Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

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Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby jsullivan411 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:50 pm

Hey everyone, my girlfriend and I live in an apartment (about 600 sq ft, plus a 200 ft deck) in downtown Vancouver. We are seriously considering getting a dutch shepherd because I'm very drawn to their intelligence. I'm just unsure of a few things:

1. We are pretty active, but how much exercise does a dutch shepherd need per day? Would an hour a day suffice, plus an extended jog/hike on the weekends?

2. Are the dutch shepherds very aggressive to strangers when walking at the beach for instance (I intend to take ours to obedience classes)? I know this can vary, but in general, are they safe to run around at the beach off-leash?

3. Do they tend to bark a lot indoors? Would they really be a problem for our neighbors?

4. We would be getting a short-haired DS; how much do they shed? Do you they shed a lot of hair around the house each day?

Thanks so much! I really value your input!
Jason
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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby turnnburn52984 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:04 pm

Welcome to the forum. :)

I'm sure others will chime in with opinions, but here are mine.
1. My DS (who is 1 1/2 years old) gets A LOT of exercise, and always wants more. We walk (brisk pace) 5 miles a day, or will bike for up to an hour (usually 8 miles). He also gets 3-4 sessions of fetch a day, plus at least 4 sessions of marker training a day (makes him really use his head, can be as good as physical exercise for tiring out a dog) The weekends are jam packed with hikes, and dog training. For my personal dog, a hour of exercise a day might be enough to keep him from destroying my house, but would not leave him a happy satisfied dog.

2. Koenig is not aggressive to strangers at all, but we've worked very hard in the 6 months I've had him socializing him to as many different situations as possible. I don't let him run off-leash with other dogs (besides our other dog, or dogs I know VERY well) because of the danger of a fight. He's not aggressive like I said, but I don't know that someone else's dog isn't, or that they have the dog under control. So if other dogs are around, Koenig is on leash.

3. My guy does not bark in the house unless there is a reason, BUT, he'll scream his head off for hours at a time in his crate. (separation anxiety) I think as a general rule, and dog, of any breed will not bark 'too much' if they are properly exercised. A tired dog is a good dog.

4. Every heard of the term 'German Shedder'? (Play on German Shepherd) I am the proud owner of a Dutch Shedder. I brush him daily, and use a furminator on him 2x a month, vaccume daily, and there is still not a hope of no hair in my home. It's bad. Really bad. :) Even the short haired dogs have a double coat.
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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby FG167 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:49 am

I also live in an apartment. Mine is slightly larger than yours, just over 1000 sq ft, no deck or balcony - but I share it with my brother, whose bedroom is off-limits to my dogs. I have a lab and Madix, my Dutch Shepherd.

1. I might be in the minority here but Madix only gets about an hour a day when I'm working. My normal schedule with him is to take him to the park for a run/hike for about 30-45 min and then work on obedience (we are training for Schutzhund so it's pretty strict obedience) for another 20-30 min. When the weather isn't horrendous I also throw in tracking - so he gets a pretty solid hour at least in the am after I get out of work (I'm a third shifter). After that it's just quick jaunts (15 min or so) out to potty and stretch legs. I might work on obedience in the house again or some tricks in the evening/afternoon. I'm also very fond of the toys that he has to figure out how to get treats out of - he's usually panting by the time he's through with them. My boy LOVES bones so he spends quite a bit of time in the evenings chewing. I also train for Flyball on Thursdays and we have Schutzhund training on Sundays. Will be adding a Rally or Obedience class to that weekly rotation in March.

2. This is going to very much depend on training and your specific dog's personality. Madix isn't the fondest of strangers, he mostly tolerates. However, he has got THE best recall I've ever had on a dog - or seen for that matter. So, when he's off-leash, he pays absolutely NO attention to other people or other dogs and I can call him off of critters/food/anything (so far haven't found anything that proves that wrong yet). If I'm "working" with him - i.e. if we're playing fetch, he has a pack on - anything of that sort - he won't pay attention to dogs that run up to him, chase him etc. He is EXTREMELY focused and I have yet to find something that will distract him enough to pull him off his "job".

3. This is also going to depend on the dog. My dog's particular lines are notorious for this high-pitched, ear-piercing, gosh-awful shriek they do. I've actually had someone hear my dog and ask if he was related to Titan (his sire) lol. However, in my apartment, he doesn't do that at all - or on-lead. He only barks in my apartment when someone comes to the door - now. That took some training.

4. I don't really think Madix sheds all that much. However, I have had 2 labs and a pit in the past and labs are notorious for shedding loads. When he blows coat it's in tufts and a good brushing a day takes pretty good care of it I think. I do vacuum about every other day, and dust a couple of times a week. But, I'm pretty used to that because prior to this I had 4 dogs all living together and THAT was a lot of hair. Overall, I would say he's an average shedder compared to the other breeds I've had/fostered.

Are you planning on doing any kind of sports with your dog?
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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby turnnburn52984 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:35 pm

Falon-
you made a really good point a couple of times that I want to highlight/expand on. Each dog is an individual... where there may be breed traits, or bloodlines traits, each dog can, and will vary widely on tempermant, activity level, and reactions to new stimuli. Dogs have personalities, and these can be nurtured into something thats fits our particular lifestyle to a certain extent.

Every dog will be different. Just keep that in mind! I bet if we get all the DS owners on here to post the daily and weekly activity list of each dog we'll see a HUGE variety. An even great range of behaviors would show up if we tossed in personality/ social skills!

Oh, I'm also in an apartment. 1200sqf, with 2 dogs, 2 kids, and a cat. It's big for an apartment, but can feel SOOOOO small with the 5 kids get going.
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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby jsullivan411 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:02 pm

Thanks so much for your responses, they've given me very valuable insight into this amazing breed! I love 99% of the traits that dutch shepherds have, but I am extremely fearful that even with adequate training he will attack someone.

I'm really struggling with this decision because I'm fearful that dutch shepherds will be too aggressive for me to control. I am also a bit concerned with their size; are all dutch shepherds quite large, or are there any that are "medium-sized"? I've read that most are supposed to be medium sized, but all the breeders I've contacted only seem to have very large dogs (they seem very proud of the size of their dogs)
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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby Brindle » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:07 am

Hi Jason,
Welcome to the forum and kudos to you for researching the breed before deciding whether to get one.

As already mentioned you'll get quite the array of answers as each dog is an individual :D
Mine is a heavy shedder. Solution = grooming with the furminator comb every other week really cuts down on the house fuzzies.
Barker in the house ? No - but that has come with training.
However he is able to produce the wildest banshee scream I've ever heard :shock: I've never heard a sound like it from any other dog. Again, training has reduced this to a minimal.
I work long hours during the week so he probably doesn't get as much exercise as he'd like. However we have multiple short training and game sessions each day getting his brain engaged. Mind games tire them out much better than just running/walking. Weekends are more intense with training, on my own sat and with a club sunday.
Calm in the house - again training ( noticing a theme here ???? ;) )
Aggressive ? No, his lines are known for being social. He's awesome with other people and dogs. We've done lots of socialization and training to aid in that though genetically he is a social boy.
He is from working lines and that is what I got him for. We train for sport work ( Schutzhund ). So can he be aggressive ? Yes. But we have molded/shaped that response. He is an awesome working dog. Again, we've done lots of training to help him understand when/what is appropriate.
He is totally trustworthy out in public, with children etc :D

Breeders that work with a goal in mind know their lines and what traits are typically going to be produced from their breedings.
Unlike the breeders that have 2 brindle dogs that they let 'get together' and have puppies as there is a market for brindle puppies.
It's sad as this breed seems to be gaining in popularity and as with any breed there are some people who just see the $$$ side of things.

Working with a reputable breeder will help you get a dog that meets your needs ( that goes for any breed ). They will also stand behind their dogs and be available for follow up calls/help should you have concerns.
Or have you considered rescue ?
http://www.dutchshepherdrescue.org/
There are an assortment of Dutch Shepherds in rescue with assorted temperaments. Yes, they can come with "baggage" but from what I've heard from others the foster people do an excellent job of rehabbing ( if needed ) and assessing temperament/personality. They could potentially match you up with a calm smaller brindle friend if you decide the breed is for you.

There are certainly lots of breeds out there, maybe a Dutch Shepherd isn't for you, maybe it is.
Regardless you'll get lots of help and suggestions from this group.
So keep the questions coming.
Good luck on your search.
Be sure to share photos of your new friend ( no matter what breed you end up with ) as we LOVE photos !!!

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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby GSDNanny » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:57 pm

My Zip was a rescue dog who went through three other homes before settling with me. Those changes were not her fault, I might add. She was the victim of unstable humans IMO. :yernuts: She has her quirks but all in all is an awesome companion dog. She is not outgoing to strangers, somewhat suspicious but not aggressive. She does not like children which I assume is the product of her home before me that had four small children so she may have had a bad experience there. (Ya think!!) :binkybaby: She is super affectionate to her people and just as protective. She is good with my two Chihuahuas and with the other GSD males, but not so tolerant of my GSD female or the female heeler. Zip is a housedog, usually left loose, about 95% of the time with daily visits to my farm to run. She prefers the couch or the bed and lies very quietly, not a peep from her. Rarely barks, not a whiner either. She will get indignant in her crate if left too long though. Her shedding is almost nil, or at least compared to my GermanShedders. Zip has basically a wash-n-wear type coat. Takes very little brushing. Her normal weight is about 55 lbs. The only downside to Zip is her pacing and her 'quick switch' as I call it. If left outside, she will pace herself nonstop for as long as she is left out and this is on an acre yard too. Her quick switch refers to her intense drive peak in just a flash. If I am playing tug or throwing a toy, she will flip that switch and becomes intensely serious and aggressive. I know my limit but my husband has still yet to get it right. :g_wink:

Denise Gatlin & Zip, Shooter & the K9 crew

Livin' in the deep south - Louisiana
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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby Christie M » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:19 pm

jsullivan411 wrote:Thanks so much for your responses, they've given me very valuable insight into this amazing breed! I love 99% of the traits that dutch shepherds have, but I am extremely fearful that even with adequate training he will attack someone.

I'm really struggling with this decision because I'm fearful that dutch shepherds will be too aggressive for me to control. I am also a bit concerned with their size; are all dutch shepherds quite large, or are there any that are "medium-sized"? I've read that most are supposed to be medium sized, but all the breeders I've contacted only seem to have very large dogs (they seem very proud of the size of their dogs)


As many others mentioned, it is all about the individual personality of each dog. My dogs are titled, competitive bite dogs. They are also super social and certified therapy dogs. My old geazer (he'll be 14 in March), is a total nerve bag and I have spent his life protecting him from himself (not always so successfully :oops: ). My female is extremely stable and I would trust her with anyone. We share our 100o sq ft home with 5 DS, a mastiff mix and 2 Frenchies. Then there is the constant onslaught of foster rescue dogs.

I think that people often focus on the energy level of a DS. It is high, that's for sure, but I don't think it is what tends to get them in trouble. The biggest problem with a Dutch is their incredible intelligence - coupled with that energy. Most people can bring themselves to throw a ball for an hour a day. But that will not meet the intellectual stimulation needs of a Dutch. They need to be worked with and trained on a regular basis as well. Even if it is something that you work into your daily interaction (my young dogs do obedience and tricks for their meals), they have to THINK and be challenged.

My advice, if you are trying to decide if this is the right breed or not, is to ask yourself if you have the desire to interact with your dog daily. Not just run with them or throw a ball. Are you prepared to channel all of that smarts into something productive and mentally challenge your dog daily? Are you willing to expand what you know, or think you know, about dog training so that you can be one step ahead? Or are you looking for a dog that can play a bit, and then chill on the couch for the rest of the day? If that's the case...then the DS isn't for you. If you don't give them a job, they find one. And that job just might be eating the couch - not chilling on it.
Christie Meyer
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http://www.dutchshepherdrescue.org
http://www.thunderhawkcanine.com

Be proud of the things that you have taught your dog. Be humbled and grateful for all of the things that your dog has taught you. - Unknown
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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby sgar-LPC » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:03 pm

I am new to the breed as well. Our DS was bred for the military, but didn't make the cut. He is 16 months old and we really aren't sure his living conditions before we got him (4 weeks ago to this day to be exact!). I know he had been in 2 homes before ours. He came with some military training, so he knew some commands, but not all. We have been socializing him alot and he loves people!! He loves other dogs, too. Not too sure about cats right now. He is energetic and very smart and our hope is to get him therapy certified in 2011 so he can come to work with me. I work with abused children and we recently got a therapy dog program approved and started. I have heard, as many have said, that DS's need to work, they need a job. I was told just taking him to work with me everyday just to hang out with kids is a job (though it's not a physical job). We hope one day to get him involved in agility as well as he is already showing great signs of that! He does need to be active throughout the day, but he also crates well when he needs to be. He rarely barks and is very good natured. I would never worry about him being aggressive toward people unless someone was trying to hurt his pack...then I believe he would protect us.
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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby sgar-LPC » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:05 pm

Oh, and ours is short haired, and doesn't seem to shed too much. But could be that we are just used to animal hair because we also have indoor cats!
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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby FG167 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:57 am

Christie M wrote:My advice, if you are trying to decide if this is the right breed or not, is to ask yourself if you have the desire to interact with your dog daily. Not just run with them or throw a ball. Are you prepared to channel all of that smarts into something productive and mentally challenge your dog daily? Are you willing to expand what you know, or think you know, about dog training so that you can be one step ahead? Or are you looking for a dog that can play a bit, and then chill on the couch for the rest of the day? If that's the case...then the DS isn't for you. If you don't give them a job, they find one. And that job just might be eating the couch - not chilling on it.


I think this is the BIGGEST difference between having/training a Dutch Shepherd and having/training most other dogs. I have raised a working Lab and while he is very drivey and has lots of energy, he's dumb as a box so therefore much simpler to manage. If that makes sense...that being said, this difference is my FAVORITE aspect of the breed!!! Madix has pushed me to become such a better dog trainer and become involved in so many more sports than I even knew existed.

I think the most important thing is to be completely honest about your training/time commitments. Don't think "well if I get a more active dog, then I'll be more active", ask yourself if you're active enough on your own to get an active dog.
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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby cake73 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:26 am

Christie M wrote:My advice, if you are trying to decide if this is the right breed or not, is to ask yourself if you have the desire to interact with your dog daily. Not just run with them or throw a ball. Are you prepared to channel all of that smarts into something productive and mentally challenge your dog daily? Are you willing to expand what you know, or think you know, about dog training so that you can be one step ahead? Or are you looking for a dog that can play a bit, and then chill on the couch for the rest of the day? If that's the case...then the DS isn't for you. If you don't give them a job, they find one. And that job just might be eating the couch - not chilling on it.


All true. :ds:

However, ;) I have one rescued DS who is more than happy to nap for the better part of the day. Even the VP of North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue, with whom he stayed for a bit, was surprised by his couch potato tendencies! My other rescued DS requires a bit more interaction/stimulation. When we adopted her, we were told that she'd ended up in a shelter from a family who had gotten her from a breeder who didn't like her "work ethic." But, even she is content with some basic obedience, trick teaching, or games...or shredding stuffed toys. I do have both do some obedience before meals & treats. And, there is NO way she would let us get away with taking her for 0-1 walks/per day. It's one in the morning and one in the evening and she *knows* it. (and there's additional yard time, too)

Both of my dogs are about 60 lbs and I feel their amount of shedding is totally tolerable. They bark sometimes...mostly at mail/UPS/FedEx trucks, other dogs walking by the house, at cats that they can see outside, at the doorbell...they bark when they feel it's necessary.
Cheryl in MA, with rescued DS
Kaya, adopted January 2006 (over the bridge, September 2014)
Marley, adopted February 2008


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https://www.facebook.com/NADSR.DSRescue
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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby ibixlix » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:26 pm

I have two dutch shepherds, and I would say that mine needed TONS of exercise as puppies, but once they were about 8 months, they calmed down a lot. In my experience, they are very in tune with people, and tend to gravitate towards their owners as adults, and will adjust their level of activity to yours. This does not mean you can't exercise them, but I have noticed that when I have less time for them, they are fine (if you live in an apartment give at least several walks a day, including an hour long walk).

As far as strangers go, dutch shepherds are fearless dogs. In fact more fearless than any dog I have ever known, which makes them a doubled edged sword. I will say that if introduced properly to any person, a ducthy will read how you react to them--these dogs want to serve and protect you. Saying that, unwanted people will be stopped by a dutch shepherd. I personally think that these dogs are more capable at stopping someone than a GSD, doberman, and rottweiler. This is because they mix agility with ability more than the others mentioned (including GSDs), and are very smart due to their herding dog heritage.

As far as barking does, once they aren't puppies, they will only do it if they sense a threat or have an urgent need. These dogs are highly trainable, but start out life as somewhat difficult. Beware of an 8 week old dutch shepherd, they will make their presence known. Eventually they grow out of it, and unless they have separation anxiety or some other problem, they are not very loud dogs.
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Re: Really want a DS, but unsure. Any Advice?

Postby vneerland » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:01 pm

Hello Ibixlix. Thanks for your input. Would you be kind enough to give us a sort who is who about yourself in the introduction section? You can also ad a signature to your post, so you don't have to remember to put your name under there every time.
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