A Guide to Caring for a Dutch Shepherd Dog

dutch shepherd sitting in grassy field

When you see a photo of a Dutch Shepherd, you may think you’re looking at a German Shepherd, but that’s only because of the close ancestry these cousin breeds share. The German Shepherd and Dutch Shepherd puppy only split from the same breed a little over a hundred years ago and still share quite a few similarities. Although Dutch Shepherd puppies are much less known than other Shepherds are, these dogs are some of the healthiest and easiest Shepherds to train.

Dutch Shepherds are adorable animals, and they are great with families who are attentive to their dogs. If you’re looking for a couch potato dog to sit around leisurely with, a Dutch Shepherd puppy isn’t the right choice. These dogs would do best in larger homes with experienced dog owners. However, newbie dog owners can successfully adopt and train a Dutch Shepherd puppy to become one of the best boys in the whole wide world, but it will require consistency and practice. This means novice dog owners need to be dedicated to learning about what kind of training these dogs require before adopting them.

People in apartment buildings should keep in mind that these dogs might be able to live there happily but would be even happier if their owners let them out of the building daily. Dutch Shepherds are very active and don’t typically bark a lot, but if they become suspicious of any visitors that enter your home, they’re more likely to get noisy. These dogs aren’t great in smaller spaces, but they can happily live there with the right owner.


Many dog breeds originated in Europe and worked their way around the world, including the Dutch Shepherd puppy. These dogs haven’t changed much since their farm days in the Netherlands over a century ago. The Dutch Shepherd dog breed is beautiful and has contributed to many dogs that have successfully become police dogs, therapy animals, or service dogs. These pups have also successfully worked their way into being family-friendly pets and watchdogs.

Dutch Shepherds have a history of enjoying active environments full of large families with children and other dogs. These dogs typically can be trained to play well with other animals and get along with most people. Still, Dutch Shepherds have made excellent watchdogs and don’t always warm up to strangers fast, and they can take getting used to someone before they can really enjoy spending time with a person.

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Dutch Shepherd Size

Dutch Shepherds can get to be pretty large dogs and can weigh anywhere from 50 to 70 pounds when they’re full grown. They can also grow to stand between 21 to 25 inches tall at their shoulders. Because Dutch Shepherds can grow to be very big dogs, it is important to train them when they’re younger. It’s easier to teach a ten-pound pup not to pull on walks than to teach a 70 pound Dutch Shepherd.

Dutch Shepherd Puppy Temperament

Dutch Shepherd puppies are loyal animals who are as playful as they are intelligent. These dogs are very active and would be an excellent fit for outdoorsy families. People who go on daily walks or hike regularly find that a Dutch Shepherd puppy can fit wonderfully into their routine. Dutch Shepherds are rarely ever standoffish and love working alongside people.

These dogs are quite social and great at listening to commands. Many Dutch Shepherds have been trained to work alongside one person for long hours, so they don’t do great when left alone for too long. These dogs can be excellent in family homes, and as long as they receive plenty of attention and training, they are sure to be happy dogs that add nothing but energy and love to any home.


Dutch Shepherds are best known for their intelligence and overall competency in most tasks. These dogs commonly become police animals, guide dogs, and search and rescue animals. They are great at performing so many different jobs because of their incredible intelligence.

Dutch Shepherds are fairly easy to train and are semi eager to please their owners, and they require a confident trainer or may get confused about what they are supposed to be learning. Although these dogs soak up training lessons like a sponge, they will need owners that are firm and consistent.

Dutch Shepherd puppies will be on their best behavior when their owner provides positive and encouraging environments. These dogs are naturally loyal and intelligent pets, and they may not take well to being chastised for not completing their job correctly. Any Dutch Shepherd puppy will have the most potential for growth in a home that has a reliable training routine full of treats and encouragement.

dutch shepherd standing in the snow

Dutch Shepherd Puppy Shedding Habits

The Dutch Shepherd puppy has three different styles of coats, and they aren’t incredibly high shedding dogs. However, these dogs will shed more during the dramatic changes in seasons such as spring or fall. The Dutch Shepherd puppy is not hypoallergenic in any way.

Owners can best help their Dutch Shepherd puppy keep their coats clean of dead fur by brushing them once or twice a week. Dutch Shepherd puppies are certainly low-maintenance dogs in comparison to some other breeds, like the Poodle, but every dog breed benefits from regular brushing sessions.

Health Overview for the Dutch Shepherd Dog Breed

Dutch Shepherd puppies tend to live between 12 to 15 years long. Dutch Shepherds are typically healthy dogs and have very few health conditions they risk experiencing. Predominantly, these dogs suffer from minor joint concerns and occasionally digestive disease. While Dutch Shepherd puppies are at risk of developing some health issues, many of these dogs will live their entire life without experiencing these conditions.

Even though many dogs live without physical health issues, many animals will experience psychological issues such as stress and anxiety.

Dutch Shepherd Puppy Common Psychological Health Issues


Many dogs experience stress in their daily lives, just as humans do. Stress is a natural response to the world around us, and the only time it becomes a problem is if it becomes severe enough to alter our days. Often dogs can become so stressed their days get unsettled. There are many symptoms a stressed-out Dutch Shepherd puppy will show their parents.

Many things can cause stress, and Dutch Shepherd puppies who experience abuse, neglect, homelessness, or abandonment are likely to experience stress more often. Dutch Shepherd puppies are likely to get more stressed when reminded of past traumatic experiences. Some dogs get stressed when they hear loud noises, meet new people, ride in a car, or other particular events that remind them of their trauma. This is why some dogs might favor one gender over another or be scared of large vans.

Often, dogs that are rescued aren’t socialized properly and get very stressed out in strange environments. Meeting new people and new animals might make them very nervous, and Dutch Shepherd puppies may also get nervous in loud, crowded rooms.

Some Dutch Shepherd puppy owners will find their dogs are more standoffish than outgoing, but owners shouldn’t stress about this because they can train their dogs to be more outgoing by socializing with them.

Many owners find their dog’s stress symptoms aren’t severe enough to do anything about. Some Dutch Shepherd puppies may get stressed out and respond by hiding behind their owner or sitting as close as possible to them. Dogs have different reactions to stress based on the various histories of their lives.

Whatever causes your dog’s stress is will be the key to figuring out how to relieve your dog of their stress. However, owners can treat any stress symptoms their dog may help with calming supplements to ease their dog’s symptoms.

dutch shepherd standing on the grass


While Dutch Shepherd dogs are strong and can be quite independent, these dogs are also incredibly loyal and can suffer from anxiety. Dogs can experience anxiety for a number of reasons, and the majority of situations are caused by loud noises, flashing lights, or separation anxiety. Also, dogs get anxious when they don’t get their minimum amount of daily activity.

Dutch Shepherd puppies may experience mild symptoms of anxiety, like panting, drooling, pacing, or restlessness, but these dogs don’t need treatment for mild situations.

When Dutch Shepherd dogs show minor anxiety symptoms, these dogs can usually be given treats or toys to distract them. Dogs with more severe signs of anxiety will need the most help with their symptoms.

Sometimes Dutch Shepherd puppies might start showing signs of anxiety if they aren’t getting enough attention. Bored dogs also become destructive dogs, so dogs that have no mental stimulation may become troublesome.

Sometimes, Dutch Shepherd puppies may tear their owner’s couch or trash bag up while they are home alone, but this behavior isn’t resentful. Dogs can experience panic attacks when they are left alone for too long, especially animals that have been rescued from the street or from shelters.

When dogs start showing more severe signs of anxiety, like destroying the house, urinating, defecating, vomiting, or showing a lack of appetite, their owners should provide remedies to their dog’s symptoms. Some owners give their dogs a safe space full of comfortable places to rest along with fresh water and calming treats or supplements. Some owners provide their anxious dog with CBD or veterinarian prescribed anxiety medication. There are plenty of ways for potential owners to help their Dutch Shepherd puppies overcome anxiety.

Calming Dog Products for Dutch Shepherd Puppies

There are many things owners can provide their dogs that can help their anxiety and stress symptoms. Some dogs are naturally more anxious than others, and some experience traumas that make them anxious. Providing these nervous Dutch Shepherd puppies with calming dog products can help them relax.

Owners can create a safe space for their dog that is far away from loud noises or foot traffic. It’s a great idea to include a water bowl, a comfortable dog bed, and some calming treats, too.

dutch shepherd laying in a flower field

Common Dutch Shepherd Puppy Physical Health Conditions

Overall, the Dutch Shepherd dog breed is a very healthy breed. Many of these dogs live their lives doing police work or search and rescue missions and performing manual labor tasks. Even though Dutch Shepherd puppies are mostly healthy, some of these dogs might experience minor health issues like joint dysplasia, dental issues, obesity, or irritable bowel disease.

Many of these conditions, especially dental health and obesity, can be aided solely by the dog owner’s efforts. Other conditions, like joint issues and bowel disease, have many supplement options and lifestyle changes to aid these health concerns.

It’s important to remember that many Dutch Shepherd puppies won’t have these conditions either.

Hip Dysplasia

The Dutch Shepherd puppy has a common issue where they suffer from hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a joint issue where a dog’s hip joint doesn’t align properly. Most dogs have minor conditions of hip dysplasia that don’t affect them much except for their symptoms of pain.

Dogs with hip dysplasia can get pain medication in the form of dog CBD or even supplements. Some owners can learn how to stretch their dog’s joints out to help them retain their range of motion. It’s a good idea for any pet parents of dogs with hip dysplasia to provide a comfortable place to rest after exercising. Often dogs with hip dysplasia can benefit from a lifestyle change in terms of their activity levels. Some dogs with hip dysplasia should start being more active to keep their joint from stiffening and causing the pain symptoms to worsen. Some dogs are already too active and need to limit their activity, or else they risk causing arthritis and swelling to impede their motions.dutch shepherd jumping over wooden hurdle

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an annoying health condition that can cause some dogs discomfort. Many animals have inadequate responses to specific foods, and it can be difficult for owners to find out which foods it is. The best thing to do is to give your dog only one type of meat at a time to understand which foods affect your dog more. Often, dogs with IBD benefit from eating less popular meats like venison or lamb.

Owners can also give their dogs supplements to aid them in their symptoms, and supplements can help assist their stomach and bowel movements.

Many dogs have elbow dysplasia and live their entire lives with it without needing any intensive medical care. Elbow dysplasia occurs when the three bones in the joint don’t align properly. These bones then scrape off of one another when a dog moves. Sometimes, this can make a dog have a weird hop or hold their legs up and get limp. Often, supplements made for the joint can allow a dog’s joints to de-swell or aid the pain symptoms.

Many dogs with elbow dysplasia would benefit from their owners stretching out their joints now and then. Owners can manually run their dog’s joints through their normal range of motion without putting pressure on them, and it’s a great way to keep a range of motion without hurting them. It would also be good for these dogs to rest on comfy beds so their joints can rest on anything other than hard surfaces.

Dental disease affects many dogs in the United States. Many dogs have bleeding or swollen gums when they get their teeth brushed, and this is a common sign of gingivitis. Gingivitis is a very mild condition, but it is the first step of dental disease.

Dental disease doesn’t have to progress to a dangerous point, but it can get far enough for a dog to lose their teeth or contract some digestive tract issues or heart disease.

The bacteria and tartar build-up in the teeth can worsen issues throughout the dog’s body and overall health. Owners can help their Dutch Shepherd puppy keep their teeth healthy by brushing them at least twice a week but daily is best.

An alternative option is dental treats. Many owners give their dogs daily dental treats to help keep their teeth clean. Owners should make sure they don’t use anything other than dog-specific products to care for their oral health.

dutch shepherd sitting in a grassy field

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Dutch Shepherd Breed’s Needs


The Dutch Shepherd puppy is a large dog that will need an active lifestyle to keep healthy. These dogs can live in apartments as long as they are still getting about an hour of exercise daily to keep them fit. These dogs would benefit from short play periods, like quick games of fetch or tug of war.

Many people forget that dogs need mental exercise just as much as physical activity. Dutch Shepherds are brilliant dogs, and they would do great when given daily mental stimulation.

Owners can provide this in a few different ways. Many dog toys aim to stimulate dogs by providing puzzles where they have to work to get the rewards. Some kong balls are great ways to provide long-lasting puzzle games, or some owners play “hide and seek” with their dog’s treats, and the dog has to go find them.

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Dutch Shepherd puppies would be best fed when they receive 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry dog food. These dogs’ diets can change based on their age, weight, sex, height, or other health conditions.

Owners may need to feed their dogs less once they age. Typically, younger dogs are more energetic and active, so they tend to need more calories. You can work with your vet to decide the appropriate amount of daily calories for your dog, and you should remember to include treats in their daily calorie count.

Owners should examine their pets’ overall physical health based on a visual profile. If you look directly down at your Dutch Shepherd puppy, you should see a slight waistline on them. You should also be able to feel their ribs on the side of their body if you apply slight pressure. If their waistline is non-existent or you have to put more than a little pressure on their side to feel their ribs, the dog is overweight. If you can see a dramatic waistline and feel or see your dog’s ribs with no pressure, that dog is severely underweight.


The Dutch Shepherd’s coat comes in three different coats; short hair, long hair, and wire hair. Wirehair Dutch Shepherds are typically rare, while short hair Dutch Shepherds are seen more commonly in police work. These dogs usually have brindle fur, but they can also have sandy gold or red chestnut colors. Dutch Shepherds benefit from brushing sessions multiple times a week, no matter their fur type.

Multiple brushing sessions a week will keep your dog’s coat clean and neat while making it shiny and training your dog to enjoy physical touch more. Owners don’t need to provide more than one or two brushings a week.

Owners should bathe their dogs on a regular schedule and not too often. Bathing your Dutch Shepherd puppy about once every five to seven weeks is a great way to keep up their health and keep any dirt out of their coats.dutch shepherd running through yard

Top Product Picks for Dutch Shepherd Puppies

When adopting a new dog, you need to be ready for this puppy to come home with you. To be prepared for your new addition, you must purchase some high-quality dog food but specifically puppy food if you’re getting a puppy. You also need to gather some helpful supplies.

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Many owners find dog cages helpful, especially when adopting a new pet. This can help ease their adjustment to a new home, especially if they like crates. Many new dogs aren’t house trained, so purchasing a crate can relieve new owners’ stress.

New dog owners should absolutely invest in a dog bed, some toys, and some treats as well. Buying these things for your dog before you bring them home can help make them feel like they have more of a space in your home, and it can also provide them with everything they need to create a comfortable space.

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Dutch Shepherd puppy parents should also purchase a collar, nametag, and leash. Some owners forget how useful harnesses are, but a harness is definitely a must when caring for a dog like Dutch Shepherd dogs. However, some owners may find it easier to wait to get a harness until after they get a dog. If you don’t know what size your dog would fit, you should wait until you can measure them.

Other Resources

Dutch Shepherd Dog Club of America

American Dutch Shepherd Association

Dutch Shepherd Association

Working Dutch Shepherd Association of America

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