Dutch Shepherd Dog

This is the breed standard for the Dutch Shepherd Dog


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ESSENTIALS OF THE DUTCH SHEPHERD: The three varieties of the Dutch Shepherd (Longhaired, Roughhaired, and Shorthaired) are judged by the same breed standard.  They are, with exception of coat type, essentially the same in physical conformation.  Overall, strong, enduring, and agile workers, with mass well proportioned and in relation to the bone structure.  Head is of good length and width but not long and broad, well chiseled and refined, but should never appear less than strong; ears set high and carried erect; muzzle tapering slightly to the nose but never snipy.  The neck is of moderate length, arched and strong.  Shoulders well laid.  Chest deep.  Back strong. Hindquarters well muscled and with good angulation.  Height: 23-25 inches  (58.5-63.5 cm).  Weight 66 pounds (30 kg). The Dutch Shepherd come in three very different coat varieties, each of which is recognized by the F.C.I.  The Longhaired’s coat is long, straight, flat and harsh; the roughhaired’s jacket is medium long and wiry; the Shorthaired’s hair is fine and dense.  Although the coat types vary, the color possibilities remain the same for each: various shades of brindle, including gray, yellow, silver, red or gold brindle, and blue.





Historical Summary





FCI-Standard N° 223  / 18.12.1989 / GB



TRANSLATION : Yoka ten Berge and Prof. R. Triquet.


ORIGIN : The Netherlands.




CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Section 1 Sheepdogs.  Without working trial.


GENERAL APPEARANCE : A medium-sized, middle-weight, well-proportioned, well-muscled dog of powerful, well-balanced structure, with intelligent expression and lively temperament.


IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS : The length of the body exceeds the height at the withers in a ratio of ten to nine.


BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT : Affectionate, obedient, tractable, alert, very faithful and reliable, undemanding, with plenty of stamina, vigilant, active and gifted with the true shepherd temperament.


HEAD : In good proportion to the body, more long than massive, without wrinkles and dry.  In the rough-coated variety, the head appears more square, but this is an illusion.



Skull :  The topline of the muzzle is straight and runs parallel with the skull topline.

Stop : Slight.



Nose : Always black.

Muzzle : Slightly longer than the skull, which should be flat. 

Lips : Tight.

Jaw/Teeth : Powerful and regular.  Scissor-bite, i.e. when the mouth is shut, the incisors of the upperjaw closely overlapping in the incisors of the lower jaw.

Eyes : Dark, medium-sized, almond shaped, placed somewhat obliquely, not round or bulging.

Ears : Rather small than large.  When the dog is alert, they are carried rather forward.  They are set high.  Not spoonshaped.


NECK : The neck should not be too short.  It is dry, i.e.without dewlap, and flowing gently into the topline of the body.


BODY : Firm. 

Back : Short, straight and powerful.

Loin : Firm, not long or narrow.

Croup : Must not be short or too sloping.

Ribs : Slight spring.

Chest : Deep but not narrow.  Brisket flowing gently into the underline.


TAIL : At rest, the tail should hang straight, or gently curved, reaching the hock.  In action, carried gracefully upwards, never curled nor falling sideways.




FOREQUARTERS : Powerful, well muscled and with good bone.  Overall straight, but with sufficient  spring of pastern.

Shoulders : Well laid back lie close to the ribcage.

Upperarm : Of good length.


HINDQUARTERS : Powerful, well muscled and with good bone, forming a normal angle at the stifle joint.

Thigh : Not excessively out of the perpendicular.

Hock : A moderate angle is desired so that the hock is perpendiculary below the ischium.


FEET : Well arched toes; closely knit, which avoids long feet.  Black nails; elastic dark pads.


GAIT/MOVEMENT : Smooth, supple, true.  The movement should be neither constrained nor floating nor too far-reaching.




HAIR : According to the coat, variations are divided into

short coat

long coat

rough coat



Short coat : All over the body a quite hard coat, not too short, with a woolly undercoat.  Ruff, trousers and feathered tail must be apparent.

Long coat : All over the body a long, straight close-lying coat harsh to the touch, without curls or waves, with a woolly undercoat.  Head, ears, feet and the hindlegs below the hocks should be covered with short, dense hair.  The back of forelegs shows strongly developed coat, which becomes shorter towards the feet (feathers).  The tail is heavily coated all over.  No feathering on ears.

Rough coat : All over the body, a thick, rough, harsh, tousled coat with a dense, woolly undercoat.  The coat should be dense.  Upper lip and under lip should be well furnished with hair, not soft but off-standing (whiskers and beard).  Eyebrows are rough and off-standing.  The hair on the skull and on the cheeks and ears is less strongly developed.  Tail heavily coated.  Well developed culottes are required (breeching).



Short coat : More or less pronounced brindle on a brown ground (gold brindle) or on a grey ground (silver brindle). Brindle all over the body, also in ruff, trousers and tail.  Much black in the upper coat is undesirable.  A black mask preferred.

Long coat : Same colours as for the short coat.

Rough coat : Blue-grey and pepper-and-salt, silver-or gold-brindle.  Brindle less pronounced in the topcoat compared to the other variations.



Height at the withers : Dogs : 57-62 cm. Bitches : 55-60 cm.


FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Nose other than black.

Overshot or undershot mouth.

Drop ears or spoon-shaped ears. Cropped ears.

Docked tail. Curled tail.

Too much white on chest or on feet; white stripes or spots in any other part of the body.

Wrong colour, mismarking.  Too much black in the topcoat.



Aggressive or overly shy.


Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.


N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.