FCI/AKC/UKC Dutch Shepherds
The Dutch Shepherd is a herding and utility breed from Holland. The breed was approved to join the AKC beginning in 2017, when they finally reached enough numbers in America to be admitted to the club. This is a 100+ year old breed that pretty much looks the same as it did 100 years ago. The breed is known for their intelligence, athleticism and loyalty. They are a high energy dog, that must have mental and physical workouts daily to be at their best. They can, and do, excel at anything their owners wish. Dutchies are being seen in police work and IPO/Schutzhund bite work, S&R and other nose work venues, herding, dock diving, lure coursing, agility and obedience...to name a few. The breed is healthy and vigorous...it is our hope to continue this breeds success and educate people on the breed so that the Dutch Shepherd can continue on its path of excellence.
I had years of loving and showing German Shepherds prior to discovering the Dutchie. In 2014 I found myself in a place of being unhappy with the health and temperaments of the German Shepherds so I started checking out other breeds. I have family that are military/law enforcement that like the Belgian Malinois....after some research I felt that was a little more dog than I was looking for. Then I discovered the Dutch Shepherd. To me they are a perfect inbetween between the German Shepherd and the Malinois. They have better health than most GSD's, most Dutchies are just a step down from the Mals in drive and intensity, they have the loyalty and love of family that I always enjoyed from my German Shepherds, and they posses the speed and athletics of the Mal. To me they are the absolute perfect dog for our family and farm.
That said, this breed is a LOT of work, and does not fit well into all homes. I get puppy inquiries weekly, I send out a standard first reply that pretty much says the following information. I try to do my best to be sure perspective owners are well prepared for the Dutch Shepherd adventure. Many have no idea how much work and training these dogs take on a daily basis. Anyone considering the breed please know what you are in for. If you have no hands on experience with Dutch Shepherds, Belgian Mals or highly driven working dogs specifically I would make sure you research the breed DEEPLY. They are a lot more dog than many “pet” homes expect. Even the lower drive pups in a litter are still a lot of dog. I find the FCI lines can be a touch less crazy than the KNPV/BRN lines but they are still a high drive dog...more dog than most German Shepherds. High drive should not be confused with high energy. Pretty much all puppies are high energy, some breeds more so than others. High drive is a serious need and want to do something with all their energy and brains. They crave a job, learning and burning energy...and if they are not given a good structured outlet for their drive they will make trouble finding their own job. A professional balanced trainer with working dog experience at the ready is a must. Anything less can screw up your dog...PetCo classes don’t cut it. Unless you are super training savvy with high drive breeds, then the breed is quite biddable and train well. We do not recommend nor knowingly will sell a pup to a R+ training home with this breed, they need correction....so again a trainer with breed specific experience is so helpful. These are wonderful dogs, I hate to sound like I’m trying to talk people out of them but i want eyes open and no false expectations. Most are pretty specifically bite work bred. I am one of the few that raise on a small farm with critters and kids and compete in other sports besides just bite work. I have success with my dogs but it is a LOT of work, this lifestyle is not natural to the breed....many can absolutely do it, but it takes training and commitment. They take daily training, exercise and leadership to be the dog you want and one you are proud of. They go through growth stages that can include extreme bitey behavior (very mouthy breed), over defensiveness, and often a dislike for strangers. Proper exposure and socializing is very important and helpful, but sometimes it just takes maturing before their brains and confidence kick in. They absolutely need to be raised with the firm understanding they are not the boss. Give a Dutchie an inch and they will roll right over the top of you. This is not a breed for someone that wants a fur baby, couch potato or someone that wants a hands off outside dog. They are extremely high prey, toy, food driven, high energy and a lot of dog. That does NOT make most great for small children. It can be done, but again is best for families that are savvy with high drive breeds and training. Again I hate to sound like I’m trying to talk people out of them, but I do want folks to know what they are getting into.
If I can answer any other questions feel free to reach out.
I would suggest anyone interested in this breed really dive deep in the research and be sure you want and can handle this much dog. Many “pet” Dutch families end up over their head and don’t make it 12-18 months without giving serious thought to returning the dog. Do make sure you research true Dutchies many rescue “Dutch Shepherds” are giving people a false picture of the breed. Not every dog that is brindle with pointy ears is a Dutchie...most in fact are German Shepherd X Pit mixes that are obviously nothing like the real deal...we see this a LOT. Please no matter what breeder you end up getting a pup from make sure you are not taking on a breed you are not ready for. They are great dogs, but in the wrong hands they can absolutely become bossy alpha monsters. Too many are ending up in homes that are not a match, responsible breeders do all we can to screen homes, but we can only go off what people say, and sometimes what someone thinks they want and what they can handle are two very different things.
We are not a big kennel operation here at Fijne Dromen, we actively train, compete and put our dogs to work, so we will only have pups available on a very limited basis. We have titled and health tested our dogs prior to breeding them. We will be picky about where our pups go, and will do our best to match the right puppy with the right family.