Dutch Shepherd vs German Shepherd: The Distant Kins

A Dutch Shepherd and a German Shepherd, due to their uncanny similarities and similar appearances are often called the kindred cousins. Both these breeds are protective, loyal, and intelligent to a highly comparable degree.

It is undeniable that these two breeds have epic personalities, which are similar to a great extent. Still, certain traits make them contrasting and atypical of each other.

From origin to basic attributes to different personality traits, in this article, we bring you a detailed comparison of a Dutch Shepherd VS. German Shepherd so that you know these breeds better and choose better if you are planning on getting home one of these super active dogs.

Dutch Shepherd vs German Shepherd – Basic Difference

These intelligent dogs have been a favorite family pet for ages now. Many a time, people consider them to be of the same family, but are they?

Let’s look at some differences and similarities between a Dutch Shepherd and a German Shepherd to know if they really are kindred cousins or not.

1. Origin

While the German Shepherd originates from Germany, the Dutch Shepherd is from the Netherlands. Although both of these countries are European countries, a lot of differences can be seen as Germany has a lot of mountains whereas the Netherlands is partially lowlands. This difference reflects on their coats, as the German Shepherd, originating from the cold weather, has a thicker coat than the Dutch Shepherd.

2. Physical Attributes

The two Shepherd breeds have some astounding and remarkable similarities, due to which they are often confused for one another. Both these breeds are similar in body type, structure, and color. However, if looked closely, a German Shepherd comes with a double coat and long hair, while this coat can differ for the Dutch Shepherd.

Dutch Shepherd
Dutch Shepherd

While both of these come in multiple fur colors, the main difference that makes a Dutch Shepherd different from a German Shepherd is that they have distinct brindle markings whereas, a German Shepherd does not.

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3. Height & Weight

Talking about the German Shepherd, their height varies between 22-26 Inches, whereas they weigh around 50-90 pounds.

German Shepherd

In comparison, a Dutch Shepherd is 21.5-24.5 inches in height and 42-75 pounds in weight. Evidently, a German Shepherd is a slightly larger dog than a Dutch Shepherd.

4. Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of a dog depends hugely on external factors like exercise, health conditions, training, and the kind of food given to the dog. However, a German Shepherd lives for up to 7-10 years, whereas a Dutch Shepherd lives a slight bit longer, 11-14 years. But this factor can surely differ from dog-to-dog.

5. Price

If not adopting and buying, the price of both these breeds could differ. While buying a German Shepherd, you will have to pay an amount anywhere between $300-$1,000. Whereas, if you go for a pre-trained one, you will even have to pay as big an amount as $6,000.

Dutch Shepherds, on the other hand, due to their rarity cost in the range of $1,000-$2,500. Therefore, making them the more expensive breed out of the two.

6. Training

A German Shepherd and a Dutch Shepherd are both very similar when it comes to energy. Both of these are bundles of energy as they are super active. While bringing home these breeds, you need to be prepared that they would need extensive training. However, training them both is not a very tedious task, as these breeds are very intelligent and easily trainable.

Both being guard dogs and police dogs, they can be trained according to the need of the owner. If the owner has had other dogs, then they can easily train their Dutch Shepherd or German Shepherd, otherwise, hiring a local trainer would be more than enough.

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7. Grooming & Care

Since both of these breeds have a double coat, shedding would be too frequent. Also, due to this, they would need weekly or fortnightly grooming sessions to keep their cuteness intact! Brushing them daily and bathing them once a week would do the trick and keep their fur looking great.

Long Haired Dutch Shepherd
Long Haired Dutch Shepherd

Dutch Shepherd VS. German Shepherd – Similarities

While these two breeds are extremely different from each other, yet these canine cousins are similar in a lot of ways. Let’s look at some of the similarities between a Dutch Shepherd and a German Shepherd.

1. Active and Loyal Dogs

Both being ‘Shepherds,’ these breeds were initially created to work on farms. Hence, they are extremely active and welcome challenges. Being police dogs and guard dogs, these breeds are extremely loyal to their country and their work.

German Shepherd

2. A Classic Shepherd Look

From dark round eyes to muscular bodies, both these breeds look extremely similar. While they are young pups, differentiating between them is a task; hence, people often get confused between the two breeds.

3. Wonderful Service Dogs

Both of these dogs being loyal, active, and protective; these breeds serve many police forces and are wonderful service dogs as their intelligence is remarkable and is something that makes them unique.

Dutch Shepherd as police Dog

4. Trainability and Intelligence

A Dutch Shepherd and a German Shepherd are easily trainable and do not need very extensive training as they are extremely intelligent breeds.

5. Protective about owners

Families would love these breeds, as they are extremely protective of their owners and super friendly with children. These dogs are great companions when it comes to being adopted and brought into the family.

How To Distinguish One from The Other?

To the owners or people who have never adopted a dog and have no or very less knowledge about breeds, to them, these two breeds would look faintly similar. Both these breeds have uncanny similarities when it comes to appearance. Erect ears, muscular body, and long a hugely similar structure, the similarity in their appearances are unreal.

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However, knowing about their distinct features and how one can distinguish them makes one realize that both are similar yet very different from each other. One difference can be seen in how they walk. While a Dutch Shepherd walks just fine, a slight trotting can be seen in the walk of a German Shepherd. This is because of their sloping back, which is flat in the case of a Dutch Shepherd.

Besides this, one can differentiate between these breeds through their fur. The German Shepherd has a medium-length coat that is slightly rough, whereas a Dutch Shepherd has 3 types of coats, which can vary from dog to dog.

The biggest factor as to how people can distinguish between them is that Dutch Shepherd is always brindled. These brindles are not found in German Shepherds, making this a huge differentiating factor.

Dutch vs German Shepherd: Which One Is Best For Your Family?

If you and your family want a protective, loyal and intelligent dog, chances are you might be confused between a Dutch Shepherd and a German Shepherd. However, there are some factors that need to be considered before you get home one of these breeds.

For these Shepherd dogs, you need to be extremely devoted to them, as they can live in a home that provides an active lifestyle. You must have ample space at home, as they love to run and be all energetic. Being an experienced dog owner is a prerequisite with both of these breeds.

If you have young kids at home and need a dog that can guard, protect and play with them, then a German Shepherd would be the perfect fit for you.

However, owners who have older children or want a working dog who can help on the farm must think of getting a Dutch Shepherd.


Nonetheless, both of these breeds are a treat to have at home, as they are loyal and protective with kids and adults. At the same time, there is no denying that both these breeds need owners who can engage with them and be invested in them. So, after looking at all the similarities and differences, we hope you have made up your mind as to which one to get home to!

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