Firstly, meet ‘Boone’. He’s a Dutch Sheperd and the latest addition to our pack. How did this happen? Let me tell you. It’s a Friday night and we’ve had an exhausting week. My beautiful wife and I are talking about going to bed early and she turns to me and says “Look at this poor baby!”. She had made a friend at a horse desensitization clinic the weekend before and one of the other participants had found an abandoned and emaciated dog in the woods near the back of her property. I took a look and immediately was concerned. This dog was days from being in real bad shape physically.
My wife and I have a soft spot for hard luck cases and I have an affinity for Sheperds. Within minutes we were in the car and on our way to try to save him and bring him home.
The woman who found him picked him up and met us half way. As soon as she got there she got out of her truck Boone hopped out willingly albeit apprehensively and easily was led by leash to some grass. Afterwards we talked briefly about him, how she found him and his general temperament and before I knew it my wife had him in our car.
This young man estimated around 3 years old is exceptional, eager to please, quiet and non-challenging to our elderly matriarch German Sheperd Hilde. He’s become obsessed with our Australian Shepherd Willow and is carving his place out in our lives. I think if we’re being transparent our hopes for Boone is that he is a formidable addition to the horse trail pack and goes out with us on the new Oklahoma property. That said, he has been here less than a week and we don’t know what his future will be, but we do know it won’t include starving to death or being abused. So far, he’s had all the right answers and keeps shining in the face of adversity.
If you’re considering a rescue or fostering there are a lot of things to know about ‘Dutchies’. Here are a few things we think you should know.
Dutch Shepherds are highly intelligent and versatile dogs that are renowned for their athleticism, loyalty, and protective nature. They are a working breed that has a long history of serving as herding and guard dogs in the Netherlands. However, they are also excellent companions and make great pets for families and individuals who are looking for an active and devoted companion.
There are several reasons why rescuing and fostering a Dutch Shepherd can be a rewarding experience. Firstly, Dutch Shepherds are highly trainable and eager to please. They are quick learners and excel at obedience training, agility, and other canine sports. Their high energy levels and natural athleticism make them well-suited for a wide range of activities, including hiking, running, and playing fetch.
Moreover, Dutch Shepherds are incredibly loyal and protective of their families. They form strong bonds with their owners and will go to great lengths to protect them. This makes them excellent watchdogs and guard dogs, as they will instinctively defend their home and family from any perceived threats. Additionally, their protective nature means that they can be trained to work in law enforcement and search and rescue operations.
Another great quality of the Dutch Shepherd is their adaptability. They are able to thrive in a variety of environments, including urban and rural settings. They are equally comfortable living in an apartment as they are in a large house with a backyard. However, it is important to note that Dutch Shepherds require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy, regardless of their living situation.
Rescuing and fostering a Dutch Shepherd can also be a fulfilling experience because it provides an opportunity to give a deserving dog a second chance at life. Many Dutch Shepherds end up in shelters due to no fault of their own, whether it be because of a change in their owner’s living situation, behavioral issues, or simply because their owner can no longer care for them. By adopting or fostering a Dutch Shepherd, you are providing a loving home to a dog that may otherwise be at risk of euthanasia or spending their life in a shelter.
Additionally, Dutch Shepherds are known for their longevity and overall good health. They have a lifespan of around 12-14 years and are relatively free of major health issues. Of course, as with any breed, there are certain genetic predispositions to certain health conditions that potential owners should be aware of. However, overall, Dutch Shepherds are a relatively healthy breed.
It is also worth noting that Dutch Shepherds are not as well-known as other breeds, such as German Shepherds or Labrador Retrievers. This means that they may not be as popular in shelters and rescues, and as a result, may have a harder time finding a forever home. By adopting or fostering a Dutch Shepherd, you are helping to raise awareness of the breed and promote their adoption.
In terms of their physical appearance, Dutch Shepherds are medium-sized dogs that are well-muscled and agile. They have a short, dense coat that comes in a variety of colors, including brindle, fawn, and black. Their ears are usually erect and pointed, and their tails are long and tapered.
One of the most distinctive features of the Dutch Shepherd is their expression. They have an intelligent and alert look that seems to convey their eagerness to please and protect their family. Their intense gaze can be intimidating to strangers, but to those who know and love them, it is a sign of their unwavering loyalty and devotion.
In conclusion, rescuing or fostering a Dutch Shepherd can be a rewarding experience for a number of reasons. Their intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature make them great companions and working dogs. They are also highly adaptable and relatively healthy, which means they can thrive in a variety of environments. By giving a Dutch Shepherd a second chance at life, you are providing a loving home to a deserving dog that may otherwise be at risk of euthanasia or spending their life in a shelter. Additionally, by adopting or fostering a Dutch Shepherd, you are helping to raise awareness of the breed and promote their adoption.
It is important to note that while Dutch Shepherds have many great qualities, they are not suitable for everyone. As a working breed, they require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. This means that they may not be the best fit for someone who is unable to provide them with the attention and exercise they need.
Additionally, because of their protective nature, Dutch Shepherds may not be the best choice for families with young children or other pets. They can be trained to get along with children and other animals, but it is important to socialize them from a young age and supervise their interactions. In our case Boone is fitting in well. We recommend you take your time an introduce your animals carefully or get professional help.
In terms of training, Dutch Shepherds respond best to positive reinforcement methods that emphasize praise and rewards for good behavior. They do not respond well to harsh or punitive training methods and may become fearful or aggressive if they are subjected to them.
Overall, if you are looking for an intelligent, loyal, and versatile companion, a Dutch Shepherd may be the perfect choice for you. By rescuing or fostering a Dutch Shepherd, you are providing a loving home to a deserving dog that will repay you with unwavering loyalty and devotion. So, consider adding a Dutch Shepherd to your family today and enjoy all the benefits that this wonderful breed has to offer.