10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Kooikerhondje

There’s a new pup in town and it’s one that not many have heard of yet. The Kooikerhondje is a new dog breed which hasn’t been officially recognized for long. It hails from the Netherlands, but it has all the earmarks of becoming a popular dog to own in the United States. If you’re wondering why we say this, here are 10 things about the Kooikerhonje that you didn’t know that will clarify the statement.

1. It’s a decoy dog

America has its share of avid duck hunters. The Kooikerhondje is skillful at navigating through some tough terrain found in the wetlands of the Netherlands. They have the ability to lure ducks into a cage making it easier for the hunter to nab his prey. He’s a skilled expert (with a little training) in serving as a decoy dog and highly prized as a companion for duck hunters. In fact, a rough translation of his name means “decoy dog.”

2. The breed was only made official in January of 2018

It’s been less than a year since the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Kooikerhondje as a dog breed. This means that it joins an elite class of canines and those that remain pure in the breed are eligible for registration. We may start seeing them in action in dog shows soon. It’s only a matter of time before word of this amazing new breed gets out and the odds are in favor of seeing more of them around.

3. The tail of is distinctive

You’ll be able to distinguish the Kooikerhondje by their quite unique and distinctive tail. It is long and features a white plume that is feathered and makes a good flag. When the dogs wave their tail, believe it or not, ducks are attracted to it and the curious birds have a tendency to follow the dog. At least, that’s how it’s been working in Holland anyway. They swear by this tricky hunting assistant. It’s partly in their skill at navigating through thick wetlands, but a great share is in the water fowl’s fascination with their tail. Whoever heard of the prey following the hunter in?

4. They started a long line of duck hunters

The Kooikerhondje has had its lines traced back to a North American dog breed that is known for its hunting prowess. They’re related to the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Which came first? Why it was the Kooikerhondje. With such strong genetics, the dog breeds within these lines pass on the natural tendencies to hunt, lure, decoy and retrieve. They’re actually a duck hunter’s dream and this is why we’re certain that you will begin to see more of them in North America, particularly in the United States and Canada.

5. These dogs look like they’re wearing earrings

The ears of the Kooikerhondje are very distinctive. In fact, the black tips that you’ll see on their ears are called earrings in canine enthusiasts circles. They’re already adorned with their own special markings. This is just one more way to confirm whether or not you’re really seeing a Kooikerhondje.

6. These are ancient dogs

Although the Kooikerhondje has just recently been recognized as an official dog breed by the American Kennel Club, it’s actually been around for hundreds of years. Anecdotal information shows that the Kooikerhondje can be traced back to at least the 16th century, and perhaps further. It was one of these amazing dogs that alerted William of Orange that the Spanish were set for an attack. We see evidence of this breed in old paintings completed by some of the Dutch artists including Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Steen. What more proof is needed? We say none. This is yet more proof of their value and popularity hundreds of years ago.

7. They almost became extinct

The Kooikerhondje is an attractive little spaniel that is valued for its beauty as well as its hunting abilities, but the breed came in danger of extinction in the 1940s. There were not many left around. It was the Baroness Van Hardenbroek van Ammerstol who made it her mission to carefully preserve the breed through dedication to help them make a comeback, and they’re back in force.

8. The Kooikerhondje is a spirited and lively dog

This breed is excellent as a working dog for hunting ducks and other waterfowl, but even if you’re not into hunting, he’s an amazing family dog. He absolutely loves people. He’s high spirited and loads of fun. This interesting dog is also very affectionate and when properly trained, he makes an excellent family or companion dog.

9. Kooikerhondjes are highly intelligent

These dogs are very smart. This makes them easy to train, but it also means that you should begin training them at a very young age. They figure things out quickly and it’s far better than they do it under strict guidance. The Kooikerhondjes that are trained tends to be obedient and well-mannered dogs once they reach maturity.

10. They need mental stimulation

Kooikerhondjes are smart but if they don’t get the right kind of mental stimulation, they can become easily bored. This is why it’s important from the time that they’re puppies to make sure that you play games with them and make their training fun and interesting for them. Give them their own toys to play with and don’t let them run out of them. They’ll generally be content to chew on their own things if you teach them the difference between “yours and mine.”


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