Canine Breed Menu



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Breed Organization
Schapendoes Club of America
Schapendoes Club USA
Native Country
Other Names
Dutch Sheep Poodle, Dutch Sheepdog, Dutch Schapendoes, Nederlandse Schapendoes
Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-14 Years
Litter Size
Average 3-5 Puppies
Breed Group
Herding - AKC/FSS
Breed Appearance
The Schapendoes is a medium sized dog with long, thick fur on the body, legs, tail, and face. Small ears hang down, covered with long fur. The face has a moustache and beard. The coat is of any color.

Breed Description
Head: Covered by abundant hair making it look larger than it is. Nearly flat skull. Marked stop. Moderately short muzzle. Full mustache and beard.
Ears: Set on relatively high. Medium size. Drop.
Eyes: Round, moderately large. Brown color.
Body: Slightly longer than tall. Belly slightly tucked up. Chest well let down. Ribs well sprung.
Tail: Long, hanging down at rest. Carried at the level of the back when at a gallop. Elevated at attention. Feathering.
Hair: Long, fine, dry, slightly wavy, tending to have a tufted, tousled look, particularly on the hindquarters. Must not be curly. Abundant undercoat.
Coat: All colors acceptable. Blue gray to black preferred.
Size: Dog: 43 to 50 cm.Bitch: 40 to 47 cm.
Weight: 10 to 18 kg.

At the turn of the century, the Schapendoes was well-known in the Netherlands, particularly in the northern province of Drenthe where he worked large sheep flocks. The Schapendoes is related to the Bearded Collie, the Puli, the Polski Owczarek Nizinny, the Old English Sheepdog, the Briard, the Bergamasco, and others. The dog fancier P.M.C. Toepoel was responsible for preserving this breed. After the ravages of World War II, he used the few remaining Schapendoes to resurrect the breed. The Schapendoes club was created in 1947 and a standard was written in 1954, though it was not officially approved until 1971. The FCI recognized the breed in 1989.

This rustic, lively, tireless dog is courageous. He is never nervous or aggressive. He is affectionate, cheerful, playful, and loyal, but rather independent and stubborn. The owner that does not assert his authority over this dog will quickly find himself with an out-of-control dog.

This is a rather healthy breed. Some hip displasia has occurred.

This dog can live in the city if he can get out to spend his energy every day. A good brushing once or twice per week is sufficient.

The Schapendoes was originally a herding dog and general farm dog, but today also participates in dog sports such as agility and flyball.

Horse Herd