A small to medium sized Schapendoes
Schapendoes Quick Summary
Also Known AsDutch Sheep Dog
Height (at withers)15-22 in (38-56cm)
Weight30-50lbs (14-23kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan12-16 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size4-7
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsHigh
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftMedium

The Schapendoes is a small to medium sized, shaggy looking and hardy dog. The body is relatively long with a deep chest, a curved topline, lightly boned front straight legs and a long feathered tail. The head is wide with a short muzzle, high-set hanging ears, large round eyes often covered by a furry brow, and the face sports a moustache and beard. The shaggy coat is thick and wavy with feathering to the ears and tail, and the colouring includes all colours, with blue grey and black being preferred.


Schapendoeses are active but level-headed dogs with great stamina and endurance. Friendly, affectionate and and fun-loving, they have a welcoming demeanour and make reliable companions and playful family pets. As they can be a little highly strung, it is advisable to ensure they are properly socialised when young, and they shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time as this can lead to destructive behaviour through boredom. They are both lively and intelligent dogs but can be a little independant and stubborn too, but are easy enough to train and so are generally suitable for both novice and experienced dog owners alike. Schapendoeses are sociable creatures and get along well with children, and will often provide a source of endless play and entertainment for them. When properly socialised they are not usually aggressive towards other pets or dogs so long as they are non-dominant, although their herding instincts may sometimes need keeping in check around smaller pets. Friendly but reserved and suspicious around strangers, they make excellent watchdogs and will bark to warn of an approaching visitor, but are not suitable guard dogs.

History & Skills

Schapendoeses originate from Holland in the Netherlands, where they likely descend from farm and herding dogs that may have been a mixture of Bearded Collies, Bergamascos, Briards and Pulis. Still relatively rare outside of their native country, the breed has been around for centuries but was brought back from the brink of extinction following the Second World War when farmers had begun importing Border Collies to work sheep instead. These days they are rarely used for herding but make good pets and do well in sports such as agility and flyball.

Breed Specific Ailments

Schapendoeses tend to live between 12-16 years and are relatively healthy as a breed as they have not been overbred. Some of the health problems that have been noticed include hip dysplasia and PRA.


Schapendoeses are low shedders and so are well suited to those unfortunate enough to suffer from allergies. Their grooming requirements are not high, and the double coat will need brushing at least once a week to prevent the topcoat becoming entangled with the undercoat, and possibly more frequently than this when they are puppies. Their shaggy ears can attract debris and should be kept clean and checked regularly for signs of infection.

Exercise & Environment

Schapendoeses tend to live to live indoors and can even be suitable for smaller homes such as apartments, as they are sociable dogs that thrive being around a family. They will need time outside on a daily basis, such as a walk on the leash and access to an outside area to run around in, which must be secure as these dogs are excellent jumpers. These dogs also like having a task of some sort to do, such as herding.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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