Dutch Shepherd (Herder)

Written by: Jamie
Updated: March 28, 2020

Find out everything you want to know about the Dutch Shepherd to make an informed decision about whether this is the perfect breed for you.

dutch shepherd 1

Height: 21.5 – 25 inches
Weight: 42 – 75 pounds
Lifespan: 11 – 14 years
Pedigree Breed: The Dutch Herder is well respected and held in high esteem; however, it is not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Positives and Negatives of the Breed

Whatever dog breed you are looking for, there will be some pros and cons. Whether a Dutch Shepherd will be the perfect breed for you depends on many things. Here are some of the most common pros and cons for you to start thinking about.


  • They live relatively long lives and do not experience many genetic health problems. In fact, they are one of the healthiest shepherd breeds.
  • When it comes to training, these dogs love to please and can easily form associations between a prompt, an action and a consequence. They make excellent working dogs, and part of this is because of their ability to be highly trained.
  • They make an excellent watchdog for a family home. Their alertness and loyalty to their families mean they will happily stand guard and bark as a warning if a stranger enters their territory.
  • Companionship is something you will get in bucket loads if you opt for this breed. They make a loyal, affectionate pet that will always be glad to see you when you walk through the door and ready to go out whenever you are.


  • They are very sociable and don’t like to be left alone too much. This is not a problem if someone is at home for most of the day, but they won’t enjoy being left alone while everyone goes out to work or school.
  • For anyone looking for a low maintenance pet, the amount of exercise needed by this dog certainly goes against it. Owning this type of pet means making sure time is factored into each day for walks and runs to ensure they get as much exercise as they need.
  • Dutch Herders make fantastic companions but can be difficult to find outside of their native country.
  • Space is an absolute must for anyone wanting to own one and this means that if you live in an apartment or don’t have a large outdoor space, then, unfortunately, it would be unfair for you to make one of these dogs your pet.

Dutch shepherd being trained


The Dutch Shepherd dog has been bred as a worker, and you can tell by its long, muscular body and levels of energy. They are solid dogs that require very little in terms of maintenance, except when it comes to the amount of exercise they need.

The Dutch Herder is a perfect companion that will be with you for up to 14 years and will happily provide lots of loyalty and affection.

They are a versatile breed that can be easily trained and have a desire to please, with a natural weariness of strangers that makes them an effective guard dog as well.

With very few health problems, they require little input from vets even into old age and will certainly ensure you get out and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.


Commonly referred to as the Dutch Herder dog, it is not surprising that they have been used as an all-purpose working dog with a history dating back to the 19 Century in Holland.

In the past, they have frequently been used as a herder or farm dog until farming processes changed, and the dogs were no longer necessary for herding animals.

This breed was also used by the military during World War II, and as breeding stopped during the war, this breed of dog was almost driven to extinction.

Fortunately, after World War II had ended, breeders continued the effort to keep this fantastic breed of dog going. The intelligence and protective nature of the dog have seen it develop into a working dog for security services, the police, and also a guard dog.


Having a good grasp on the personality of your new dog is essential if you want to ensure its happiness and wellbeing. We’ve answered the most common questions to help you raise a happy dog.

What Are They Like with Strangers?

This breed has a great temperament for protection and can be used as an effective guard dog. For this reason, they can be wary around strangers.

Exposing your dog to a variety of people of all ages and sizes will help to ensure they are friendly with strangers as they grow into an adult dog.

Are They Good Around Other Dogs?

This breed loves company, whether that be with humans or other dogs. You can find some dog breeds that are either good with humans or good with other dogs. However, these canines will happily make friends with both.

Can They Be Trusted Around Children?

If you are looking for a family-friendly pet, then this is a great breed to add to the family. As a breed, they are very affectionate and like to form bonds with their human family members.

This includes children, and you will find them to be a fantastic, gentle, and protective companion to any of the smaller members of your family.

This breed does grow to be quite big, which may be intimidating to children who have not grown up around the dog.

Therefore, any new children should be introduced when the dog is not too energetic or playful, and owners should be sensible, as with any breed of dog, around new children.

Recommended: The Eurasier dog breed has been around since the 60s and has grown in popularity across the globe.


There have been reports of some this breed experiencing hip dysplasia. However, it should be kept in mind that these instances are very low.

For anyone who may be concerned about hip dysplasia, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals certifies dogs as being dysplasia free.

If buying or adopting a puppy, it is beneficial to check the certification of both parents to ensure their hips and elbows are dysplasia free. This will reduce the risk of the dog you purchase, developing any issues.

Recommended: The Victorian Bulldog is a popular and well-known relative of the English Bulldog.

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The intelligence of the Dutch Herder means that they are good at differentiating between different times of the day and different activities.

If they are being used as a working dog, they will know when to work hard and when they can relax and play, adjusting their energy levels accordingly.

They are one of the dog breeds that requires the most amount of exercise and so they need a family life that can cater to this.

Anyone who is thinking of getting one of these dogs as a pet needs to consider their exercise requirements.

If you don’t require your dog to carry out work then you will need to ensure they have access to a large amount of outdoor space where they can enjoy the fresh air, and you should take them on walks, runs, hikes or bike rides every day, as many times as possible!

If you don’t manage to keep your dog occupied with exercise, you will find they make their own fun and are known to destroy possessions.

dutch shepherd 2


When it comes to training, the Dutch Herder dog is a natural. The reason this breed has been used for decades as an all-round worker dog is mainly due to the intelligence and ability to train.

This natural ability makes them a pleasure to train, and as long as you establish your role as ‘pack leader’ early on, you should have no problems with training.

You may find them to have a stubborn streak, as is common with most intelligent breeds.

However, this should not cause too much of an issue when it comes to training as long as you are patient and encouraging.

Positive reinforcement is definitely the way to train as their desire to please, and their intelligence means they will quickly understand what is expected of them and want to do it, again and again, to make you happy.

Learn More: The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is one of many breeds described to resemble a typical English bulldog.


When it comes to grooming, the type of coat this breed has will determine how frequently your pet will need brushing.

Dutch Herders can have a coat of gold brindle or silver brindle and in three different types: short-hair, long-hair, and rough-hair.

The short-hair types are the easiest to maintain and would suit anyone who only wants to carry out occasional brushing. During shredding times of the year, it will be necessary to increase brushing to daily.

Long-haired dogs need to be groomed at least once a week, but they may need more frequent brushing, depending on their activities and environment.

The rough-hair dogs only require grooming on average once a month, but they will also need to have their coat hand-stripped at least twice a year.

There are no average requirements for them to be bathed and this should be carried out as and when they need it.

Next Article: The great Boerboel is a loyal, loving, dog that can be a great family pet.

We’d love to hear from anyone who has experience with these dogs. Leave a comment down below or send us a message on our contact page.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Jamie! I've always been around dogs and now writing about them is an absolute joy.
Read more about my story here.
Reach me at Jamie@woofbarkgrowl.co.uk or connect with me on LinkedIn below.

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