Breed Type: Terrier
Country of Origin: The Netherlands
Also known as: Dutch Ratter, Gentleman’s Stable Dog
Males: Height: 40-43 cm Weight: 8-10 kg
Females: Height: 35-42 cm Weight: 7-9 kg
Exercise Requirements: Vigorous
Care Requirements: Easy
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Best Suited as: Household family companion and watch dog
The Dutch Smoushond is a small breed of dogs in the terrier family that while well-known in the Netherlands, are rarely found anywhere else than the Netherlands region. In fact, most often the Dutch Smoushond is listed as being a rare breed in the dog world.
They are strong little dogs known for keeping stables and other areas in its home turf free of rats and mice. The coat of the Dutch Smoushond is strong, rough, and waterproof. They are characteristically friendly, sweet, and obedient while very intelligent at the same time.
Dutch Smoushond dogs have the overall appearance of a rough, unkept pet when in actuality, the well-kept coat of these dogs just looks messy because of the texture and appearance of their course, rough hair. That course, wiry hair on the Smoushonds grows into a distinctive beard, mustache, and eyebrows that while rather wild, are definitely part of what gives this dog such cute facial expressions. Usually some shade of yellow, the preferable coat color for the Smoushonds is a yellow shade such as dark straw. Their eyes are tiny and dark and just brimming with alertness while their nose and lips and eyelids are also darkly colored. With wild fur all over, the hair on the back of their legs is thinner than the rest of their coat. They have little upside-down triangle-shaped ears that subtly convey their emotional state if you watch for movement under all that hair. The muscles on this little dog are as wiry and strong as its hair. A Smoushond’s tail just hangs down relaxed when he’s calm but is another signal for excitement when it goes up.
The temperament of the Dutch Smoushond is an adaptable one that fits in quite well to just about any home scenario. They are sweet and friendly if they know you, but quiet, reserved, and protective if they don’t. A very intelligent breed, Smoushonds learn quickly and easily and are great to teach little tricks to perform. They prefer to be around their family as much as possible and tend to have a sensitive nature. That coupled with their eagerness to please make training this breed a snap. Smoushonds do very well with children in the home and are quite happy to share their world with the family cat or other dogs.
They are active dogs, which is understandable considering they have been working dogs from the beginning. They are pretty much unstoppable in physical activity so long walks or other exercise is essential. They especially enjoy walks, swimming, playing ball, or running through agility courses and learning agility special maneuvers.
While it is believed that the Dutch Smoushond breed originated in the Netherlands, this is not completely known. They are thought to be distant relatives of the German Schnauzer breed and one can see similarities in the appearances of both.
In the later years of the 19th century, Smoushonds were considered a companion meant for wealthier gentlemen, but during WWII, the breed almost became extinct. For the most part, the Dutch Smoushond breed had disappeared by the 1970’s when a Mrs. H.M. Barkman began researching the breed and studying how to recreate it. Eventually she was able to do so through the information found with her research coupled with selective breeding.
From its earliest origins, the Smoushond is known for its typical terrier trait of being a ferocious rat-hunter and may still be used for that purpose today as they just love to hunt down any type of rodent. But even with that useful trait, Dutch Smoushonds are hardly ever found in countries other than the Netherlands.
Care and Grooming:
Dutch Smoushonds prefer cooler environments and should be considered an indoor pet although they do need plenty of exercise of various sorts. Since their coat’s natural appearance is shaggy and unkempt, they need little careful grooming. Usually their coat needs to be plucked just a couple of times a year and never needs trimming – at least the whole coat. You do need to watch for extra hair growing inside the ears and in between the pads of their feet as these areas do need occasional trimming. While their coats need little trimming, they do need to be frequently combed as matted hair is very common with this breed mostly because of its thick waterproof undercoat.
The emotional health needs of the Dutch Smoushond breed are important to be aware of especially before purchasing one. These dogs are emotionally sensitive and need a lot of attention and patient interaction with their family. While this is part of what makes them easy to train, it also can create lasting fear reactions if mistreated or even yelled at. They need to be around their owners most of the time so tend to suffer varying degrees of separation anxiety if left often. If you plan on leaving him alone at home a lot or are frequently going out of town, etc., then this breed may not be the best choice for you.
Overall, they are strong and physically healthy small dogs but do have a few health issues that are common to the breed. Eye issues can be frequent such as cataracts or the eye lens slipping. They also tend to suffer from arthritis in their older years and other joint issues are common as well. Most life-threatening is female Smoushonds have a hard time giving birth and regularly have to do so with veterinarian care and sometimes a caesarean section for delivering puppies.
Suitability as a Pet:
Dutch Smoushonds are an excellent choice for a pet as long as you are an active and emotionally healthy household. They require a lot of exercise to keep from getting bored and then becoming destructive. They can also be nuisance barkers if left alone too much so make sure you consider those needs before bringing one home. They are very good with children and other pets; they are also very alert as watchdogs although their barking tendencies need to be trained properly from the beginning. This very affectionate breed works well for anyone home alone a lot or experiencing loneliness – Smoushonds want to stay right with you and will usually follow you around the house as your most devoted companion.
As stated previously, Dutch Smoushonds are extremely eager to please which can make their obedience, etc., training very easy since they are also quite intelligent. However, they need positive training with positive reinforcement and as little anger and overreaction on the part of the humans involved as is possible since they are so temperamentally sensitive. But in terms of training a Dutch Smoushond, make sure you are taking advantage of their sweet nature, intelligent mind, and desire to please because all combined, those factors will make training your Smoushond a breeze!
Dutch Smoushond Organisations in Australia
No club information listed
Dutch Smoushond Organisations in the UK
Sarawak Kennel Association | BREEDS
Dutch Smoushond Organisations in the US
United Kennel Club: Dutch Smoushond
Dutch Smoushond Rescue Groups
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