intelligent, alert shepherd dogs for their daily work with the sheep. Only tractable, reliable, medium-sized dogs with plenty of stamina and an almost unreal level of agility were able to do this work properly. At the end of the 19th century the sheep, shepherds and their dogs almost disappeared by industrialisation; here and there some few dogs were still bred but there was no real inbreeding.

After the Nederlandse Herdershonden Club (NHC) was set up in 1898, the breed became official. Thanks to a few commited breeders the Dutch Shepherd with three coart varieties - shorthair, longhair, and roughhair, each with brindle - was registered as a breed of it's own by the FCI in 1960.

Although being very similar in character and physique to the Belgian Shepherds, the Dutch Shepherds are not nearly as well known as the Belgian breeds are. Still today the Dutch Shepherd is a personal tip for dog experts. The dogs never "came in fashion" and may be that is the reason why this breed is still unspoilt and has no health problems.

The former typical characteristics of the Dutch Shepherds which evolved by their work with the sheep are still the same today. Working with the sheep could only be carried out as teamwork together with the shepherds and thus neither extremely dominant nor obsequious dogs were suitable for this kind of work. Dutch Shepherds were at that times and are still today willing to work, sturdy, sensitive, alert, attentive, very agile and intelligent. They are ideal for people who are willing to keep them both physically and mentally exercised; every day and in all weathers. Dutch Shepherds need and search a "job". Short walks are by far not enough for this agile dog. They are ideal partners for each kind of sport with dogs, but they do not handle unfair punishment well and need a steady handler.

Like all other dogs the Dutch Shepherds need and enjoy the company of all family members and always want to be where they are. They are inquisitive, eager to learn and playful. If one is willig to give all this to the dog, you are rewarded with an extremely pleasant, very affectionate, loyal dog which is fun to live with.

General appearence Varieties
Medium-sized, medium-weight, sturdy and well-proportioned, with an intelligent expression and lively temperament. Short-hair, long-hair and rough-hair
Head Coloring
In good proportion to the body, more long than massive; muzzle slightly longer than the skull, which should be flat. Slight Stopp; relatively small ears, stiffly erect, dark eyes, medium-sized and almond-shaped, Scissor-bite. All varieties: various shades of brindle, including gray, yellow, silver, red or gold brindle, blue and salt and pepper.
Body Height
The body is longer than high, the chest and belly are deep and not too drawn up, powerful legs with moderate angles; tail reaching the hook, at rest, the tail should hang straight or gently curved, in action, carried gracefully upwards, never curved or falling sideways. Dogs: 23-25 inches
Bitches: 22-24 inches
Smooth, supple, true. The movement should neither be constrained nor floating nor too far-reaching.