The Kooikerhondje – A New Face At Crufts

March 7th, 2008 by Dee

The new breed at Crufts this year is the Kooikerhondje (pronounced koy-ker-hond-gee), who will be featured in the Gundog Group this evening. The Kooikerhondje’s (Dutch Decoy Dog) origins can be found as far back as the 1500′s. This quiet playful dog was developed in 1626-1679 to be used as a duck decoy of all things! This task was preformed by using its bushy, feathery white tail to lure curious ducks into a catching pen. This hunting process is quite interesting. The “kooibaas” or boss of the duck decoy would conceal themselves behind a series of blinds, he then would signal to his dog to walk along side the canal. When signaled again, the dog would disappear behind the blinds then reappear at a different location. The Kooiker would use this weaving method to lure ducks deeper into the canal into the awaiting trap. The duck decoy business decreased significantly by the 19th century.
Kooikerhondje With 8 Puppies
Photo by Ab Wisselink

Although there are still a few decoys found in Holland today, most are used for research and tagging of ducks for conservation purposes. The Kooikerhondje was nearly extinct by the 1930’s but with the devotion of M.C.S. Baroness van Hardenbroek from Ammerstol, the breed was rediscovered when she began her breeding program in 1939. The Dutch Kennel Club officially recognized the Kooikerhondje in 1966 with the official date as December 20, 1971. Some say the Kooiker possibly played a part in the development of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Kooikerhondje - Dutch Decoy Dog Photo: Lusches

Kooikerhondje breed result at Crufts 2008
Best of Breed:
This dog will go on to compete in the Best Of Gundog Group Tonight! Good Luck!

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