German Shepherd Vs Dutch Shepherd: What’s The Difference?

By helloBARK!
Updated on 29 October 2022

Do you know the difference between a German Shepherd and a Dutch Shepherd?

If you’re looking at getting a shepherd dog, you may be researching some different breeds, including the popular German Shepherd and the lesser-known Dutch Shepherd.

Both dog breeds are recognised by the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club in the UK.

While the German Shepherd is a member of the AKC’s herding group, the Dutch Shepherd falls into the miscellaneous category.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd, examining some of the similarities between these two breeds but some of the subtle differences.

We’ll also hear from some German Shepherd and Dutch Shepherd owners to get their insight into these two dog breeds.

What Is A German Shepherd?

German Shepherd relaxing in the leaves (Photo: Adobe Stock)

German Shepherd relaxing in the leaves (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The German Shepherd is one of the world’s most popular dog breeds, excelling as family pets, guard dogs, protection dogs and service dogs. Recognied by the AKC since 1908, the German Shepherd is rated as the fourth-most popular dog breed in the USA out of 284 breeds.

What Is A Dutch Shepherd?

Dutch Shepherd (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Dutch Shepherd (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Dutch Shepherd is an athletic, energetic and smart dog breed that have a herding instinct much like the German Shepherd. Originally utilised as a farm dog, Dutch Shepherd make excellent working dogs for dog sports, tracking, search and rescue and police dogs.

Where Do German Shepherd Come From?

German Shepherd lying down (Photo: Adobe Stock)

German Shepherd lying down (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The German Shepherd is a descendant of German herding dogs that were commonplace in the 19th century. In the late 1800s, an ex German calvary officer Max von Stephanitz looked to develop and refine the ideal German herding dog. The German Shepherd was born and Von Stephanitz continued to work on the breed for 35 years. By 1908, the German Shepherd had been recognised by the AKC and the breed’s popularity was starting to grow in the USA. They’re a large, muscular dog that have intelligent personalities with a noble demeanor. German Shepherds have traditionally functioned as service dogs in modern society but they can fulfill other roles such as devoted family pets.

Where Do Dutch Shepherd Come From?

Dutch Shepherd (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Dutch Shepherd (Photo: Adobe Stock)

As their breed name suggests, the Dutch Shepherd originated in the Netherlands. They were a versatile herding for farmers and shepherds, being dubbed the “Jack-of-all-trades” dog. Indeed, the AKC explain that the initial Dutch Shepherds were used to marshal hens away from the kitchen, herd cows for milking, pull carts into the village as well as guard and protect children in the farmyard. With the first breed standard being shaped in 1898, the brindle color was assigned to the breed in 1914. The AKC’s website explains that Dutch Shepherds should have a brindle coat to denote the breed from similar breeds such as the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois.

German Shepherd Vs Dutch Shepherd: Size

The German Shepherd will have a height ranging from 22 to 26 inches and 50 to 90 pounds. The Dutch Shepherd can grow to 21.5 to 24.5 inches and weigh in anywhere from 42 to 75 pounds.

German Shepherd Vs Dutch Shepherd: Appearance

German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd

German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd

The German Shepherd is considered a medium-to-large sized dog. They should give the general appearance of being longer than tall. They tend to have a dome head with a squad-cut muzzle to give a powerful aura. German Shepherds have a brown eyes and a black snout, while their ears should stand alert and erect. They’ve got a double coat with a few possible coat colorings. The most common color is saddle black-and-tan, but you could also get a black mask and sable, solid black, bi-colour and long-haired black-and-tan.

The AKC breed standard states the following on German Shepherd appearance:

The first impression of a good German Shepherd Dog is that of a strong, agile, well muscled animal, alert and full of life. It is well balanced, with harmonious development of the forequarter and hindquarter. The dog is longer than tall, deep-bodied, and presents an outline of smooth curves rather than angles. It looks substantial and not spindly, giving the impression, both at rest and in motion, of muscular fitness and nimbleness without any look of clumsiness or soft living. The ideal dog is stamped with a look of quality and nobility.

The Dutch Shepherd can have a range of different coat types: short-haired, long-haired and rough-haired.

Let’s take a look at what the Dutch Shepherd’s breed standard has to say on general appearance.

The first impression of the Dutch Shepherd is of a medium-sized, middleweighted, 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.

The Dutch Shepherd should have a brindle coat color: the base color is golden or silver, the brindle should be black or dark brown and cover the body. A small amount of white can be displayed on the chest or the toes. Dutch Shepherds will usually have a black mask.

German Shepherd Vs Dutch Shepherd: Temperament

German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd

German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd

German Shepherds are an active dog breed that are extremely intelligence. It’s no surprise as a herding dog and supreme worker that German Shepherds like to have a sense of purpose or perform a task. So if you’ve got a German Shepherd as a family pet, you’ll need to ensure they get sufficient mental stimulation to prevent unwanted behaviours. They’re eager to please so they should be relatively easy to train. German Shepherds can have a curious streak so they’ll enjoy figuring out puzzles. As a stereotypical guard dog breed, German Shepherds are protective of the family and the home.

The German Shepherd breed standard has the following to say on temperament.

The breed has a distinct personality marked by direct and fearless, but not hostile, expression, self-confidence and a certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. The dog must be approachable, quietly standing its ground and showing confidence and willingness to meet overtures without itself making them. It is poised, but when the occasion demands, eager and alert; both fit and willing to serve in its capacity as companion, watchdog, blind leader, herding dog, or guardian, whichever the circumstances may demand. The dog must not be timid, shrinking behind its master or handler; it should not be nervous, looking about or upward with anxious expression or showing nervous reactions, such as tucking of tail, to strange sounds or sights.

Dutch Shepherds are a versatile dog breed that can perform a number of functions in modern society. They’re described as intelligent, lively and athletic by the AKC. Dutch Shepherds can have an independent streak with a mind of their own so training is essential from a young age to establish obedience. They’ve got high energy so they’ll require lots of mental and physical stimulation like the German Shepherd. Dutch Shepherds can establish a deep bond with their owners, proving to be eager to please, loyal and problem solvers.

The Dutch Shepherd temperament is further defined in their breed standard.

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.

German Shepherd Vs Dutch Shepherd: Exercise

German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd

German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd

German Shepherds require regular daily exercise, with at least 60 minutes a day recommended by experts. If a German Shepherd doesn’t get sufficient exercise, you could have an unruly, frustrated dog on your hands. While the German Shepherds will enjoy multiple daily walks, they can excel at activities such as agility, herding, tracking and dock diving.

It’s a similar situation with the energetic Dutch Shepherd. They like to have a purpose so you’ll need to think out of the box when it comes to giving your Dutch Shepherd lots of mental and physical stimulation. The AKC warn that the Dutch Shepherd is not a breed that can be left at home alone all day. If you want to get the best out of the breed, you’ll need to embrace an active lifestyle.

German Shepherd Vs Dutch Shepherd: Hypoallergenic

Neither the German Shepherd nor the Dutch Shepherd is hypoallergenic as they’re both dog breeds that shed a lot. So if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic breed, you should keep looking!

German Shepherd Vs Dutch Shepherd: Shedding

German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd

German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd

The German Shepherd has a double coat that is comprised of a thick undercoat and a coarse outer coat. They’ll shed all year round but blow out their undercoat twice a year when you’ll feel like their shedding is out of control. It’s a good idea to brush your German Shepherd a couple of times a week.

The Dutch Shepherd is a moderate shedder but the level will depend on the type of coat each particular dog has. For instance, long-hair Dutch Shepherds will shed more than short-haired and rough-haired Dutch Shepherds. This can affect the amount of grooming required. Dutch Shepherds with a long-haired coat will need at least one grooming session per week if not more. All coat types will benefit from daily brushes during shedding season.

German Shepherd Vs Dutch Shepherd: Price

German Shepherds will usually cost between $800 (£750) to $1600 (£1500) depending on the breeder and your pup’s lineage. You can find lots of German Shepherds at shelters in need of a new home.

Dutch Shepherds have a price range from $1000 (£950) to $2500 (£2400), but they can be cheaper or more expensive depending on each individual Dutch Shepherd breeder.

German Shepherd Vs Dutch Shepherd: Life Expectancy

The German Shepherd has an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years, while the Dutch Shepherd has a slightly longer life expectancy of 11 to 14 years.

The Difference Between German Shepherd And Dutch Shepherd

The German Shepherd and Dutch Shepherd have some subtle differences. The most-obvious difference is their coat colour. Dutch Shepherds are only permitted to have a brindle coat to distinguish the breed from the German Shepherd. Dutch Shepherds have a longer lifespan with less health issues than the German Shepherd perhaps contributing to this statistic.

The Similarities Between German Shepherd And Dutch Shepherd

German Shepherds and Dutch Shepherds have a lot of similarities seeing as they were traditionally used as herding dogs. They’re athletic, energetic, intelligent, loyal, eager to please, obedience and quick learners. For this season, both breeds can make excellent family pets, guard dogs, protection dogs, service animals and police dogs.

German Shepherd Vs Dutch Shepherd – In Conclusion

German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd

German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd

We’ve reached the end of our German Shepherd vs Dutch Shepherd comparison article.

The German Shepherd is one of the most popular breeds in the world, unlike the lesser-known Dutch Shepherd.

They both started their decorated history as herding dogs in Germany and the Netherlands.

In modern society, they can make excellent working dogs due to their high IQ and boundless energy.

With the right owners, German Shepherds and Dutch Shepherds can excel as family pets – too.

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