The Dutch Smoushond is a dog breed on the smaller side of things. These dogs aren’t very well-known outside of their country of origin. However, Dutch Smoushonds can be found in other countries.
1. Sometimes Called the Dutch Ratter
One of the Dutch Smoushond’s other names would be the Dutch Ratter. Something that should provide interested individuals with a good idea of what these dogs were expected to do in earlier times. Nowadays, we tend to think of cats being used for vermin control. However, it wasn’t uncommon to see dogs being used for said purpose as well.
2. Meant to Hunt Rats
Rat is a term that can encompass a wide range of medium-sized rodents with long tails. Generally speaking, interested individuals will think of members of the genus Rattus. However, there are a number of other genera that are considered to be rats as well. Regardless, rats have been seen as pests for millennia. Something that has remained true to a considerable extent in the present time. Yes, there are rats serving as pets, test subjects, and other useful roles. Unfortunately, most rats are nuisances to us in much the same way that their ancestors were nuisances to our ancestors.
3. Meant to Hunt Mice
Besides rats, Dutch Smoushonds are also meant to hunt mice. Of course, the exact line of distinction between a rat and a mouse can be rather confusing. This is because the two terms aren’t assigned based on scientific criteria. Instead, larger muroid rodents tend to be called rats while smaller muroid rodents tend to be called mice. Despite this, mice are quite capable of being nuisances to human interests, particularly when they are around in significant numbers.
4. Served in Stables
It is interesting to note that Dutch Smoushonds were meant for use in stables. Generally speaking, when people think of stables, they think of horses. However, stables can be used for other kinds of livestock as well. In any case, rodents can cause numerous issues in stables. For example, they can ruin the feed, meaning that it will have to be replaced. Similarly, they can spread diseases to the livestock, which is a huge problem when livestock tended to be even more expensive in the past than in the present. As such, it isn’t difficult to see why ratters can be useful in such environments.
5. Their Name Comes from a Slur
Having said that, it should be mentioned that the Dutch Smoushond’s name refers to a slur. To be exact, smous is a word derived from Moses, so it should come as no surprise to learn that it is an ethnic slur used to target Jewish people. Dutch Smoushonds winded up being called Dutch Smoushonds because of their shaggy faces, which resulted in comparisons with Jewish men who wore beards as well as long hair.
6. Dutch Is Meant to Distinguish Them from the Brussels Griffon
Meanwhile, the Dutch in Dutch Smoushond is meant to distinguish these dogs from Brussels Griffons. For those who are curious, the latter are toy dogs that originated in the city of Brussels in Belgium. Technically, they are three separate breeds. In practice, well, suffice to say that the three breeds are separated by differences in their coat as well as color, meaning that they are sometimes considered to be separate varieties of the same breed.
7. Might Be Related to Pinschers and Schnauzers
The exact ancestry of Dutch Smoushonds is unclear. However, there is speculation that these dogs are related to Pinschers and Schnauzers. Pinschers are dogs developed for ratting, guarding, and even fighting, though they have managed to make a successful transition to being household companions for the most part in the present. Meanwhile, Schnauzers also started out as working dogs before a considerable number managed to become household companions. Regardless, this kind of speculation makes intuitive sense because these dogs developed in regions situated close to one another. In fact, Dutch Smoushonds also saw use as ratters in Germany.
8. Is Related to Border Terriers
In modern times, Dutch Smoushonds are related to Border Terriers because the breed had to be reconstructed using Border Terrier mixes. Originally, Border Terriers were meant to hunt foxes. Something that influenced a number of their most prominent characteristics. For example, they are small because they needed to be capable of going into fox burrows. Simultaneously, they are surprisingly long-legged because they needed to be capable of keeping up with horses as well as other foxhounds. As for the Border Terriers’ name, these dogs can trace their roots to the Anglo-Scottish border, which is a region with its own distinctive character because of the long periods of conflict between the two countries in earlier times.
9. Once Came Very Close to Extinction
Dutch Smoushonds came very close to extinction in World War Two. They weren’t particularly common even before that point, presumably because they were hard-hit by modern advancements like a lot of other working dogs. However, the number of Dutch Smoushonds plummeted in World War Two, which is why the breed had to be reconstructed using Border Terrier mixes. This trend is presumably connected to the German occupation of the Netherlands during said conflict. Initially, it was relatively mild when compared with some of the other occupations of the same period. However, the situation worsened from 1941 to 1944 when the Germans stopped using their previous “velvet glove” approach. By the end of 1944, the Allies had liberated most of the south of the country, but the rest underwent a famine remembered as the Hunger Winter.
10. Can Get Along Well with Cats and Dogs
Apparently, Dutch Smoushonds can get along well with both cats and dogs. However, their chances of doing so will go up when they are socialized from an early age. In contrast, it is not a good idea to leave Dutch Smoushonds alone with smaller animals. They are meant to hunt rats and mice. As a result, it is too easy for their hunting instincts to kick in when they interact with something of such sizes.