Quick Facts Height Male: 17-20in Female: 16-19in Weight Male: 26-55lb Female: 26-44lb Fun Fact Schapendoes were first shown in the Netherlands under the name “Domestic herding dog”- which is an accurate, if bland, name! Thankfully, no one calls them that anymore! Are you a breeder? About this Breed Schapendoes are a Dutch breed that originated…
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
About this Breed
Schapendoes are a Dutch breed that originated in the Netherlands in the early 1800s (potentially even much earlier!) While they were originally bred to be hunting and farm dogs, modern-day Schapendoes are better known as loving family companions and fierce competitors in dog sports, such as flyball and agility. The origins of Schapendoes are a little bit murky, because they were not bred for looks or even for personality, but were bred to be exceptional farm dogs. The breed came in many different colors and sizes and was known by a variety of different names all across the Netherlands. Individual families and farming communities bred them to suit their specific needs which varied greatly from town to town and region to region, so they were never really a distinct breed until fanciers began to standardize them in the late 1800s.
Schapendoes are closely related to other European sheepdogs, such as the Bearded Collie from the United Kingdom, the Puli from Hungary, and the Italian Bergamasco. As with many European dog breeds, Schapendoes nearly became extinct during the Second World War, and the dogs that exist today are the descendants of the few Schapendoes who were saved thanks to the tireless efforts of lovers of the breed.
Schapendoes do well in a variety of different homes, despite their history as working dogs. While they are kept in apartments in Dutch cities, the only way that they can make a good pet for a small home or apartment is if they are thoroughly exercised throughout the day and giving plenty of time outside running at speed. This energy makes them exceptional competitors in dog sports, but their intelligence and exuberance can lead them to become easily bored if they are not properly physically and mentally stimulated. They make excellent family dogs as they get along well with all matter of other pets as well as children. They are independent and intelligent dogs that have a tendency to want to work with their owners, rather than simply blindly following commands. Schapendoes are still relatively rare outside of the Netherlands, and finding a breeder in North America could be tricky. There will possibly be waiting lists for litters, but for those interested in energetic and family friendly companion, and that the Schapendoes are definitely worth the wait!
Schapendoes on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share Schapendoes ancestry.