The Hollandse Herdershond is also called the Dutch Shepherd Dog. This dog breed is hardly known in Germany. The medium-sized dog breed is closely related to the Belgian Shepherd. It is equally popular as a family dog or as a companion for active people (e.g. jogging, riding or cycling).
The Hollandse Herdershond was recognized by the FCI as an independent dog breed in 1960. It is listed in Group 1, Section 1 in the Standard List under number 223. In 2012, the Hollandse Herdershond was accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The medium sized, well muscled Hollandse Herdershond is of medium weight. His build is strong and well proportioned. The large ears are erect and very mobile. The head shape is rather elongated and the forehead is low. The medium sized, dark and almond shaped eyes are slightly slanted.
There are three coat varieties: Longhair, Shorthair or Roughhair. Shorthair or longhair dogs are silver or gold tabby. As color shades can be very light to medium or very dark. Rough-haired dogs can also be blue-gray, pepper or salt.
The Hollandse Herdershond has a lot of stamina. He needs employment and a lot of exercise, but also mental challenges.
This dog breed shows a lively nature as well as an intelligent expression. The Hollandse Herdershond is considered faithful and reliable. He is always attentive and alert. He likes to work with his owner as a herding dog with great perseverance. Independently, he performs all the tasks assigned to him.
The Hollandse Herdershond is considered a late bloomer. He is really mature and characterful only at the age of three or four years. The temperamental dog breed needs a consistent and sensitive education. However, the sensitive Hollandse Herdershond does not tolerate a hard hand or unfair treatment. With a trusting and emotional bond, he is obedient and enormously capable. He shows this especially in dog sports or in joint activities, such as jogging, cycling or exciting games in nature.
As a reliable and lovable companion, he is suitable for family life. He likes to play with children if they treat him respectfully. His protective instinct includes the family surrounding him. Friendly family or acquaintances are greeted by him.
The Hollandse Herdershond does not feel comfortable in a small apartment. He needs space to romp and plenty of opportunities to run around. Likewise, an isolated kennel attitude harms his character. The optimal attitude offers a rural region with much run out in the garden or in nature.
The right food
The Hollandse Herdershond does not have any special requirements with regard to its diet. Nevertheless, the right diet is of great importance for the healthy development of the dog. It should therefore correspond to its size and the respective stage of development.
Ready-made products are available as high-quality wet or dry food for every dog age. As a rule, an adult dog needs about 500 grams of food per day. The food is divided into two meals (morning and evening).
In general, the diet depends on various factors that must be considered. In addition to the size of the dog, its age and weight also play a role in the diet. Other factors are the state of health and the degree of activity of the dog.
In the feed composition, the meat content should always be at least 70 percent. The proportion of vegetables should be about 20 percent. Grain should also not be missing from the feed. The proportion of cereals should not exceed ten percent. Sugar and artificial additives or preservatives do not belong in the feed. The Hollandse Herdershond should be provided with clean, fresh drinking water daily.
In the trade, wet and dry food for dogs are offered. Compared to wet food, dry food has the advantage that it is cheaper. The application is cleaner and the dry food keeps longer. However, dry food has little flavor of its own. Often, dry food has flavor enhancers added to it. Ingredients are rarely clearly declared in dry food. In addition, older dogs often can not chew the hard dry food properly.
Wet food provides the Hollandse Herdershond with all essential nutrients. These include carbohydrates, proteins, fat, minerals, vitamins and trace elements. Often the trade offers special food for puppies, adult animals or seniors. Special food for existing allergies or diseases is also available.
Especially puppies wet food offers a balanced ratio of calcium and phosphorus. Both elements form the basis for bone growth. The soft wet food also makes it easier for puppies to eat during the change of teeth.
Hollandse Herdershond care
The Hollandse Herdershond is considered to be extremely low-maintenance as far as coat care is concerned. For long-haired dogs, it is quite sufficient to comb or brush the coat once or twice a week. For short-haired dogs, grooming every two weeks is sufficient.
In rough-haired dogs, the coat will be additionally trimmed twice a year. During the coat change in spring and autumn loose hair should be removed regularly. Regardless of the coat variant, daily coat care is then required.
The claws on the paws should be checked regularly and shortened if necessary. During a long walk in nature, foreign bodies can quickly get into the eyes and ears. It is recommended that eyes and ears be inspected regularly for foreign objects or dirt. Foreign objects should be removed gently to avoid injury or inflammation. Dirt can be easily removed with a soft cloth.
After a walk in nature, the coat should be checked for ticks. It is advisable to put a tick and flea collar on the Hollandse Herdershond. For the health of the dog, veterinary visits and vaccinations are useful. A deworming or parasite treatment should be done regularly.
Special dental care sets support the dental care of the dog. Dry food can support dental care or be used as a treat as a reward.
Hollandse Herdershond needs a dog basket or a comfortable dog pillow. So he can rest after a long walk in nature or after playing and romping.
Especially during the change of coat, a special dog brush is needed. For the removal of loose hair, brushes with natural hair or wire bristles have proven successful. For cutting the claws, a claw scissors with spacer is recommended. This will avoid possible injury to the Hollandse Herdershond.
The Hollandse Herdershond has a pronounced play instinct. As toys any kind of employment possibilities are suitable. Especially balls or throwing ropes, which he can chase, have proven themselves.
Origin & History
The Hollandse Herdershond is a breed of dog from the Netherlands. He has both regional and genetic roots with the Belgian Shepherd. Both originate from the Brabant region. Mainly because of its versatility, the Hollandse Herdershond is very popular. He is considered very rare these days.
The Hollandse Herdershond was used as a shepherd dog for flocks of sheep until the 19th century. When herding larger flocks, he could work well with other dogs. To keep the flocks of sheep away from the fields, he walked patrols along the field and road borders.
As a driving dog, he brought cows to milking and pulled the milk carts. He drove herds of cattle to the slaughterhouse, to markets or to the ports. As draught dogs, they could pull carts packed with goods or one-person carriages.
The Hollandse Herdershond was also used as a yard and guard dog. He not only drew attention to approaching strangers, but also kept the chickens away from the kitchen gardens.
As early as 1874, the Hollandse Herdershond was presented at a dog show in Amsterdam. In 1898, the Nederlandse Herdershonden Club (NHC) was founded in Utrecht. Since 2008, this dog breed is managed by the Dutch Shepherd Club Germany.
When Belgium seceded from the Netherlands in the 19th century, the dog breed, which had been unified until then, also divided. A union of the Dutch and Belgian Sheepdog breeds failed.
Around 1900, there were hardly any large flocks of sheep left. The Hollandse Herdershond was rarely used as a shepherd dog. With its flexible abilities, however, it was very well suited for dog training.
Today, the Hollandse Herdershond is used as a police dog and guide dog for the blind. This dog breed is also suitable as a search and tracking dog or as a therapy dog.