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Is the Wetterhoun right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Frisian Water Dog, Otterhoun

The basics:
Wetterhoun is Dutch for "water dog," and the name reflects this breed's origins as a hunter and retriever in the Dutch province of Friesland. Well-regarded as a gun dog in Europe, it's recognized by both the FCI and the Kennel Club. The breed's association notes, "Wetterhouns are said to be stubborn. Are they really? Yes, in a way they are, but in a specific way. A wetterhoun always finishes the job, at its own speed..." This persevering spirit is a fine thing in the field in pursuit of game, but owners do need to be aware of this personality quirk. If Wetterhouns decide they need to investigate an interesting smell or fetch some lost item, they may be tough to call away from the task until it's done. An impatient owner always in a hurry to get to the next thing could become annoyed or frustrated.

Appearance / health:
The Wetterhoun breed has a body is a somewhat squarish with a large, strong forehead. It has a large strong head with prominent and alert eyes. It has a chest broad enough to keep its forelegs apart. The breed’s large feet are rounded, with pronounced thick pads. Its tail is curled and carried in a tight curl when the dog is alert.

This waterdog can do without much grooming. This breed needs to be only occasionally combed and brushed. Owners need to ensure that the ears are clean and infection free.

The Wetterhoun needs plenty of exercise. Ideally, the dog is best suited to a large piece of land on which it can run around in freely. It will also protect the land fiercely.

The Wetterhoun is generally a hardy breed not susceptible to the diseases seen in other breeds. However, hip dysplasia and epilepsy are prevalent; largely due to the limited gene pool used by the breeders to develop the breed.

Behavior / temperament:
The Wetterhoun is a rugged, well-built, and effective gun dog skilled at flushing and retrieving on both land and water. The breed usually hunts singly and is well known for its fearlessness.

The Wetterhoun is an intelligent breed quick to learn, but is independent-minded. At times, dogs of this breed refuse to obey their handler’s commands. Training a Wetherhoun is a process that has to start early and extend well into the dog's adult life. It is important for the owners to start with first building a rapport with the Wetterhoun and then gain dominance over it, requiring a lot of patience and consistency.

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