Breed Type: Spaniel
Country of Origin: Netherlands
Also known as: Kooiker Hound, Small Dutch Waterfowl Dog
Males: Height: 35-40 cm Weight: 9-14 kg
Females: Height: 32-38 cm Weight: 11-18 kg
Exercise Requirements: Medium
Care Requirements: Medium
Lifespan: 12-14 Years
Best Suited as: Family Dog
The Kooikerhondje is a sweet dog with a sensitive personality and is quick to bond with his family. They are intelligent dogs that are easy to train but do not have much patience with teasing or small children. The Kooikerhondje is found almost exclusively in Holland and centuries ago were well known and respected for their ability to trap ducks.
The Kooikerhondje is a medium size dog with a unique appearance. While her fur is a normal mixture of white, tan and black patches, she has distinct black strands of hair flowing from her ears that make her appear to be wearing earrings. Dogs that do not have black in their fur at birth will not develop this unique feature. While show standards are very specific for the Kooikerhondje, many owners appreciate the unique look of their own dog. Kooikerhondje’s have a medium length coat with a white feathered tail that is bushy and is helpful in attracting ducks while hunting.
The body of the Kooikerhondje is long but their legs are fairly short. They have dark, expressive eyes, black noses and most have a distinct white stripe on their foreheads. The Kooikerhondje loses his baby teeth before his first birthday and they are replaced with new adult teeth.
The Kooikerhondje is best described as intelligent, sensitive, affectionate, and friendly. Many make good family dogs although some can be skittish and sensitive and therefore, not great with children. They are self-assured and bond strongly with their families but are shy with strangers, making them good watchdogs.
Kooikerhondjes are easy to train due to their intelligence and eagerness to please. Because of their independent streak and sensitivity, training should be conducted by someone who is firm yet gentle. Kooikerhondjes love to play and while they are ready for a game anytime, they are not hyperactive and tend to be quiet indoors.
The Kooikerhondje is an old Dutch breed that originated sometime in the 16th or 17th century. Paintings that display the Kooikerhondje from this time period exist from artists such as Rembrandt and Steen. Although the Dutch valued the Kooikerhondje as a companion early on, they were also used as hunting dogs, mostly to capture ducks. It was from this role, that the dog got its name. Kooiker means “hunter” in Dutch and “hondgje” means dog. They remained a popular dog in the Netherlands for many centuries until the toll of World War Two nearly made them extinct. Baroness Van Hardenbroek van Ammerstol is credited with reviving the breed (as well as several other Dutch dogs) after the war. She started an aggressive breeding program and in 1966, the dog was given provisional recognition by the Dutch. In 1971, the breed accomplished full recognition with Raad van Beheerhe, the Dutch Kennel Club. Today, the Kooikerhondje is fairly rare outside of Holland.
Care and Grooming
Kooikerhondjes are low maintenance in the grooming department and shed very little. Their fur needs to be brushed about once a week. Your Kooikerhondje will only need a bath if she has rolled around in something pungent. Their coats are very good at repelling dirt and debris but over bathing will lessen its ability to do so. Hair between their paw pads should be trimmed regularly, and their nails should be clipped when needed. Like most breeds, their ears need special attention and need to be kept clean and dry.
The Kooikerhondje likes to stay busy physically and mentally and needs an average amount of exercise in comparison to other breeds. They love being outdoors, playing games and retrieving, and do well in agility trials. For owners that like to run, the Kooikerhondje can be a good running companion and they need at least one long walk or run a day. Being natural hunters, your Kooikerhondje will chase just about anything that is small and moves, so make sure you keep her on a tight leash near busy roads.
The Kooikerhondje has a tendency to overeat and without exercise and a well-managed diet, they can easily become over weight. Make sure to get some guidance from your veterinarian about the amount and type of dog food to serve your pet.
The Kooikerhondje, while not an unhealthy breed, is genetically more likely to have health issues that other dog breeds. The most common issues are a blood clotting disorder called von Willebrand’s disease, cataracts and luxating patellas (kneecap problem). Von Willebrand’s disease can be life threatening. Some of these dogs might also suffer from epilepsy. Make sure to get a health certificate from a breeder before purchasing a Kooikerhondje puppy. This ensures that the parents of your puppy are free of hereditary diseases.
Suitability as a Pet
The ideal owner for a Kooikerhondje is one that is active, will be a patient and sensitive trainer, and that does not have children. Most do pretty well with other dogs and cats if properly socialized with them from puppyhood. While they can do well in an apartment if they receive the proper exercise, they do best living in a home with at least a small yard or in a rural area with wide-open spaces. Because the Kooikerhondje is an extremely curious breed, temptation should be kept far away (food on the table, etc.). Often the Kooikerhondje will find trouble if bored and therefore needs lots of attention and the opportunity to play stimulating games. Being a naturally diligent hunter, your Kooikerhondje is often fixated on his target and goes after it without abandon. While this is safe in a game of ball in the yard, this is a scary quality if running after something on a busy street. Unfortunately, many Kooikerhondjes have been killed by cars for this reason.
Want to make your Kooikerhondje really happy? Bring your retrieving game to the water and watch him dive into the water after his toy. Because the Kooikerhondje is an intelligent breed, make sure you start training early on in her life.
Kooikerhondje Organisations in Australia
No club information listed
Kooikerhondje Organisations in the USA
Kooikerhondje Organisations in the US
Kooikerhondje Club of the USA