Schapendoes

Canis lupus

Last updated: October 16, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
Image Credit Edwin Butter/Shutterstock.com

The Schapendoes numbers decreased significantly during the Second World War, along with many other European Sheepdog breeds.

Schapendoes Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Canis
Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Schapendoes Conservation Status

Schapendoes Locations

Schapendoes Locations

Schapendoes Facts

Name Of Young
Puppy
Group Behavior
  • Social
Fun Fact
The Schapendoes numbers decreased significantly during the Second World War, along with many other European Sheepdog breeds.
Other Name(s)
Dutch Sheepdog
Gestation Period
58 to 68 days
Litter Size
2 to 5 puppies
Diet
Omnivore
Lifestyle
  • Diurnal
Common Name
Schapendoes
Origin
Netherlands

Schapendoes Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Brown
  • Black
  • White
Skin Type
Fur
Height
15 to 19 inches
Age of Sexual Maturity
6 to 9 months
Age of Weaning
3 to 6 weeks
Aggression
Low

Schapendoes as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Shedability
Trainability
Intelligence
Tendency to Chew
Size
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
High
Separation Anxiety
Moderate
Preferred Temperature
Cold climate
Exercise Needs
High
Friendly With Other Dogs
High
Pure bred cost to own
$750 to $1,500
Dog group
Herding
Male weight
30-55 lbs
Female weight
26-44 lbs

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Schapendoes originate from the Netherlands, where they were bred to herd sheep. However, they are not a popular breed outside of the Netherlands. In fact, their numbers decreased significantly during the Second World War, with many other European Sheepdog breeds.

So, it’s tough to find this breed, even in today’s day and age. But, if you can find a Schapendoes, they make amazing family pets, especially for active households who enjoy the outdoors. In addition, they are obedient and agile, making them easy to train.

Different Types of Sheepdog Mixes

There are a  few different types of sheepdog hybrids, including:

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Sheepadoodle

The Sheepadoodle is the result when you crossbreed an Old English Sheepdog and a Poodle. Most Poodle offspring are highly intelligent and playful, making them a desired breed. But, when you add the gentle personality of an Old English Sheepdog into the mix,  you get excellent emotional support or therapy dogs. These wonderful traits make them a great choice for families with young children.

Golden Sheepdog

The Golden Sheepdog is a mix between an Old English Sheepdog and a Golden Retriever. This breed is incredibly loving and can be really charming.

Luckily, most breeds crossed with a Golden Retriever land up with their fun-loving personality. But they need a lot of exercise to them happy and healthy. Golden Sheepdogs need to be active for at least one hour every day; this can include lengthy walks or engaging games to keep their minds stimulated as well.

Old German Sheepdog

The Old German Sheepdog is a German Shepherd and Old English Sheepdog mix. This intelligent large breed of dog can be mischievous, so owners must be vigilant.

If left to their own devices without any proper stimulation, they can wreak havoc! However, if they receive the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation, they are happy, caring dogs that love human attention.

Because both the Old German Shepherd’s parents are herding dogs, they will thrive on large properties like a farm or ranch, where they can herd livestock and run around. However, they also do well in urban settings if they receive daily hour-long walks or outdoor play.

Three Pros and Cons of Owning a Schapendoes

Before running out and buying one of these adorable pups, there are a few things you should know first.

Pros

  • Schapendoes do not need a lot of grooming
  • They are great with kids and other pets
  • Schapendoes is the perfect breed for first-time dog owners

Cons

  • Unfortunately, Schapendoes are prone to a few health issues
  • They shed a lot and won’t do well with allergy sufferers
  • Schapendoes can gain weight quickly and can become obese

The Best Dog Food for a Schapendoes

Because the Schapendoes are a medium-to-large breed, they need food specifically formulated for their size and activity level. However, they are prone to significant weight gain, so their food intake must be monitored and controlled constantly.

In addition, Schapendoes need to eat dog food formulated for the different stages of their lives. For example, puppies, adults, and seniors.

Schapendoes Size and Weight

Male Schapendoes are bigger than females and can grow between 16 to 19 inches tall and weigh 30 to 55 pounds, while females are 15 to 18 inches tall and weigh 26 to 45 pounds.

Schapendoes Common Health Issues

Unfortunately, the Schapendoes are susceptible to an array of health issues. If you own one of these loveable furballs, be on the lookout for the following:

Patent Ductus Arteriousus

This terrible disease causes improper blood flow and frequently presents itself as a heart murmur in puppies. However, veterinarians can repair this issue through surgery, with great results. But, sadly, if it is not found in time, it can cause congestive heart failure, which is fatal and will cut their life short. Which is why regular vet checkups are so important.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

There is a proven connection between Schapendoes and Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which is a painless eye condition that will eventually cause destruction of the ocular cells, causing blindness.

It generally starts with night blindness, which can quickly transform to complete loss of eyesight within a few months. Unfortunately, there is no way to cure PRA, but breeders can weed it out with genetic tests.

Ear Infections

Because the Schapendoes have particularly hairy ears, they are prone to ear infections. This is because their ear canals tend to become humid and moist, which easily traps debris and other gunk.

It is essential that you clean your Schapendoes ears on a regular basis. In addition, you need to ensure their ears are dry after a swim or bath, as wet ears can increase the chances of them developing an ear infection.

Schapendoes Temperament

While these dogs are incredibly independent, they are easily trainable. In addition, these dogs are loyal, affectionate, playful, and friendly dogs make great companions.

Luckily, they do not bark a lot but like to stay busy as they are working dogs and need to keep active. Therefore, Schapendoes need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Keeping them active doesn’t mean you need to go running for hours on end; they also respond well to games like puzzle toys and training; they are goofballs at heart and will enjoy playing with you and your children. However, Schapendoes are vigilant and make good watchdogs even if they aren’t aggressive.

How to Take Care of a Schapendoes

Schapendoes
Because these dogs have such thick coats and long fur, they are prone to tangles and matting. So, Schapendoes need to be brushed two to three times a week.

Edwin Butter/Shutterstock.com

Schapendoes need a lot of care to keep them healthy and happy. This includes:

Grooming

Because these dogs have such thick coats and long fur, they are prone to tangles and matting. So, Schapendoes need to be brushed two to three times a week. This will also help with shedding. In addition, they tend to shed more when the weather changes, so they will require more brushing during this period.

To keep their fur clean and healthy, bathe them once a month, depending on how dirty they are. In addition, check their ears weekly for debris as they are prone to ear infections. They also need their nails trimmed every 3 months or when their claws start touching the ground.

Schapendoes need their teeth brushed every day to maintain strong teeth and healthy gums, but ensure to only use toothpaste specially formulated for dogs.

Training

The Schapendoes love to please their owners, making training easy for this breed. But, to prevent any bad behavior from developing, they need to start training and socialization from a young age.

Puppy classes are always beneficial as they teach puppies obedience and manners through positive reinforcement, which they respond to well.

These dogs may be wary of strangers and reserved, so when they are puppies, start to introduce your Schapendoes to different people and places to help with their social skills.

Exercise

These active dogs need at least two hours of exercise daily to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Ideal activities include walking, hiking, running, and games like fetch.

Schapendoes excel in dog sports that concentrate on agility and herding. However, if they are deprived of stimulation, they can act out by barking or being destructive.

Puppies

Female Schapendoes have an average litter size of 2 to 5 puppies. Because this breed is so rare, their cost can vary depending on availability, location, and pedigree, but on average, their price ranges from $750 to $1,500 per pup.

Schapendoes and Children

This breed is good-natured and friendly, and Schapendoes generally get along well with children and other pets in the household. But, because they are herding dogs, their natural instincts might make them try to herd smaller children and other animals on the property.

And, no matter how calm and gentle these dogs might be, children should never be left unsupervised in their company, as with any other dog breed.

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About the Author

I am a 33-year-old creative and professional writer from South Africa. Wildlife is one of my greatest passions and led me to become the writer I am today. I was very blessed to work with an abundance of wildlife (mainly big cats) and captured my unique experiences in writing. But I wanted to take it further, and I ventured into the freelancing world. Now, I get to spend my days writing about animals; what could be better?

Schapendoes FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How big is a Schapendoes?

Male Schapendoes are bigger than females and can grow between 16 to 19 inches tall and weigh 30 to 55 pounds, while females are 15 to 18 inches tall, and weigh 26 to 45 pounds.

How long do Schapendoes live?

Schapendoes originate from the Netherlands, where they were bred to herd sheep.

Are Schapendoes high maintenance?

Because these dogs have such thick coats and long fur, they are prone to tangles and matting. So, Schapendoes need to be brushed two to three times a week. This will also help with shedding. In addition, they tend to shed more when the weather changes, so they will require more brushing during this period.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Dog Time, Available here: https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/schapendoes#/slide/1
  2. Dog Zone, Available here: https://www.dogzone.com/breeds/schapendoes/#health
  3. The Spruce, Available here: https://www.thesprucepets.com/dog-breed-profile-schapendoes-5203456#toc-common-health-problems

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