Life span: 12-14 Years
Height: 14 – 16 inches
Weight: 20 – 24 lbs.
Having one of the most colorful names in the dog world, the Kooikerhondje is a small-sized breed that is similar to a Spaniel. The Kooikerhondje was developed by the Dutch as a working breed, however, it has also been used in duck hunting. It has a semi-long coat of soft red and white hair and a sleek build. The Kooikerhondje is known for its playful and easy-going attitude, and it is an exceptionally well-behaved breed.
This loving dog is extremely intelligent. However, it also is extremely high energy. It generally gets along well with everyone, although some dogs of this breed might be wary of strangers. They are great watchdogs, but are also generally very loud dogs.
Their ears are medium sized and flop down, their tail is long and stays down when resting. The eyes are brown with a black nose. Their coat can be either straight or slightly wavy, it is dense and weather resistant as well as soft to the touch. Coat colors are either red parti colored or orange and red parti colored, with no markings on their chest and stomach.
There are records of this breed going as far back as the 16th century, with Dutch artwork showcasing dogs similar to this breed. However, it was not until 1971 that they were recognized in the Netherlands. Their original purpose was to lure ducks into traps as well as a vermin hunter. The places where it lures the ducks are called eendenkoois, which are built along canals and wetlands in the Netherlands. Many believe they are related to the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. During War World II they nearly became extinct, but thanks to some fanciers the breed was able to survive. As they began being exported to other countries, their popularity as companions grew. Although it has not yet been recognized by the American Kennel Club, it did become part of its Foundation Stock Service, and the Kooikerhondje Society of America and the Kooikerhondje Club of the United States are working towards its recognition.
This smart dog is loving with its family. They can be loving with strangers as well, but some dogs might be wary of them and need some time to get used to a new person. They will not hesitate, however, to alert you if they sense someone within their territory, especially given that they are very loud. Training must include the whole family so the dog recognizes that they are all above it and follow their orders. They are quite high energy, but will adapt to your energy level. They cannot be left alone for long periods of time or it might result in loud barking and destructive behavior.
- This breed is usually healthy, but may suffer from several kidney diseases, as well as:
- Cataracts, in which the lens of the eye clouds, causing partial or complete loss of vision.
- Hereditary Necrotising Myelopathy (ENM), or leukodystrophy or Kooiker paralysis, is a condition affecting the spinal cord which eventually leads to paralysis at a very young age.
- Patellar Luxation, a disease where their kneecaps are slightly out of place or even dislocated, although this disease is genetic, it can also happen through injuries.
- Polymyositis, a disease which involves skeletal muscle damage through inflammation.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease, which is a blood disease that affects the clotting process, its symptoms can be nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding from surgery, occasional blood in stools, etc.
Their hair should be brushed weekly, with only occasional baths when needed. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. This breed does need daily exercise, as well as a fenced area they can run freely in throughout the day. Exercise can be done through playing ball, taking them on a walk, etc.