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.