Originally the main function of the Dutch Shepherd Dog, known in his native country as Hollandse Herdershond, was to keep the sheep flocks away from the crop fields by patrolling the borders between the road and the fields. They also accompanied the flocks on their way to the common meadows, markets and ports. At the farm, the Dutch Shepherds kept the chicken away from the kitchen gardens, herded the cows together for milking and pulled the milk carts. Later, their versatile skills and intelligence made them suitable for police, search-and-rescue, tracking and other work. Dutch Shepherds also have an excellent record serving as guide dogs for the blind.
Photo by Hundund
The Dutch Shepherd Dog is a medium-sized, well-muscled dog of powerful and balanced structure. Very loyal and reliable, he is always alert, watchful, active, independent, and persistent. There are three coat varieties: short-haired, long-haired, and wire-haired. In the short-haired variety, the coat is close-fitting with woolly undercoat. Ruff, breeches and tail plume are present. In the long-haired variety the coat is long, straight, well fitting, harsh to the touch, without curls or waves and with a woolly undercoat. Distinct ruff and breeches are also present. The hair on the head, ears, feet and the hind legs below the hocks is short and dense. The backsides of the forelegs have a strongly developed coat, shortening in length towards the feet, the so-called feathering. There are no fringes at the ears. In the wire-haired variety the coat is dense, harsh, with a woolly, dense undercoat all over the body except for the head. The color is brindle, with the base color being golden or silver. Golden can vary from light sandy color to chestnut red. The brindle is clearly present all over the body, in the ruff, breeches and tail. A black mask is preferable.