Dutch shepherds? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Dutch shepherds?

Anyone know about them? What’s their temperament compared to GSDs? I heard they’re calmer and less aloof around strangers and dogs. Do they still react to the handler’s anxiety?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 07:48 PM
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Calmer? I'm not sure where you heard that. Dutch Shepherds are predominantly higher energy and drive than majority of the GSDs you'd ever meet. As a general rule of thumb, the Dutch and Malinois tend to be a lot more handler sensitive than GSDs.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 08:13 PM
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Calmer? I'm not sure where you heard that. Dutch Shepherds are predominantly higher energy and drive than majority of the GSDs you'd ever meet. As a general rule of thumb, the Dutch and Malinois tend to be a lot more handler sensitive than GSDs.
This ^^

Dutch Shepard’s are much harder to train, their energy levels are through the roof, and need to work constantly to stay happy and nondestructive. Little to no off switch for home life until much later in life than a GSD.

If you want a calmer breed than a GSD, you’re not going to get it with a dutchie! Look into other breeds if you’re wanting a dog that can relax in the house with you. I would say a Rottweiler would be a better breed to replace a GSD than a Dutch or Australian Shepherd.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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I've been searching up "Dutch Shepherd temperament" and half the sites say they're calmer, friendlier, just as easy to train. The only negative thing I've found about them is that they may think they're in charge if the handler isn't acting as the leader. The other half say the opposite?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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This ^^

Dutch Shepard’s are much harder to train, their energy levels are through the roof, and need to work constantly to stay happy and nondestructive. Little to no off switch for home life until much later in life than a GSD.
I've been searching up "Dutch Shepherd temperament", and half the sites say that they're calmer, less energetic, friendlier, just as easy to train. The only downside I found was that they may think they're in charge if the handler doesn't make it clear.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 12:06 PM
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That’s why a forum with actual dogs owners is a treasure. You’ll get opinions from people who have owned, worked, trained, or been around these breeds. Not a general search popping up with conflicting information. Best of luck to you!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 12:21 PM
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The one dutchie I fostered was a firecracker. She was like an amped-up malinois in terms of energy, drive and protective instincts. If that's your thing, it can be loads of fun...if it's not, though, it's exhausting. She needed a working home to thrive as she was WAY too much dog for a pet home. We found her an IPO home and last I heard she was doing fabulous with training. She was probably one of my favorite foster dogs of all time -- so stinking clever! -- but it was very hard to find a home that could handle her.



The first time I played with fetch with her with a big stuffed bolster-shaped toy, I raised the toy up over my shoulder to throw and she launched herself airborne to grab onto it before I could throw -- full bite on it, hanging on way up in the air with happy eyes like she'd done something funny. She was athletic little dynamo.


She exemplified highly protective, fearless traits that some people want to channel into work and training-- but she'd engage a threat without hesitation, with no bluff at all. It takes a strong, equally fearless handler to manage and channel that. That's probably is not what you want in a service dog going to public places or even just a support dog to help with anxiety IMHO. When you say "the only downside is they may think they're in charge," I don't think you fully grasp how profound a problem this can be for a novice/inexperienced/unsure handler --- this particular dog lost her first home due to trying to protect "mom" and mom realizing she couldn't handle her and was growing increasingly anxious worrying about managing the dog that was always on alert for "threats" when they went running together (including other joggers running up behind them to pass them on dark sidewalks).

Our rescue has successfully placed several dogs to help veterans with PTSD/Anxiety (working with a local service dog trainer who helps us with evaluations of candidates). We look for extremely smart, biddable, handler-focused, non-reactive, bomb-proof dogs -- kids can run up to them, loud noises don't phase them, other dogs don't cause them to react, etc.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 01:47 PM
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There are some Dutch Shepherds in the protection class that I attend. Both the handlers and trainers say that they are excellent WORKING dogs.

They demonstrated with a 7mth pup that had never been introduced to a sleeve; the pup hit the sleeve hard. They said that they have never known of a DS not to know what is required of them.

They said the most important training for a DS is environmental / sociolisation.

They are very hyper.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 05:22 PM
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I knew one dutchie- there was a video of her running next to a snowmobile for 20 miles. She never got tired. She was so amped up for the sleeve she jumped/climbed 8 foot to the top of the cupboard to grab it. She was not clear headed in bite work, but was still very young. All she wanted was to bite the sleeve. I liked her but she was absolutely not a service dog candidate, and I'd guess very few are... breeders who try to "calm down" the malinois or dutch temperament usually get a nervy dog who is not good for much of anything. There are very nicely balanced working dogs in both breeds, that are social, solid, and very easy to train BUT they will still be way too much dog for service work- generally. I realize there are exceptions but it makes me nervous to see them being recommended as they are a mirror of your emotions, and I can't imagine that going well with emotional support- mirror your emotions, engage a "threat" with no hesitation... not a good combo.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 06:26 PM
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The best way to learn about a breed is to interact with it rather than read about it on the internet. If possible, finding a nearby organization that trains and places service dogs and talking to them about temperaments, suitability, and success rates of breeds you are interested in is a good idea. Even phoning or e-mailing them would be a start. It will help you gather information you need to make an informed decision for an animal that will be responsible for helping your anxiety. Just like someone interested in sport, it's best to talk to the experts in the field and gauge what type of dog will help you be successful in your goals, training aspirations, and lifestyle requirements.
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