The Dutch Shepherd is a herding dog that originated in the Netherlands in the 1800s. It’s also known as the Dutch Herder or Hollandse Herder. The Dutch Shepherd was a versatile, intelligent, and independent working dog commonly used by farmers and shepherds to guard flocks of sheep, herd them, and keep them away from crops.
They were also known to be a reliable farmhand that would herd the cows for milking and pull milk carts. The Dutch Shepherd would also alert farm owners when strangers came onto the property and even kept the chickens away from the garden kept for use in the kitchen. These dogs were bred to be sturdy in order to adapt to herding over harsh rural regions and so that they had few demands in a sparse environment.
The first breed standard in the Netherlands was developed in 1898. The AKC currently recognizes the Dutch Shepherd a part of the Miscellaneous Class, which means the breed does not yet have full recognition. But, they have been given the Herding Group designation. Although they have maintained their herding and farm dog skills, the Dutch Shepherd is also a good fit for work as a police dog, search and rescue dog, tracking dog, and even a guide dog!