CHARACTER... The Schapendoes
is a medium sized dog with lighter, finer bone than you would
really expect in a dog of this size. This results in the distinctive
light springy gait of the Schapendoes, as well as his
flexibility and great facility for jumping.
Worthy descendant of the great sheep dogs, the Schapendoes
maintains many distinctive features of that breed without
inheriting the considerable size and the dominant
disposition. It was in the North-Eastern part of the Low
Countries in Holland that the Schapendoes’ characteristics
were shaped. Their modest size and lively disposition were
an answer to the demands of their environment and their
duties as a sheep dog. Shepherds preferred smaller sized
dogs because they were easier to keep (ate less) and because
their role was not to guard the herd, but to safely move the
herd from place to place, the Schapendoes required great
endurance, mobility and speed, as well as intelligence and
the ability to act on his own.
They are true herding dogs in character, body and soul.
Cowardice, nervousness and aggressiveness are not
characteristic. The Schapendoes is an engaging and
delightful companion, always ready for a rousing game of
ball, a walk through the woods, or to curl up nearby
while you watch tv or read a book. They are active and
energetic dogs that can excel in obedience and agility.
Indoors they are calm, provided they get daily walks,
with some activity such as playing ball or chasing dog
friends at the park. They are eager to learn but require
a firm and fair hand if they are not to get the better
of their human partners. They are an excellent companion
for kids due to their sociability, perpetually happy
demeanour and ready to play attitude, as tireless as
they are nice. To other dogs, a Schapendoes is generally
obliging and tolerant; early and frequent socialization
is necessary to help promote this attitude. The
Schapendoes has low hunting instincts and are therefore
not likely to wander away. They thrive when they are
together with their families.