Dutch Schapendoes

Other names: Schapendoes, Dutch Sheepdog

Dutch Schapendoes
Dutch Schapendoes

The Schapendoes is a long-haired, shaggy working breed of dog native to the Netherlands. This is a dog with high energy and a smart, alert, mind - it requires an owner who can keep up with these impressive physical and mental abilities. With that said, its kind, loyal and cheerful nature makes it a wonderful family companion.


Key facts about the Dutch Schapendoes

  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 14 years
  • Temperament : Playful, Intelligent
  • Size : Medium
  • Type of coat : Long, Wavy

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)


Section 1 : Sheepdogs

Physical characteristics of the Dutch Schapendoes

Adult size

Female dog Between 16 and 19 in
Male dog Between 17 and 20 in


Female dog Between 22 and 40 lb
Male dog Between 22 and 40 lb

Coat colour

Most commonly black and/or white, but also seen in brown and gray.

Type of coat

Long shaggy and thick, with a good undercoat.

Eye colour



The Schapendoes is a medium-sized dog with a striking long, shaggy coat and adorable moustache. The ears are high-set, small and completely covered in fur, while the eyes are large with a frank, loyal, and lively expression. The body is athletic and agile; longer than it is tall.



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A naturally warm and friendly dog, especially when well-socialized. Loyal and affectionate towards its family.


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Known to be a jolly, cheerful and playful breed who loves goofing around, playing games, and sports.


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The Schapendoes is an alert, active and energetic breed by nature but is calm indoors if well-exercised.


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Incredibly smart, capable of learning new tricks and completing tasks with ease. Due to its high intelligence, the Schapendoes requires plenty of mental stimulation.


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This breed has low hunting instinct and, thankfully, is unlikely to chase small animals.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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As a naturally friendly breed, a well-socialized Schapendoes has little problem around strangers and warms to new faces quickly.


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If you’re thinking of adopting a Schapendoes, be aware that it has a definite independent streak to its personality. Without proper training, it could be end up overly stubborn and feel it can lash out.

Behaviour of the Dutch Schapendoes

Tolerates solitude

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The Schapendoes isn’t a breed you can leave alone for hours without being accustomed to it from a young age. If left for too long, he could become destructive and bark excessively - the neighbours won’t be happy!

Easy to train / obedience

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The Schapendoes, despite having an independent and stubborn streak, is very eager to please. While he will definitely require firm and consistent training, he is more than capable of picking up new commands and tricks easily.


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Not known as a nuisance barker, unless bored or left alone for too long.

Tendency to run away

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Thanks to its low prey-drive, the Schapendoes isn’t likely to suddenly run away unless he hasn’t been well-exercised. However, it is an extremely skilled jumper and may be capable of jumping over garden fences.


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The Schapendoes gets bored easy and if it’s under exercised or left home alone for a long period of time, it could become destructive.

Greedy / Gluttony

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This breed can be a little greedy - go easy on the treats and avoid leaving lying food around.

Guard dog

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The Schapendoes may bark at the presence of a stranger, but due to its naturally friendly and inquisitive nature, this isn’t guaranteed. Not an aggressive or overly protective breed.

First dog

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This dog can be adopted by a novice, but only if they take his extremely high exercise requirements and strong will into account.


Dutch Schapendoes in a flat

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The Schapendoes is more suited to a house with a garden to roam around in.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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Since it was bred to herd, it comes as no surprise the Dutch Sheepdog is incredibly active. This dog has a high exercise requirement and is best suited to a life full of activity, sports and adventure. Ideally, it will receive 2-3 long walks every day and have regular opportunities to jog, run, hike and swim.

Travelling / easy to transport

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This is a medium-sized breed who should be able to fit comfortably in a large car.


Dutch Schapendoes and cats

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The Schapendoes gets along well with cats, especially if it’s brought up around them from a young age. If you’re looking to house your dog with cats, ensure it has regular exposure to them as a puppy.

Dutch Schapendoes and dogs

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Again, the Schapendoes can live happily with other dogs if socialized well throughout early life.

Dutch Schapendoes and children

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A wonderful and playful companion for children but may try to herd small kids.

Dutch Schapendoes and the elderly

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This breed is likely to be far too energetic and active for an elderly owner.


We do not have enough data to set an average price for purchase. However, looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £60 to £90 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.


The Schapendoes’ stunning shaggy coat requires brushing 1-2 times per week. This breed should be bathed occasionally and only when necessary, as too many baths may dry out the skin. The Schapendoes’s nails grow rapidly and need trimming regularly. Check the ears every week and clean if necessary to avoid wax and debris build-up. Brush the teeth as often as you can - ideally every day.


Low to medium shedding - regular grooming will help.

Nutrition of the Dutch Schapendoes

The Schapendoes was bred to herd, and so, has endless energy. Therefore, this breed will need a dog food specifically formulated for active dog breeds.

Health of the Dutch Schapendoes

Life expectancy

The Schaependoes is generally a hardy breed but is highly prone to a serious eye condition. It's life expectancy is 13 years.

Strong / robust

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Overall, this is a robust and healthy breed.

Withstand heat

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The Schapendoes isn’t afraid of high temperatures.

Withstand cold

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The Schapendoes is bred to herd sheep in cold and wet weather conditions, with a thick, protective, insulating coat to keep it warm.

Tendency to put on weight

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An active Schapendoes is unlikely to gain excess weight. However, sometimes this breed has eyes bigger than its stomach - measure out food allowances daily.

Common illnesses

Good to know

Schapendoes were almost wiped out during WWII, but were saved thanks to a small group of dedicated breeders.

Origins and history

The lovely Schapendoes breed originates from Holland and was a highly capable farm and herding dog there. It wasn’t recognized by the Dutch Raad van Beheer (the national kennel club) until 1952. After almost facing extinction, this breed is still endangered today and is extremely rare in the UK.


Liam, Casper, Otto, Chiara

Find out more dog name ideas here


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