The Stabyhoun is a breed of dog of which many people know very little about and this is because it is one of the top five rarest dog breeds in the world. In fact, there are just a few thousand Stabyhouns in existence in the world today and they are a Dutch national treasure. Therefore, it is an interesting breed to learn a little more about. Here are ten facts about the Stabyhoun that you probably did not know.
1. It Comes from the Netherlands
The Stabyhoun comes from Friesland in the Netherlands. Although the exact dates of the breeds origin are unknown, it has been around since at least the 1800s as this they are mentioned in literature during this period. Despite their long history, breed standards were not formalized until 1942. The ancestors of this breed are probably spaniels as they have many similar physical characteristics.
2. It is Known by Several Names
Although this breed is best known as the Stabyhoun, this is not the only name by which it is known. Some of the names by which the Stabyhoun is also known are Stabij, Beike, Stabjihoun, and Fryske Stabij. It is also given the nickname of Staby. It is also known as the Stabij Frisian. The word Stabij means ‘stand by me’ and the word Frisian translates as dog. This name reflects the breeds loyal nature.
3. It Was Bred as a Working Dog
The Stabyhoun was originally bred as a working dog and was used in a variety of capacities. They were often kept on farms for herding, hunting or mole catching. Most Stabyhouns are still kept as working dogs on farms but their popularity as a companion dog has increased in recent years.
4. The Facial Appearance of the Sexes Differs
In most breeds, it is difficult to differentiate between the sexes without looking at their genitals. This is not the case with the Stabyhoun as males and females have distinctive facial features that differentiate them.
5. They Are Usually Black and White
The most common coloring of a Stabyhoun is black and white. There are also brown and white Stabyhouns but these are less common. The rarest coloring of Stabyhoun is orange and white. Spotting and markings in the dog’s white areas are considered acceptable, but tricolor dogs are considered a serious fault in this breed.
6. Congenital Defects Are Rare in This Breed
This breed is generally known as a healthy dog that will usually live for 12 to 14 years. There are not many congenital conditions to which this dog is prone. However, some of the congenital conditions from which a Stabyhoun can suffer are epilepsy, patent ductus arteriosis, and elbow or hip dysplasia.
7. Breeding is Kept to a Minimum
As this is a rare breed, it would make sense to assume that breeders would try to increase the numbers with a large breeding program. However, that is not the case as they try to keep breeding to a minimum to prevent inbreeding and retain the purity of the breed.
8. There Are Age Restrictions on Breeding
Another restriction relating to breeding is the age of the females used in breeding. They cannot start breeding until they are at least 18 months of age. They are no longer suitable for breeding when they are nine years of age. Between each litter, at least one year should elapse to prevent the mother from suffering from health problems related to overbreeding. Each female dog should produce no more than five litters in their lifetime.
9. They Need lots of Activity
As this dog was bred as a working dog, they need plenty of activity and exercise. They are not suited to apartment living as they need the space to run around. If they do not get enough activity, they can become very difficult to live with and destructive. The Stabyhoun is ideally suited to people who enjoy long walks and other outdoor activities.
10. They Are a Small but Sturdy Breed
This is a small to medium breed of dog that usually grows to a height of between 19 and 21 inches. They are quite a sturdy dog and they can weigh between 40 and 55 pounds. Their body shape is described as powerful yet slender with a tucked away belly and rounded ribcage.