The Dutch Shepherd Dog is a herding dog of Dutch origin. They were used by shepherds and farmers who needed a versatile dog, a jack-of-all-trades, with few demands and able to adapt to a harsh and meager existence.
Originally the main function of the Dutch Shepherd Dog was that of a shepherd’s dog in the countryside. From early times, the Dutch had an arable culture that was maintained by flocks of sheep. The dogs had to keep the flock away from the crops, which they did by patrolling the borders of the road and the fields. They also accompanied the flocks on their way to the common meadows, markets and ports.
At the farm, they kept the hens away from the kitchen garden, they herded the cows together for milking and pulled the milk carts. They also alerted the farmers when strangers entered the farmyard. Around 1900, sheep flocks had for the greater part disappeared in the Netherlands. The versatile skills of the Dutch Shepherd Dog made him suitable for dog training, which was then starting to become popular. They were then trained and used as police dogs, as search and tracking dogs, and as guide dogs for the blind. They are, however, still capable of herding sheep.
The Dutch Shepherd is a medium-sized, medium weight, well-proportioned, well-muscled dog of powerful, well-balanced structure, with intelligent expression and lively temperament. Depending on the coat the breed is distinguished as short-hair, long-hair, or rough-hair.
Short-hair: All over the body, quite hard, close-fitting, not too short coat with woolly undercoat. Ruff, breeches and tail plume are clearly visible.
Long-hair: All over the body, long, straight, well fitting, harsh to the touch, without curls or waves and with a woolly undercoat. Distinct ruff and breeches. Tail abundantly coated. Head, ears and feet and also the hind legs below the hocks are short and densely coated. The backsides of the forelegs show a strongly developed coat, shortening in length towards the feet, the so-called feathering. No fringes at the ears.
Rough-hair: Dense, harsh tousled coat and a woolly, dense undercoat all over the body except for the head. The coat should be close. Upper- and lower lip should be well-covered with hair, the whiskers and beard, and two well defined, coarse rough eyebrows that are distinct but not exaggerated. Furnishings are not soft. The hair on the skull and on the cheeks is less strongly developed. In profile it seems as if the head has a more square appearance. Strongly developed breeches are desirable. Tail is covered all round with hair. The brindle colour may be less pronounced because of the tousled coat.
Color Brindle. The basic color is golden or silver. Golden can vary from light sand- colored to chestnut red. The brindle is clearly present all over the body, in the ruff, breeches and tail. Too much black is undesirable. A black mask is preferable. Heavy white markings on chest or feet is not desirable.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Shepherd_Dog
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