Type: Gun Dog

Height: 14 - 16 inches. Average is 15 inches.

Weight: 20 - 24 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 13 years.

Litter Size: 3 - 7 puppies.

Country of Origin: Netherlands (Holland)

Activity: High

Watch-dog: High. Kooikerhondjes are alert to anything going on, and are wary of strangers. They will let their owners know if someone new is around by barking.

Guard-dog: Medium. Although small, the Kooikerhondje can be very territorial and protective of its family, warding off opposing strangers by barking. However, the breed is not very large nor threatening-looking.

Description: The Kooikerhondje is not a well known breed. They are a small dog, but excellent decoys. Originally used to decoy ducks with their bushy white tail, they are trainable and worthy of a hunt. The Kooikerhondje looks somewhat like a large Papillon, with medium to long length fur coming in the colors of red and white, mostly white with patches of red. They have long drop ears that are quite feathered, as well as the tail, chest and legs. Black sometimes lines the ears, of which fanciers call "earrings". Their bodies, longer than they are tall, are lean and moderately muscled. The Kooikerhondje is a bright dog, intelligent in the ways of luring ducks. They are friendly, cheery dogs who will likely follow their master to the end of the Earth. They are good with older children, and good with other pets. Kooikerhondjes are affectionate and easy to manage, making them ideal for just a companion or as both decoy dog and companion. They active, yet not overly excitable. Although they can be noisy, they will alert their owners of anything unusual that may be going on. Reliable and friendly, the Kooikerhondje is definitely worth keeping in the home.

Does this Breed sound right to you ? Click Here to Find a Breeder

Other Names: Small Dutch Waterfowl Dog, Duck-Decoy Dog, Kooiker Dog, Kooiker Hound, Dutch Decoy Spaniel

Colors: White and red or white and orange. Clear white with red or orange patches. Black appears on the tips of the ears, calling

Coat: Medium to long in length, with feathering on the backs of legs, bushy feathered tail, feathering on the chest and the ears. Fur has a slight wave to it. They have a double coat that is sleek on the outer coat.

Temperament: Kooikerhondjes are active, but not overly excited. They are friendly to most, but are better with older children. They are trainable and intelligent. Kooikerhondjes will alert their owner to anything unusual, making them a good watch dog. They are rather noisy at times. They are devoted and affectionate with their family, and wary with strangers. They are very even tempered and cheerful. They can be very territorial.

With Children: Yes, but does better with older children.

With Pets: Yes, if socialized.

Special Skills: Duck decoy dog and companion.

Care and Training: The Kooikerhondje is relatively easy to care for. It needs a daily brushing to keep its fur in top glossy condition. They should be bathe when necessary, and does not need to be cut or trimmed. They do shed, usually every spring and autumn. Ears should be checked routinely for infection, dirt build up or other substances, as they are long and can sweep up small creatures. Nails should be trimmed routinely as well. The Kooikerhondje should receive daily exercise, as they have a tendency toward obesity. A walk every day should suffice.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - Low.

Special Needs: Positive training, socialization, exercise and supervision with children.

Living Environment: The Kooikerhondje does better in a rural or suburban environment. An apartment is not suitable for this breed, as they can become lazy and overweight if not regularly exercised. They should be given a fenced yard. The best owner for this breed would be an active owner living in a rural or suburban environment with a job for the Kooikerhondje to do.

Health Issues: Unfortunately due to a small breeding base from after World War II, this breed suffers from inherited genetic diseases occasionally. These may include cataracts, von Willebrand's disease (blood clotting disease), epilepsy, necrotizing myelopathy and luxating patellas.

History: They originate from the Netherlands in Holland, and their name means "dog belonging to the Kooiker". Still relatively unknown, the breed has actually been in existence since at least the 1500s. Stories have circulated that a Kooikerhondje is credited with saving the life of Prince William of Orange, warning him of intruders in his home and allowing him to escape. Paintings of the breed were discovered dating back to around the 1600s, by artists such as Jan Steen and Jan Vermeer. But from this point on, the breed has no references until the 1940s. The Kooikerhondje is thought to be possibly descended from the now extinct English Red Decoy Dog. Kooikerhondjes, or Duck-Decoy Dogs, were used in the sport of hunting ducks. This type of hunting, however, was much different from the hounds that would go after wolves and bear. The Kooikerhondje would lure wild ducks into a fence where other, tame ducks were feeding. The Kooikerhondje is known for using its bushy white tail to distract the ducks into coming into the fenced area. When the ducks entered the area, the trap was set and the fence would come down. Today they are still used for this purpose, though mostly for catching ducks to band them for identification. After World War II, the breed was almost diminished, as there were only around 25 of the species known to exist! From these small beginnings, breeders sought out to revive the breed. Baroness von Hardenbroek van Ammerstol was an active dog breeder in the 1940s, and set out to retrieve this breed. She asked a peddler to look out for this dog, showing him a picture. When he found one of the Kooikerhondjes, a female named "Tommy", two more males were also found in the same area. In 1943 the re-population began, and Tommy gave birth to a litter. From these and other small numbers their population began to grow again. A Dutch breed club was formed for the Kooikerhondje in 1967, and recognition of the breed took place in 1971. Today they are still a rare breed.

Class: Sporting

Registries: FCI (Group 8), UKC (Gun Dog), KC(UK) (Gun Dog)