Are you considering adding a Kooikerhondje breed dog to your family? If so, you may be interested in learning more about this unique and charming breed. The Kooikerhondje, also known as the Dutch decoy dog, is a rare breed that has been around for centuries. Originally used as a hunting dog in the Netherlands, these dogs are now popular as companion pets due to their friendly and affectionate nature. With their distinctive orange-red and white coat and their playful personalities, Kooikerhondjes are sure to capture your heart. But before making a decision, it’s important to understand the breed’s characteristics, needs, and temperament to ensure that they are the right fit for your lifestyle and family.

Breed Category: Sporting
Country of Origin: Netherlands
Average Size:35-40 cm
Average Weight:9-11 kg
Average Life Span: 12-14 years
Grooming Requirements: Moderate
Exercise Requirements:High

History and Origin

The Kooikerhondje, also known as the Dutch decoy dog, is a small breed of dog that originated in the Netherlands. The breed was developed in the 16th century to assist hunters in luring ducks into traps. The Kooikerhondje would run around the edges of ponds and streams, wagging its tail and attracting the attention of ducks. The ducks would then swim towards the dog, and the hunter would close the trap, capturing the birds.

The Kooikerhondje is a member of the Spaniel family, and its name translates to “little cage dog.” The breed was popular among Dutch nobility, and it was often depicted in paintings from the 17th century. However, the breed’s popularity declined in the 19th century, and it nearly became extinct.

In the early 20th century, a group of Dutch breeders worked to revive the Kooikerhondje. They used a small number of dogs that had survived in rural areas, and they carefully bred them to maintain the breed’s unique characteristics. The Kooikerhondje was officially recognized by the Dutch Kennel Club in 1971, and it was later recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1990.

Today, the Kooikerhondje is still a relatively rare breed, with only a few thousand dogs worldwide. However, it has gained a following among dog enthusiasts who appreciate its intelligence, loyalty, and playful nature. The breed is also known for its distinctive coat, which is white with red or orange patches. The Kooikerhondje is a small dog, weighing between 20 and 30 pounds, and it has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years.

In addition to its history as a decoy dog, the Kooikerhondje has also been used as a companion and watchdog. The breed is known for its affectionate nature and its ability to form strong bonds with its owners. However, it can be wary of strangers and may bark to alert its owners of potential threats. The Kooikerhondje is also an active breed that requires regular exercise and mental stimulation.

In recent years, the Kooikerhondje has gained recognition in other countries, including the United States and the United

Kooikerhondje Dog

Size and Breed Category

The Kooikerhondje is a small to medium-sized breed of dog that originated in the Netherlands. They are classified as a sporting breed and are known for their hunting abilities. The average height of a Kooikerhondje is between 35-40cm and they typically weigh between 9-11kg. They have a distinctive coat that is white with orange-red patches and long, feathered ears. The Kooikerhondje is an active and energetic breed that requires regular exercise and mental stimulation. They are intelligent and trainable, making them a popular choice for obedience and agility competitions.

The Kooikerhondje is a rare breed, with only a small number of individuals registered each year. They are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them a great family pet. However, they can be reserved with strangers and may require socialization from a young age. The Kooikerhondje is a versatile breed that can adapt to a variety of living situations, including apartments and rural homes. They are generally healthy and have a lifespan of 12-14 years. Overall, the Kooikerhondje is a unique and charming breed that is sure to capture the hearts of those who meet them.

Fur Length and Colour

The fur of the Kooikerhondje is typically medium in length, with a soft and dense undercoat and a longer, slightly wavy topcoat. The fur is not curly or wiry, but rather has a silky texture that gives it a glossy appearance. The fur on the ears, legs, and tail is slightly longer than on the rest of the body, giving the dog a distinctive feathered look. The most common fur color for the Kooikerhondje is orange-red with white markings, although some dogs may have black or brown fur with white markings. The white markings are typically found on the chest, legs, and tail, and may be in the form of spots or patches. Overall, the fur of the Kooikerhondje is both beautiful and functional, providing warmth and protection for the dog in colder weather.

The color and pattern of the Kooikerhondje’s fur is an important characteristic of the breed. The orange-red color is often described as “mahogany” or “chestnut,” and is a rich, warm shade that is highly prized. The white markings on the fur are also important, as they help to distinguish the Kooikerhondje from other breeds. The markings are typically symmetrical and well-defined, with a clear line of demarcation between the white and colored fur. The combination of the orange-red and white fur gives the Kooikerhondje a striking appearance that is both elegant and playful. Overall, the fur of the Kooikerhondje is an important part of the breed’s identity, and is highly valued by owners and breeders alike.

Termperament and Trainability

The Kooikerhondje is a breed of dog that is known for its friendly and affectionate temperament. They are highly social animals and enjoy being around people and other dogs. They are also known for their intelligence and are quick learners, making them easy to train. However, they can be sensitive to harsh training methods and respond best to positive reinforcement. They are also known for their high energy levels and require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Overall, the Kooikerhondje is a great choice for families looking for a loyal and trainable companion.

In terms of trainability, the Kooikerhondje is a breed that excels in a variety of activities. They are highly trainable and enjoy learning new tricks and commands. They are also known for their agility and excel in sports such as flyball and agility courses. However, they can be stubborn at times and require a patient and consistent approach to training. They also have a strong prey drive and may need extra training to prevent them from chasing after small animals. Overall, the Kooikerhondje is a versatile breed that can excel in a variety of activities with the right training and socialization.

Kooikerhondje Dog training jumping

Known Health Conditions

Kooikerhondjes are prone to certain health conditions that owners should be aware of. One of the most common issues is patellar luxation, which occurs when the kneecap dislocates from its normal position. This can cause pain, limping, and difficulty walking. Another condition that affects Kooikerhondjes is hip dysplasia, which is a genetic disorder that causes the hip joint to develop abnormally. This can lead to arthritis, pain, and difficulty moving. Additionally, Kooikerhondjes may be at risk for epilepsy, a neurological disorder that causes seizures. This condition can be managed with medication, but it is important for owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms.

Another health condition that Kooikerhondjes may experience is von Willebrand’s disease, which is a bleeding disorder that affects the blood’s ability to clot. This can lead to excessive bleeding from minor injuries or surgeries. Kooikerhondjes may also be prone to allergies, which can cause skin irritation, itching, and hair loss. Additionally, Kooikerhondjes may be at risk for certain eye conditions, such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, which can lead to vision loss. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventative care can help manage these conditions and ensure that Kooikerhondjes live happy and healthy lives.

Kooikerhondje Dog fresh air good for health

Openness to Strangers

Kooikerhondjes are known for their friendly and welcoming nature towards strangers. They are a breed that is always eager to meet new people and make new friends. This trait makes them excellent companions for those who enjoy socializing and meeting new people. Kooikerhondjes are not shy or reserved when it comes to meeting strangers, and they will often approach them with a wagging tail and a friendly demeanor. They are also very curious and will often investigate new people and surroundings with enthusiasm. This openness to strangers is a defining characteristic of the Kooikerhondje breed.

Despite their friendly nature, Kooikerhondjes are also very alert and make excellent watchdogs. They are quick to alert their owners to any potential danger or suspicious activity, making them an excellent choice for those who want a dog that can provide both companionship and security. Kooikerhondjes are also very intelligent and trainable, which makes them easy to teach new commands and tricks. They are a breed that thrives on human interaction and attention, and they will often go out of their way to please their owners. Overall, the Kooikerhondje’s openness to strangers and their intelligence make them an excellent choice for those who want a friendly and loyal companion.

Playfulness Level

The Kooikerhondje is a highly playful breed of dog that loves to engage in various activities. They are known for their energetic and lively nature, which makes them an excellent companion for families with children. These dogs are always up for a game of fetch or a run in the park, and they thrive on physical activity. Their playful nature also makes them great at learning new tricks and commands, as they are always eager to please their owners. Overall, the Kooikerhondje is a fun-loving and lively breed that brings joy and excitement to any household.

Despite their small size, the Kooikerhondje is a highly active breed that requires plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are known for their love of play and are always up for a game of tug-of-war or a run around the yard. These dogs are also highly intelligent and enjoy learning new things, which makes them great candidates for obedience training and agility competitions. However, their playful nature can sometimes get them into trouble, as they may become overly excited and forget their manners. Therefore, it is important for owners to provide them with plenty of exercise and training to ensure that they remain well-behaved and happy.

Suitability as a Pet for Children

Kooikerhondjes are a friendly and affectionate breed that can make great pets for children. They are known for their playful nature and love to be around people. With proper training and socialization, Kooikerhondjes can be great with children of all ages. They are also intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train. However, they do require regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. Overall, Kooikerhondjes can be a great addition to a family with children who are willing to provide them with the attention and care they need.

Kooikerhondje Dog play with child

Exercise Needs

Kooikerhondjes are highly energetic dogs that require a significant amount of exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. These dogs are known for their agility and endurance, making them ideal companions for active individuals who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, running, and cycling. A daily exercise routine that includes brisk walks, runs, and playtime in a secure, fenced area is essential to keep these dogs happy and healthy. Kooikerhondjes also enjoy participating in dog sports such as agility, flyball, and obedience training, which provide them with mental stimulation and help to strengthen their bond with their owners.

In addition to physical exercise, Kooikerhondjes require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. These dogs are intelligent and curious, and they thrive on learning new things and solving puzzles. Owners can provide mental stimulation by engaging their dogs in interactive games, such as hide-and-seek, puzzle toys, and scent work. Training sessions that focus on obedience, tricks, and agility are also beneficial for these dogs, as they enjoy learning and performing new tasks. Kooikerhondjes are social animals and enjoy spending time with their owners, so including them in daily activities and providing them with plenty of attention and affection is essential for their overall well-being.

Kooikerhondje Dog running exercise

Suitability for a Multi-Pet Family

Kooikerhondjes have a reputation for being friendly towards other pets. They are known to get along well with cats and other dogs, as long as they are socialized properly from a young age. However, it is important to note that every dog is different and some Kooikerhondjes may not be as accepting of other pets. It is always best to introduce new pets slowly and under supervision to ensure a positive outcome.

Housing Requirements

Kooikerhondjes require a living space that is comfortable and spacious enough for them to move around freely. They are active dogs that require regular exercise, so a house with a garden or access to a nearby park is ideal. The garden should be securely fenced to prevent the Kooikerhondje from escaping, as they have a tendency to chase after small animals. The house should also have enough space for the dog to rest and sleep comfortably. A cozy bed or crate is recommended, as Kooikerhondjes enjoy having their own space to retreat to. Additionally, the house should be kept clean and tidy, as Kooikerhondjes are prone to allergies and respiratory problems if exposed to dust and dirt.

Kooikerhondjes require a balanced diet that is rich in protein and nutrients to maintain their health and energy levels. They should be fed twice a day, with the amount of food depending on their age, weight, and activity level. Fresh water should be available at all times, and the food and water bowls should be cleaned regularly to prevent contamination. Kooikerhondjes also require regular grooming to keep their coat healthy and shiny. They shed moderately, so brushing their coat once or twice a week is recommended. They also require regular nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing to prevent infections and dental problems. Overall, Kooikerhondjes require a loving and responsible owner who can provide them with a safe and comfortable home, a healthy diet, and regular grooming and exercise.


Kooikerhondjes have a friendly and affectionate personality, making them great companions for families with children. They are also intelligent and eager to please, which makes them easy to train. However, they do require regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Overall, Kooikerhondjes can make wonderful pets for those who are willing to provide them with the attention and care they need.


Kooikerhondje Dog FAQS

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Yes, Kooikerhondjes are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train.

Yes, Kooikerhondjes are known for being great family dogs and are generally good with children.

Yes, Kooikerhondjes can adapt to apartment living as long as they receive enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Kooikerhondjes are generally healthy, but can be prone to certain conditions such as hip dysplasia and von Willebrand disease.

Yes, Kooikerhondjes have a thick, medium-length coat that sheds moderately year-round.

Kooikerhondjes typically weigh between 9-11 kg and stand 35-40 cm tall at the shoulder.

Kooikerhondjes have a lifespan of 12-14 years on average.

Kooikerhondjes are an active breed and require at least 30-60 minutes of exercise per day.

Kooikerhondjes should be brushed at least once a week and may need to be professionally groomed every few months.

A Kooikerhondje is a small Dutch breed of dog that was originally used for hunting ducks.