The Association

The Association “the Dutch Schapendoes” was founded in 1947 by a small group of enthusiastic breeders, who wanted to re-establish this almost extinct, old Dutch breed. Together with Holland’s best known cynologist, Mr. Toepoel, the breed standard was written. It describes how the ideal Schapendoes should look. Since the early days the Association tried to breed on population level; not breeders just multiplying dogs for themselves, but taking into account a responsible gene distribution throughout the breed to prevent inbreeding. Success in doing so varied from time to time. At present, our association is committed to breed with this philosophy in mind. The Association “de Nederlandse Schapendoes” now has over 70 years of experience in successfully building and maintaining one of the most beautiful Dutch dog breeds.

What does the VNS do exactly… …for the Nederlandse Schapendoes?

The policy of the VNS is aimed at maintaining the health of the Nederlandse Schapendoes, and if possible improve it. The VNS has a Breeding Affairs Committee (FAC) and a breeding policy. The FAC monitors the population and keeps a close watch on health issues. If necessary, they will reach out to specialists for help with this task, such as vets, specialists and universities.

The VNS organizes on average once every five years the breed exam for FCI judges who would like to get their qualifications for the Schapendoes. This is done in close cooperation with the Dutch Kennel Club.

Next, we are the cofounder and participant in the international automated database Doesdata, in which details of all Schapendoezen are registered, from pups that are born now to the founders of the breed. This database is used to monitor the population, to determine our breeding policy and to carefully select pairs of parents for next litters. The FAC assesses if the proposed combinations (by breeders) are in line with the breeding policy. Health of the lines in checked, as well as the Inbreeding Coefficient and the Mean Kinship. All this happens to help us breed healthy pups.

for you as a member?

Should you run into problems with your dog, there are members available for advise. On a regular basis, enjoyable walks are organised throughout the different regions in our country. It is nice to discuss Schapendoezen with other lovers. We organize workshops and lectures, for example during breeding discussions, courses and training for new breeders and studdog owners and we have meetings with our breeders.

Once a year the VNS organises the Young Dogs Day. All litters born in the year before are invited, including the parents. We aim to have complete litters present. Litters are judged by a Schapendoes judge, so a good impression is obtained from the result of the combination. The Young Dogs Day is important to the VNS to have a clear view on the current status of the breed.

Highlight of the year is the Championshipclubmatch! Members and non-members from the Netherlands and abroad come to show their dog(s) and compete for the title of Best Male, Best Bitch and of course Best of Breed (and of course Best Baby and Best Pup, amongst others) The Young Dogs Day and the Clubmatch are perfect events to meet our fantastic breed.


The Association is formed by the members. The Annual Members Meeting (ALV) can be regarded as the ‘boss’ of the Association. All members present at this meeting determine in a democratic way the policy of the Association. The ALV is held once a year. The board is held accountable by the ALV for the policy pursued. Proposals for policy for the next years are discussed. Every member has rights to vote and thus can influence the policy and which members are elected in the board.