The Furry Critter Network

Schapendoes Breed Description

Back to Canine Breed Menu


Breed Organization

American Kennel Club

Native Country

Other Names
Dutch Schapendoes, Dutch Sheepdog, Dutch Sheep Poodle, Nederlandse Schapendoes

Life Expectancy
12-15 years

Litter Size
Average 3-5 Puppies

Breed Group

General Description

The Schapendoes is a medium sized dog with long, thick fur on the body, legs, tail, and face. Small ears hang down, covered with long fur. The face has a moustache and beard. The coat is of any color.

Breed Standard

Head: Covered by abundant hair making it look larger than it is. Nearly flat skull. Marked stop. Moderately short muzzle. Full mustache and beard.
Ears: Set on relatively high. Medium size. Drop.
Eyes: Round, moderately large. Brown color.
Body: Slightly longer than tall. Belly slightly tucked up. Chest well let down. Ribs well sprung.
Tail: Long, hanging down at rest. Carried at the level of the back when at a gallop. Elevated at attention. Feathering.
Hair: Long, fine, dry, slightly wavy, tending to have a tufted, tousled look, particularly on the hindquarters. Must not be curly. Abundant undercoat.
Coat: All colors acceptable. Blue gray to black preferred.
Size: Dog: 43 to 50 cm.Bitch: 40 to 47 cm.
Weight: 10 to 18 kg.


At the turn of the century, the Schapendoes was well-known in the Netherlands, particularly in the northern province of Drenthe where he worked large sheep flocks. The Schapendoes is related to the Bearded Collie, the Puli, the Polski Owczarek Nizinny, the Old English Sheepdog, the Briard, the Bergamasco, and others. The dog fancier P.M.C. Toepoel was responsible for preserving this breed. After the ravages of World War II, he used the few remaining Schapendoes to resurrect the breed. The Schapendoes club was created in 1947 and a standard was written in 1954, though it was not officially approved until 1971. The FCI recognized the breed in 1989.


This rustic, lively, tireless dog is courageous. He is never nervous or aggressive. He is affectionate, cheerful, playful, and loyal, but rather independent and stubborn. The owner that does not assert his authority over this dog will quickly find himself with an out-of-control dog.

This dog can live in the city if he can get out to spend his energy every day. A good brushing once or twice per week is sufficient.


The Schapendoes was originally a herding dog and general farm dog, but today also participates in dog sports such as agility and flyball.


This is a rather healthy breed. Some hip displasia has occurred in the breed.

Back to Canine Breed Menu

Featured Rescues

"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"

laptop pro


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

laptop pro


If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

laptop pro

Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.