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Is the Schapendoes right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Dutch Sheepdog

The basics:
The Schapendoes has the classic shaggy sheepdog look that catches our attention today, but for centuries Schapendoezen (plural for Schapendoes) were the working farm dog of the common people in the Netherlands. By the mid-20th century, these herding dogs came close to vanishing, thanks to the importation of the wildly popular English Border Collies. Dedicated breeders have brought them back from the brink, and today the Shapendoes is being tracked by the American Kennel Club's Foundation Stock Service, a step on the path to breed recognition in the US.

As herding dogs, they needed to be intelligent, trainable, and active-- all qualities that serve them well as family pets.

Appearance / health:
The Schapendoes is a small, shaggy sheep dog. With the rough, long coat and drop ears, the breed is physically similar to the physically similar to many herding breeds such as the Beardie, Puli, Nizinny, and other European varieties. The abundant growth of hair makes the head appear bigger and broader. The eyes are large, round and brown in color. Ears hang free. The tail is long and feathered.

Schapendoezen do not shed. The coat needs regular grooming including weekly brushing to prevent knotting or matting. Frequent brushing is required for puppies before the definitive coat starts to grow to prevent the undercoat from tangling with the top coat and become knotted and matted. The coat is self-cleaning and therefore Schapendoezen do not need bathing except when they are extremely dirty. Trimming is not required. Standard care is needed for eyes, ears, pads, and nails.

Schapendoes puppies require moderate exercise, which could be gradually increased once they have reached the age of 9 to 10 months.

Adult Schapendoezen do well on an hour's walk twice a day.

Behavior / temperament:
They are affectionate and friendly toward family members and people whom they recognize. They are virtual powerhouses that love to play and romp. They may be slow to obey commands because of their playful nature.

Schapendoezen are intelligent, trainable, and good learners. They are quick to pick commands. However, they are very playful and tend to avoid training. They must be trained in a firm and consistent manner.

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