Dog Breeds


Schapendoes is quite a large shepherd dog, with long hair that requires careful combing. Intelligent, sensitive, easy to drive. This shaggy shepherd is a close cousin of the Polish lowland shepherd, who is distinguished by his lighter structure and darker coat.


Schapendoes (pronounced schapendus) is a Dutch shepherd dog. It is a medium-sized, shaggy dog ​​that looks like our PON at first glance, although it is slightly lighter and has longer paws. Like PON, the pattern allows all colors, but in practice in both breeds spotted dogs are most common.

However, while PON is usually white with black or fawn patches, schapendoes have black patches on a roan background, i.e. one in which black hair is mixed with white. In addition, unlike PON, he always has a long tail.

As a schapendoes shepherd dog, he was valued for his diligence and intelligence and has kept these qualities to this day. He is smart, cheerful, brave and curious. He is not afraid of new challenges and is not shy or nervous. Lively and clever, he puts fun above everything.

For strangers, some dogs representing this breed are very open, even effusive, while others remain indifferent. They are devoted, tender and sociable to their owners. They cling to children and are good companions for their games, but it would be better if they were older children. They easily make contact with other dogs and are not aggressive towards them.


Schapendoes run out at home are calm, but always willing to play. Sofas and armchairs are his favorite beds. He is a vigilant observer, therefore he will always inform the household members about the arrival of the guest, who he will then greet with joyful leaps.


The dog of this breed is full of energy, and physical activity is its element. He would give anything for running, he is very lively and maneuverable. Works great in agility, pastoralism and frisbee thanks to its dynamics and speed.

Schapendoes. Training and education

Schapendoes learns quickly and willingly, but because as a shepherd dog he often has to make decisions on his own paw, he can be very stubborn. This combination of intelligence and independence clearly indicates his relationship with PON.

Who is this race for?

This breed is not suitable for busy people and for families with young children, although of course there are exceptions. As a working dog, he needs movement, so he will work as a protégée of active people.

He will be happy to accompany his owner in jogging, cycling or walking. He also enjoys various activities involving gray cells.


Due to the spontaneous nature and attachment to the owner, you can not leave him for a long time without attachment – in this situation, he can look for attractions himself or become barking. This dog is also not suitable for people who like pedantic order.

Schapendoes. Advantages and disadvantages


  • sometimes stubborn and disobedient
  • may be barking
  • needs a lot of movement and activity
  • brings a lot of dirt on the hair


  • nice family dog
  • non-aggressive
  • willing to cooperate
  • cheerful
  • inexpensive to maintain
  • resistant to weather conditions


Schapendoes generally enjoy good health. Genetic diseases include dysplasia and PRA (progressive retinal atrophy).

Since October 2008, a genetic test has been available to identify the causative mutation of the latter disease. It is recessively inherited (the dog must inherit one altered gene copy from each parent), and the test also identifies its carriers.



Schapendoes do not require any special nutrition. You can give him either natural food (BARF, home-cooked food) or good-quality ready-made food.


On his long hair, schapendoes brings sand and mud home. Its cover should be regularly taken care of – often combed and bathed every three weeks.

The most troublesome is the care of a young dog, up to about 3 years old. The young hair is downier, so it is very easy to get tangled up. It should, therefore, be combed daily. After replacing the hair for an adult, more rigid, you can do it a little less often.


If we show our dog, we should not overdo it or style it. Schapendoes is supposed to have the appearance of a rural shepherd – of course, the exhibition should be clean and combed.


Schapendoes comes from shaggy rural quadrupeds that were kept in the province of Drenthe and in the Veluwe region of the province of Gelderland. The landscape of the latter region has been shaped by a glacier and resembles our lake district – it is full of forests, hills, lakes and wetlands. Dogs herded sheep and guarded the house and the farm.

They were called differently, because they were not a homogeneous breed, but simply a local type of quadrupeds adapted to the local climate and the tasks set before them.


Despite this, they debuted at exhibitions early – in the 1870s they were shown as “native shepherd dogs”. Unfortunately, during World War II, the breed was almost extinct. However, her fans found a few surviving dogs and decided to recreate her. In 1947, the Dutch Schapendoes Club was founded. In 1952, the breed was initially recognized by the Dutch Kennel Club.

Two years later, a pattern was created and dogs were registered in the pedigree book. The FCI recognized the breed in 1971 and then its introductory book was closed.


Schapendoes is related to other shaggy shepherd breeds, including Polish lowland sheepdog, bearded collie, poti, bergamasco, french briard sheepdog or old German shepherd dog of the schafspudel variety. All these quadrupeds probably originate from a Tibetan terrier – an old Asian shepherd breed, which is only a terrier by name.


Schapendoes – group I FCI, section 1, reference number 313

  • Country of origin: The  Netherlands
  • Character:  smart, cheerful, energetic, friendly, alert; sometimes barking
  • Size:  dogs 43-50 cm, bitches 40-47 cm
  • Weight:  13-20 kg
  • Coat:  long (about 7 cm, even longer on the rump), two-layered, slightly wavy; highly curly is undesirable; dense, dry, slightly rough to the touch
  • Ointment:  all colors are allowed, but gray-black (with black patches and roan background) to completely black is preferred
  • Lifespan:  12-15 years
  • Vulnerability to training:  very high
  • Activity:  high; especially at a young age needs a lot of exercise and mental activities
  • Resistance/susceptibility to diseases:  healthy and resistant dog; genetic diseases occur with dysplasia and PRA (progressive retinal atrophy)
  • Possibility of buying a puppy:  only abroad

Interesting facts

The word schapendoes literally means sheep poodle. 

Since 1972, schapendoes is recognized as the national dog of the Netherlands.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!