Loyalty Reliability Alertness Watchfulness

The Dutch Shepherd should reflect the qualities of loyalty and reliability, alertness, and watchfulness. Dutch Shepherds are known to be active and independent. They display a great deal of persistence, are always prepared to be obedient, and gifted with the true shepherding temperament.

Dutch Shepherds great team players as well as Independent thinkers

The Dutch Shepherd Dog works willingly together with its owner and he deals independently with any task which is assigned to him. When herding larger flocks he must have the capacity to work together with several other dogs. He should not show fear or shyness nor viciousness by unwarranted or unprovoked attack.

Dutch Shepherd

Herding Dog Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


The Dutch Shepherd, native to Holland, was originally a sheepdog, and was also used by Dutch farmers as a general purpose farm dog. Currently enjoying resurgence in popularity in its homeland, it is also being used as a companion and guard dog.

The Dutch Shepherd is very similar in coat types and physical characteristics, except for color, to the Belgian Shepherd Dog. The brindle color pattern is the only acceptable pattern in the Dutch Shepherd.

The Dutch Shepherd was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1995.

General Appearance

The Dutch Shepherd is a medium-sized, well-proportioned, well-muscled dog, with a powerful, well-balanced structure, an intelligent expression and a lively temperament. In proportion he is slightly longer than tall, with the length of the body exceeding the height at the withers in a ratio of 10:9.

The Dutch Shepherd has three coat types: short coat, long coat, and rough coat.


He is alert, devoted to his owner, obedient, and eager to please and oblige. He is a good guardian, is very faithful and reliable, undemanding, with plenty of stamina, is vigilant, active and is gifted with a typical shepherd temperament. He may be somewhat reserved and should be well socialized.


The size of the head is in proportion to the body. It is wedge-shaped, smooth, and dry. The head of a rough-coated dog appears to be more square, but this is an illusion.


The skull is flat. There is a slight stop.


The muzzle is slightly longer than the skull. The top of the muzzle is straight and runs parallel to the top of the skull. The lips are tight.


A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite.

Faults: Overshot bite. Undershot bite.


The nose is black.

Fault: A nose that is not black.


The dark, medium-sized, almond-shaped eyes are placed somewhat obliquely.

Faults: Round eyes. Bulging eyes.


The triangular-shaped ears are small rather than large. Placed on top of the head, they are carried somewhat forward and firmly erect.

Faults: Soft ears. Spoon-like ears. Cropped ears.


The neck is clean and not too short. It flows gently into the withers.


The powerful, well-muscled forequarters have good bone. The shoulders lay well back. The upper arm is of good length.


The forelegs are straight, with sufficient spring to the slightly sloping pasterns.


The body is firm. The ribs are well-sprung. The chest is deep, but not narrow. The underline of the brisket flows gradually into the underline.

The short back is straight and powerful. The firm loins are neither long nor shallow. The croup is not short, nor does it slope excessively.


The powerful, well-muscled hindquarters have good bone. Stifle angulation is normal, without exaggeration.


The hock is moderately angled, enough so that the rear pastern is perpendicular to, or slightly less than, the ischium. There are no dewclaws on the hind legs.


The feet have well-arched, close-knit toes. The pads are firm and dark. The nails are black.


When at rest, the tail hangs straight or is gently curved, reaching to the level of the hock. When the dog is in action, the tail is carried gracefully upwards. It never curls up over the back nor falls sideways.

Faults: Curled tail. Docked tail.



The outer coat is rather hard, smooth, and close-lying all over the body A too-short coat is not desired. There is a woolly undercoat. A ruff, trousers, and feathered tail are clearly evident.


The long, sturdy hair is straight and close-lying all over the body There are no curls or waves. There is a woolly undercoat.

The head, ears, feet, and the hind legs below the hock are covered with short, dense hair. There is no feathering on the ears. The back of the forelegs are feathered, which gets shorter toward the feet.

The tail is well-covered with long hair.


The entire body is covered with a rough, harsh, tousled outer coat. There is a dense, woolly undercoat. The hair on the head forms eyebrows, which must be strong and off-standing. The hair on the cheeks and ears is less strongly developed. Both the upper and lower lips must be well-covered with hair, forming a mustache and a beard.

Well-developed trousers are preferred. The tail is abundantly feathered.


Must be brindle. Brindle is defined as a black or very dark streaked or striped effect, with hairs of a lighter background color.

Very small white accents may occur on the breast and/or on the feet.


Brindle, on either brown or gray ground; and brindle all over the body, including the collar, trousers, or tail. A black mask is preferred.


Brindle, on either brown or gray ground; and brindle all over the body, including the collar, trousers, or tail. A black mask is preferred. Compared to the other coat types, the brindle is less pronounced in the outer coat.

Faults (all coat types): Too much white on the breast. Too much white on the feet. Wrong colors. Mis-markings.
Serious Faults: White stripes or white spots on any part of the body other than the breast or feet.


Height range for males is from 22½ to 24½ inches. Height range for females is from 21½ to 23½ inches.


Movement is smooth, supple, and normal. The legs are not brought forward in a tied way, neither floating not far-reaching.


Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.
Solid black body patches.

UKC Breed Standard: Dutch Shepherd