Official Standard of the Dutch Shepherd

General Appearance:

The first impression of the Dutch Shepherd is of a medium-sized, middle-weighted, well-muscled dog of powerful and well-balanced structure. His carriage is natural and relaxed, but alert. He is a dog with lots of endurance, a lively temperament and an intelligent expression. The breed is presented in three coat types, short-, long- and rough-haired. The difference between sexes is clearly recognizable, especially in the shape of the head and build of body. Both male and female should be judged equally.

Faults – Any deviation from these specifications is a fault. In determining whether a fault is minor, serious, or major, these two factors should be used as a guide:

1. The extent to which it deviates from the standard

2. The extent to which such deviation would actually affect the working ability and welfare of the dog

Size Proportion, Substance:

Males should be 22½ to 24½ inches in height and females 21½ to 23½ inches, measured at the withers. The length, measured from point of breastbone to point of buttock, compared to the height, should be a 10 to 9 ratio. Bone structure is solid and moderate weight in correct proportion to his height, appearance well balanced, neither too light or too heavy.

Males under 21 inches or over 26 inches shall be disqualified. Females under 20 inches or over 25 inches shall be disqualified.


Size should be in proportion to the body. Is wedge-shaped seen from above and in profile. The skull and muzzle are equal in length. Expression – should be intelligent and lively, indicating alertness, attention and readiness for activity.

Eyes – are dark colored and medium size, set slightly oblique, almond shaped and not protruding. Dogs with distinctly yellow or blue eyes shall be disqualified.

Ears – are medium sized, stiff, and erect.

Disqualification – drooping or hanging ears. Skull – is flat and never rounded. The stop is moderate and distinct.

Muzzle – The bridge of the muzzle is straight and parallel to the top of the skull. The jaws should be strong and powerful.

Nose – is black without spots or discolored areas. The lips should be tight and black, with no pink showing on the outside.

Teeth – full complement of strong, white teeth, evenly set.

Bite – is scissors. A level, overshot or undershot bite is a fault

Neck, Topline, Body:

Neck – is not too short, dry, without folds and gradually flowing into thebody.

Topline – There is a smooth, gentle transition from the neck to the top line of the body, in which head and neck are carried in a natural pose. The withers are slightly higher and slope into
the back, which must be level, straight, and firm from withers to hip joints.

Body – Firm, but not coarse.

Chest – Deep and long, not narrow, ribs slightly sprung. The fore chest is fairly well developed.

Abdomen – Slight tuck up.

Loin – Firm and short with moderate depth

Croup – is slightly sloping and moderate length.

Tail – At rest, hangs straight down or with a slight curve. Reaches to the hock. In action, carried gracefully upwards, never curled or carried sideways.

Cropped or stump tail are disqualifications.


Shoulder-blades are well joined to the body and well sloping. The forelegs are powerful, of good length, well-muscled. The bone is solid but not heavy. Always generally showing a straight line, but with sufficient suppleness of pastern. The upper arm is approximately equal in length to the shoulder-blades and well angulated with the connecting bones. The elbow is well attached. Forefeet are oval, well knit, toes arched. Nails are black and pads are elastic and dark. Dewclaws are permissible.


The hind-legs are powerful and well-muscled. The bone is solid but never heavy. Not excessively angulated. With a correctly angulated rear, a perpendicular line dropped from the point of rump will meet the top of the rear foot. The thigh and lower thigh are of approximately equal length. The hock is perpendicular. Dewclaws – none present. The hind feet are oval and well-knit with arched toes, black nails and elastic dark pads.


The dog is shown in natural coat without excessive grooming. Whiskers are present in all coat-types.

The short-hair coat is uniformly quite hard, close fitting, and not too short coat with a woolly undercoat. The ruff, breeches and tail plume are clearly visible.

The long-hair coat is long, straight, and well fitting, harsh to the touch, without curls or waves also with a woolly undercoat. The ruff and breeches are distinct and the tail abundantly coated. The head, ears, feet and hind legs below the hocks are short and densely coated. The backsides of the forelegs show a
strongly developed coat, the feathering shortening in length towards the feet. There are no
fringes at the ears.

The rough-hair coat is dense, harsh, tousled coat with a woolly, dense undercoat all over the body except for the head. The coat should be close fitting. The upper and lower lips should be well covered with hair, with beard, and two well defined, coarse rough eyebrows that are distinct but not exaggerated. Furnishings are not soft. The hair on the skull and on the cheeks is less strongly developed. In profile it seems as if the head has a more square appearance. Strongly developed breeches are desirable. The tail is covered all round with hair. The brindle color may be less pronounced because of the tousled coat. The rough hair coat should be hand-plucked on average twice a year.


Brindle. The base color is golden or silver. Golden can vary from light sand color to chestnut red. The brindle may be black or a dark brown and is clearly present all over the body and in the ruff, breeches and tail. A small amount of white on chest or toes is permitted. Too much black is a fault, as well as heavy white markings on the chest or feet. A black mask is preferred.

Disqualification – Solid white markings elsewhere than on tips of toes, chest, or frosting on muzzle.


Dog is a trotter with free, smooth and supple movement, without exaggerated drive or stride. The Dutch Shepherd tends to single track at a fast gait; the legs, both front and rear, converging toward the center line of gravity of the dog. The backline should remain firm and level, parallel to the center of motion, with no crabbing.


The Dutch Shepherd should reflect the qualities of loyalty and reliability, alertness, and watchfulness. He is active, independent, with persistence, intelligence, prepared to be obedient, and gifted with the true shepherding temperament. The Dutch Shepherd Dog works willingly together with its owner and he deals independently with any task which is assigned to him. When herding larger flocks he must have the capacity to work together with several other dogs. He should not show fear or shyness nor viciousness by unwarranted or unprovoked attack.


Males under 21 inches or over 26 inches. Females under 20 inches or over 25 inches. Yellow or blue eyes. Drooping or hanging ears. Cropped or stump tail. Solid white
markings elsewhere than on tips of toes, chest, or frosting on muzzle.