Breed Information Rare Dog Breeders Rare Breed Show Case  Lastest News, upcoming litters, shows and more Advertising Rates Useful Links
 Meet Anne Embree our Rare Breed Artisit About Us Contact Us Rare Breed Network home page


Official U.K.C. Breed Standard*

Herding Dogs Group
  © Copyright 1995, United Kennel Club, Inc..


The Dutch Shepherd, native to Holland, was originally a sheepdog, and was also used by Dutch farmers as a general purpose farm dog. Currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity in its homeland, it is also being used as a companion and guard dog.

The breed is very similar in coat types and physical characteristics, except for color, to the Belgian Shepherd Dog. The brindle color is acceptable in the Dutch Shepherd.

The Dutch Shepherd was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1995.


The size of the head is in proportion to the body. It is wedge-shaped, smooth, and dry. The skull is flat. The muzzle is slightly longer than the skull. The top of the muzzle is straight and runs parallel to the top of the skull. There is a slight stop. The lips are tight.

The head of a rough-coated dog seems to be more square, but this is an illusion.

A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite.
Faults - Overshot bite. Undershot bite.

The nose is black.
Fault - A nose that is not black.

The dark, medium-sized, almond-shaped eyes are placed somewhat obliquely.
Faults - Round eyes. Bulging eyes.

The triangular-shaped ears are small, rather than large. Placed on top of the head, they are carried somewhat forward and firmly erect.
Faults - Soft ears. Spoon-like ears. Cropped ears.


The neck is clean and not too short. It flows gently into the backline.


The powerful, well-muscled forequarters have good bone. The shoulders lay well back against the brisket. The upper arm is of good length.

The forelegs are straight, with sufficient spring to the slightly-sloping pasterns.


The body is firm. The ribs are well sprung. The chest is deep, but not narrow. The underline of the brisket flows gradually into the underline.

The short back is straight and powerful. The firm loins are neither long nor shallow. The croup is not short, nor does it slope excessively.


The powerful, well-muscled hindquarters have good bone. Stifle angulation is normal, without exaggeration.

The hock is moderately angled, enough so that the rear pastern is perpendicular to, or slightly less than, the ischium. There are no dewclaws on the hind legs.


The firm feet have well-arched, close-knit toes. The pads are firm and dark. The nails are black.


When at rest, the tail hangs straight or is gently curved, reaching to the level of the hock. When the dog is in action, the tail is carried gracefully upwards. It never curls up over the back nor falls sideways.
Faults - Curly tail. Docked tail.


The short-coated variety has an outer coat that is rather hard, smooth, and close-lying all over the body A too short coat is not desired. There is a woolly undercoat. A ruff, trousers, and feathered tail are clearly evident.

The long sturdy hair is straight and close-lying all over the body There are no curls or waves. There is a woolly undercoat.

The head, ears, feet and the hind legs below the hock are covered with short, dense hair. There is no feathering on the ears. The back of the forelegs are feathered, which gets shorter toward the feet. The tail is well-covered with long hair.

The entire body is covered with a rough, harsh, tousled outer coat. There is a dense, woolly undercoat. The hair on the head forms eyebrows, which must be strong and off-standing. The hair on the cheeks and ears is less strongly developed. Both the upper and lower lips must be well-covered with hair, forming a moustache and a beard.

Well-developed trousers are preferred. The tail is abundantly feathered.


The following are acceptable in the short-coated and long-coated varieties - more or less pronounced brindle, in either brown (gold-brindle) or gray (silver brindle); and brindle all over the body, including the collar, trousers or tail. A black mask is preferred.

Too much black in the outer coat is not desirable.

The following are acceptable in the rough-coated variety: blue-gray; salt and pepper; silver-brindle; and gold-brindle. Compared to the other varieties, the brindle is less pronounced in the outer coat.

Faults (all varieties) - Too much white at the breast. Too much white on the feet. White stripes or white spots on any part of the body other than the breast or feet. Wrong colors. Wrong markings. Too much black in the outer coat.


Height range for males is from 22-1/2 to 24-1/2 inches. Height range for females is from 21-1/2 to 23-1/2 inches.


Movement is smooth, supple and normal. The legs are not brought forward in a tied way, neither floating not far-reaching.


Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Extreme viciousness or shyness.

* NOTE: This information has been contributed by, and is property of The United Kennel Club, Inc. and is gratefully used here with permission.

Return to the Dutch Shepherd page