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ORIGIN/HISTORY...The Schapendoes, also known as the “Dutch Sheepdog”, originated in Holland.
Although the Dutch Sheepdogs have been in existence for many centuries, they are not well known. They did not attract the attention of royalty but remained a dog of the common people; therefore, they were rarely immortalized in art or literature.
At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the Nederlandse Schapendoes were found everywhere in the Netherlands where there was heath land and flocks of sheep. The shepherds valued them for the tireless pleasure they took in their work and for their intelligence.

Schapendoes Dutch SheepdogIn past days, the flocks of Dutch sheep were taken care of by two sorts of shepherd dogs. The larger of the two, the Dutch Shepherd and the smaller hairier variety now know as the Schapendoes. These two ‘landbreeds’ had complementary tasks with the herd. The Dutch Shepherd was the herder, the dog which kept the herd together when they had reached their destination. The Schapendoes was the drover, its most important job to bring the flock to its destination. Due to a lack of interest in the native breed and the importation of English Border collies, the Schapendoes dwindled into small numbers prior to the Second World War.

P.M.C. Toepoel, breeder, all-round judge and publicist discussed the dog’s characteristics with others who were interested in the breed and became the driving force behind preserving the Schapendoes. He gathered a group of experts and dedicated breeders that gave the breed a solid foundation during its resurrection. Their cheerful temperaments, coupled with a rough-and-tumble appeal, stirred interest in the Schapendoes. Growth in numbers has been tempered with caution by wise breeders. Even large kennels only keep four or five dogs with a few pups, and waiting lists are long.

The breed club for the Nederlandse Schapendoes was founded in the year 1947 and in 1952 the breed was provisionally recognized by the Kennel Club in Holland. In 1954 the standard was set up and a stud book started. The start of the seventies included the closure of the breed registry. This meant that dogs of unknown heritage could no longer be included in the breed registry. The breed had progressed far enough to be able to carry on using only dogs of certain ancestry. The breed was also recognized internationally by the Federation Cynologique International (FCI), the mother organization of which the Dutch Kennel Club is a member. Gradually throughout the seventies, eighties and nineties, dog fanciers across Europe (including Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Luxembourg and Italy) became aware and enthralled by the Schapendoes and began introducing them to their own countries.
The breed was also recognized internationally by the Federation Cynologique International (FCI) in 1989, the mother organization of which the Dutch Kennel Club is a member.

The first Schapendoes in Canada, O’Fisban and O’Thasna, arrived in Quebec from France in 1998, and their first litter was born in 2000 at the kennel of Raymonde Briere. Since then several other dogs have been imported to Canada from France, Holland, Germany and most recently Sweden.

In November of 2005, the Canadian Kennel Club, fully recognized the Schapendoes in the "Herding Group" under the name of the "Dutch Sheepdog".  As of March 1st 2006, our breed may now participate in all of the CKC activities.