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CARE... The Schapendoes enjoys learning and it comes very easily to him, but given half a chance he will be quite happy to make you look foolish. They need at least a one hour walk every day to keep fit and prevent nervous energy building up, especially important in the first 2 to 3 years of their lives. They are, on the whole, not big eaters The double coat, which is a predominant feature of the breed, may reach a length of about 10 centimetres. Their coats are totally natural requiring no trimming or shaping. A weekly brushing is recommended in order to prevent the coat from knotting or matting. This is especially important when puppies are changing coat to the adult coat (usually about 6 months to 18 months). More frequent brushing is really needed at this time or the undercoat will tangle with the top coat. The Schapendoes does not have a doggy odor and a sound coat cleans itself. Bathing is only required infrequently when the dog gets extremely dirty. They are not considered to be a non-allergenic dog but their shedding is minimal.

HEALTH... The Schapendoes are typically a healthy, long living breed. They can live up to 12 – 16 years. Illnesses and defects occur only occasionally. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (a hereditary eye disorder) was a major consideration for our Schapendoes but recently researchers in Germany have found a marker test to screen dogs before they are bred to see if they carry this disease. This is great news for breeders, as it opens many doors that were previously closed; and all Schapendoes owners, knowing that you will not have a pet blinded by this disease. Our club in Canada also recommends that hips are x-rayed for dysplasia.

In early 2006, in a routine test for breeding it was discovered that the dog in question had severely elevated liver enzymes.  Although the dog appeared healthy, the vets were aghast by the readings and expected to see a dog in severe distress and very sick, not a happy seemingly perfectly healthy dog.  Since this discovery, several other dogs have been found to have elevated liver enzymes again with no sign of ill effect or disease from the dogs.  Concerned several breeders contacted Holland looking for some answers, and apparently some dogs had also been discovered there with elevated liver enzymes but lived out their lives in health and to a normal expected age.  It is believed that higher liver enzymes may be natural for some Schapendoes.  Here in Canada we are keeping tabs on all the puppies born that show these abnormal levels.  Although to date we feel that there is no concern with dogs showing these elevated liver enzymes; at Schapannro, we have decided not to breed any dogs with elevated liver enzymes as a precaution.