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Is the Kooikerhondje right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Kooiker Dog; Kooiker Hound; Dutch Decoy Dog

The basics:
The Kooikerhondje, developed in the Netherlands to work duck decoys, won the hearts of the Dutch when his decoy dog saved William of Orange from a Spanish attack. (A competing legend gives a Pug credit for saving William's life.) While their popularity may have peaked when duck hunting surged during the 19th century, they're winning new fans today because their love of water, intelligence, and sensitivity can allow a properly socialized animal to be a fine family companion as well as a search and rescue or service dog. They are alert and also make good watchdogs.

Their sensitive nature can make them a challenge for the novice dog owner. You need to be a kind, consistent, and intuitive alpha, or you risk spoiling this breed's personality.

Appearance / health:
The Kooikerhondje is a dog with an uplifted head and square body. The well-feathered tail is carried on level with the back or slightly above. The skull is broad with a slight dome. The stop is clear though not too deep. The nose is black. The almond-shaped eyes are dark brown with an intelligent expression. The well-feathered ears are medium-sized and hang close to the cheek. The neck is straight and well muscled.

Kooikerhondjes are moderate shedders. Regular brushing is sufficient to keep the coat in good condition.

They require moderate amounts of exercise consisting of daily walks and jogs. During the weekends, owners may take their dogs for drives, swims, and visits to the beach, woods, parks, or any suitable outdoor location.

The Kooikerhondje is a relatively healthy breed with few health problems. Obesity is a possibility, and owners may need to regulate their dog's diet.

Behavior / temperament:
Kooikers are busy dogs that love to work. Hence, owners may need to keep these intelligent dogs busy. Otherwise, they may develop boredom and indulge in destructive activities such as excessive barking and chewing. They make good watchdogs. They are generally aloof with strangers and friends. Their hunting instincts are strong, and these dogs are capable of killing small animals, making excellent vermin killers.

Kooikers have an average learning rate. Training needs to be firm, consistent, and engaging enough. Positive training methods work well with these dogs.

They are not noisy though they bark at strangers entering their territory.

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