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Origin / History The Schapendoes breed is a descendant of a general type of farming and herding dog that was popular in Drenthe, a province in the Netherlands. The dogs in that area were known by many names, and were not a distinct breed like the dogs of today. They were the local working dogs, which were adapted to the environment, people, and kinds of work needed. During the 1870s, these dogs were presented in early dog shows as domestic herding dogs.

During the World War II, these dogs were in danger of extinction. Fortunately, there were several specimens of the breed left, which served as the ancestors of the modern day Schapendoes. The Dutch Raad van Beheer, which is a national kennel club, granted recognition to the breed in 1952. In 1954, the first breed standard was written. In 1971, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale also recognized the breed under the sheepdog group. When these dogs were exported to North America, the Canadian Kennel Club recognized the breed as well, under the name Dutch Sheepdog. Other organizations that have granted this breed recognition include the United Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club.

Appearance These dogs are medium-sized, with a body that is a little longer than it is tall. The skull of these dogs is nearly flat, and they have a marked stop and a moderately short muzzle. Their medium-sized, drop ears are set relatively high. They have moderately large, round eyes that are brown in colour. These dogs have a slightly tucked-up belly, well sprung ribs, and a well let down chest. Their tail is long and hangs down when they are at rest, and is carried at the level of the back when they are galloping. The hair of these dogs is fine, slightly wavy, long, and dry. It tends to have a tousled look, especially on the hindquarters.

Colours All coat colours are acceptable for this breed, but blue gray and black are preferred.

Temperament Alert, intelligent, brave, and hardworking, the Schapendoes make excellent working dogs. It was only recently that they've been used as household pets. As companions, these dogs are very loyal. They get along well with children and other household pets that they have been raised with. These dogs are also great watchdogs. 

Height and Weight Male dogs of this breed have a height of 17 to 19.5 inches, while females stand at 16 to 18 inches. These dogs have a weight of approximately 33 pounds.

Common Health Problems Due to the selective breeding of this breed, the Schapendoes has no known genetic health problems.

Living Conditions It's not recommended for these dogs to be kept inside apartments or to live in a city environment. It's best for them to be kept in a farm where they are given a job to do. It would also be good for them to have a yard where they can run around and do some physical activities.

Exercise Requirements Like other breeds, Schapendoes dogs need much exercise. These dogs appreciate being given a job to do. If they are not working, they should be taken out for a long, daily walk or jog.

Training Requirements These dogs must be trained for obedience and they should also be properly socialized at an early age. Owners should train these dogs with firmness, consistency, and respect. It's also important for these dogs to get some praise when they are doing a good job.

Life Expectancy Schapendoes' have an average life span of 14 years.

Grooming The coat of these dogs should be brushed daily. Bathing them should be done only when necessary. It's also advisable that the face of these dogs is cleaned daily. Owners should also check the paw pads and ears of these dogs for debris.

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