How to Train a Schapendoes

Do you want to have your Schapendoes be one of the best-trained dogs? Click here to find out how

This shaggy sheepdog of Holland is also known as the Dutch Sheep Dog. Schapendoes are cheerful, funny, clever and brave and are very good family pets. They also have a strong desire to please.

The Schapendoes were everywhere in the Netherlands during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but their numbers dwindled drastically when Border Collies were imported. When the breed club for Nederlandse Schapendoes was founded in 1947, the Schapendoes breed was resuscitated. The Schapendoes is a lightly-built, long-coated, medium-sized dog. His movements are effortless and springy and his astounding ability to jump makes him excel at agility and other dog sports. With an attentive and courageous character, he is intelligent, watchful, lively, friendly and high-spirited. Towards people familiar to him, he develops great affection and loyalty. 


At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, the Nederlandse Schapendoes (Dutch Schapendoes) occurred throughout the Netherlands where they were primarily sheep-herding dogs. The shepherds valued them for the tireless pleasure they took in their work and their intelligence. The breed belongs to a wide-ranging group of longhaired herding breeds, which have densely-coated heads, and is related to the Bearded Collie, Puli, Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Bobtail, Briard, Bergamasco and the Old German Sheepdog of the variety which occurs in Hessen, Odenwald and the Niederrhein district. All these similar dogs are smaller mutations of mountain dogs.

The canine authority, P.M.C. Toepoel, is the founder of the Schapendoes. During World War II, the breed almost vanished, but he knew how to rouse people’s interest back into the sheep-herding dog and any specimen of the  Schapendoes was used for breeding from wherever they could be found.

The Breed Club for Nederlandse Schapendoes was founded in 1947 and, in 1952, the breed was provisionally recognized by the Raad van Beheer. In 1954, the standard was set up and a Stud Book started. Definite recognition followed in 1971. Since then, only registered dogs have been bred from.

Quick Facts

Temperament:Friendly / Lively / Watchful

Height: 16-20 inches 

Weight: 26-55 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Foundation Stock Service


Some dogs may be faced with these issues in their lives, but the majority of Schapendoes are healthy dogs. Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Schapendoes can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.


Beyond regular weekly grooming, the occasional bath will keep the Schapendoes clean and looking his best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your dog. The strong fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.


The Schapendoes needs a lot of exercise. Daily running for an hour keeps him fit and prevents nervousness. Other options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or being taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or learning new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. If you live in an apartment, even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.


Schapendoes like to learn and they do so willingly, but they may also have an independent streak.

The Schapendoes should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Do you want to have your Schapendoes be one of the best-trained dogs? Click here to find out how