Schapendoes are extremely intelligent dogs that have always been used for herding on farms and come from the Netherlands. Currently, in addition to being sheepdogs, they can be seen in agility sports such as flyball. In this article we will answer the question: What is a Schapendoes dog like? Commenting a little on its origin, the physical characteristics and temperament, the basic care such as its diet and its health towards the breed.
History of the Dutch Schapendoes
The Schapendoes or Dutch Schapendoes breed of dogs is a dog of Dutch origin. Its appearance dates back to the late 20th and early 21st centuries, making it a fairly new breed of dog, and it was always seen more in places where there were flocks of sheep in the Netherlands. These dogs were highly admired by the shepherds, for their courage and tireless effort to carry out their work; but above all for his intelligence. PMC Toepoel, a kinologist, is the founder of the breed. The Schapendoes is found in the group of long-haired sheepdogs, in addition it has a fairly close relationship with the Bearded Collie, Owczarek Nizinny or Shepherd of Valée, Puli, Bobtail, the German Sheepdog Pudel and the Bergamasco. All these breeds of dogs are very similar in size and appearance; and they are also variations that were mutating from the original mountain dogs.
It is in the period of the Second World War that the popularity of the Schapendoes grows in an interesting way. Starting in 1940 and during the following 5 years, offspring of the Schapendoes breed were made to prevent their disappearance; but as of the year 1945 it is when the crosses begin to be able to develop the race seriously. A few years later, 1947 the Schapendoes breed club was founded in the Netherlands. A couple of years later, 1954, is when the breed standard is finally established based on a Genealogical Record Book. From the year 1971 it is when the Schapendoes is definitively recognized; and from that moment, only offspring are produced from dogs that are registered.
Physical characteristics of the Schapendoes
Schapendoes are very active dogs that have always tried very hard to do their jobs tirelessly. That is why the FCI categorized them in Group 1: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Section 1: Sheepdogs. In addition, it can also be mentioned that due to their size they always did an excellent job. This breed has a medium size since it does not exceed 25 Kilograms in weight.
The Schapendoes is a medium-sized dog that belongs to the group of sheepherders according to the FCI classification, it has a body with a normal and proportionate complexion although it can be seen that it is longer than it is tall. The upper line is arched, it has a deep chest and a tucked belly, its legs are straight and large bones, with an oval shape. The tail is long, hairy and hangs down.
The skull of the Schapendoes has a moderate stop (craniophasial depression located between the frontal region and the nasal region) and is flat. Its muzzle is shorter than its skull and it has small, hairy ears that are born from a high position and are left hanging. The Schapendoes eyes are well round with a frank expression. His teeth are scissor-shaped.
In males the height of the Schapendoes ranges between 43 and 50 centimeters. The females range between 40 and 47 centimeters.
The average weight of the Schapendoes is approximately 15 kilograms. In general, the ideal weight for males is between 12 Kilograms and 25 Kilograms. While for females it ranges between 12 Kilograms and 20 Kilograms.
Schapendoes have two layers of fur, the upper one is long and wavy with a rustic and dry texture, while the lower one has softer and thicker hair. The length of its fur should be approximately 7 centimeters long.
Colour of the Schapendoes
All colors are admitted, although the most predominant or those most easily seen among the specimens are grayish blue and black. The breed's eyes tend to be brown in general.
Temperament of the Schapendoes dog breed
Schependoes breed dogs are very alert and spirited dogs, which is why from their origin they have always been chosen as a shepherd dog due to their inexhaustible willpower. This section will answer the question, What is the temperament of a Schependoes like? on the one hand we will emphasize the character and then how these beautiful dogs behave.
Character of the Schapendoes
The Schapendoes is a very calm dog, who does not usually bark unless necessary. He is quite silent and cheerful and above all very companion and friendly. He is a clever dog who has a willingness to learn when tried to train, even if he is a bit stubborn at times.
This breed of dog is very sociable. Not only does he get along well with other dogs, but he also has good behavior and good dealings with children and other animals such as rabbits, dogs, and livestock. It is a very familiar and super loyal dog. Very sociable with people even though they are strangers and not at all suspicious or distant.
General care of Schapendoes dogs
The Schapendoes breed of dogs are not dogs to which you have to pay attention to too much care; but there are some essentials that we have to keep in mind, such as maintaining a good diet and the amount of walks that a dog of this breed needs. That is why in this section we are also going to mention how to maintain the hygiene of these dogs, how to train them or educate them correctly and the most frequent health and diseases in the Dutch Schapendoes.
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Schapendoes cleanliness and hygiene
The presentation of the hair of these dogs is not neat so it does not require much care. Using a thick comb once a week is more than enough. This needs to be taken into account and not allowed to go too long without brushing because they tend to get knots and tangles between their hairs that don't come undone easily and they will need to be cut.
The hair, being a bit long, covers the eyes and it is very possible that if they are dirty this cannot be seen, so it is recommended that you check daily if they are irritated or with some dirt. It is also necessary to clean the ears with some frequency and trim excess hair in that area. In this breed it is normal for there to be hair between the pads of its legs and it is convenient to cut it since knots form and they can get more dirty than usual.
Due to their intelligence they are dogs that learn quite quickly. It is recommended that when they are being trained, games are used so that the dog can enjoy it, especially if the dog is a puppy, take this into account. If you have consistency with training, it is a dog that can even surprise its own trainers.
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This breed does not tend to stray far from its master nor are they dogs that require intense exercise. For many families it is enough to have a large piece of land where he can run around and burn energy. With this, it is achieved that when the dog enters the house it is much calmer. They really enjoy running, ball games, and catching objects.
These dogs with a lot of willpower and extremely energetic, must maintain a diet and food according to the amount of exercise they perform. Schependoes require a dog food, either dry food or homemade food that is of good quality; but above all, it contains meat, vegetables and carbohydrates. The most advisable thing is to be able to give it two servings a day with the proportion of food determined by the animal health specialist. The vet will advise you exactly how much kibble or food the Schependoes needs to eat per day based on the dog's age, weight and exercise.
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Schependoes health and diseases
The Schependoes breed of dogs are dogs that do not have many problems and enjoy excellent health; however there are some complications or diseases that are more frequent in this breed. Patella luxation, hip dysplasia are the most common, but complications can appear in terms of sight and hearing.
However there are some diseases that can also be frequent like heart problems; That is why it is important to take the dog to the vet from time to time to verify that he is in good health. What we recommend is 1 time a year at least.
How long does a Schapendoes live?
Schependoes breed dogs are dogs that enjoy good health and as long as they are given proper care they will enjoy an excellent quality of life. The life expectancy of these dogs ranges between 12 and 15 years, so they can be considered a semi-long-lived breed of dog. However, it is important to carry out medical check-ups at least 1 time a year to verify that you do not have any illnesses or health problems.
Uses of the Schapendoes dog breed
They fit well with athletic families and families who live in houses with large lots or houses in the country. They are very companion dogs that enjoy very much canine sports of catching objects on the fly and agility and obedience tests.