The Kooikerhondje!

The Kooikerhondje originated from the Netherlands. The Kooikerondje, also known as the Kooiker Dog or the Small Dutch Waterfowl Dog is much loved by its native land. Many Dutch painters include a similar dog in their masterpieces. The Kooikerhondje has a body that is almost square in shape, an uplifted head, a parti-colored coat, and a feathered tail. The dog is believed to have descended from Spioen (Spaniels) and is credited to be the ancestors of another “Duck Dog”, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years

Energy Level:
Higher than average.

Living Conditions:
Needs lots of living space.


Exercise Needs:
45 minute walk.

Breed Group:


13-16 inches

20 to 40 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
White spattered with distinct patches of orange-red fur

National breed club:
Kooikerhondje Club of the United States

Kooikerhondje Skills

The Kooikerhondje was bred as a working dog. They hunted with “Kooibaas” (boss of the duck decoy), also acted as watch dogs and hunters of small rodents. Nowadays, the Kooiker dog still, on occasion, perform duck decoy duties, but they more often participate in competitor sports (flyball, Frisbee catching, etc). Others are bred to be companion dogs.

Kooikerhondje Personality

The Kooikerhondje is a cheerful, friendly, good natured multi-purpose working dog. They are energetic workers and make great hunters, reliable guard dogs and wonderful trustworthy companions. Although the Kooiker Dog looks nice and approachable, they are not. They are ready to defend their owners (by ferocious barking) and are generally very reserved towards both strangers and children. However, when trust is established, the Kooiker Dog becomes a strong ally. Despite being intelligent, Kooikers are quite difficult to train. They are generally very dominant and temperamental. When training Kooiker Dogs remember that they need to be mentally stimulated, taught in a gentle manner, and be given positive reinforcement as these dogs are also very sensitive.

Exercise Needs

This hunting breed enjoy the outdoors and require that they be given regular exercise. If you wish to let your dog stretch his legs and run, release him in a secure area (fenced in yard). If allowed to run in an open area, they may run after small animals that catch their attention.

Living Conditions

Although the Kooiker Dog will do well in an apartment, this active breed would be better off living in a home with lots of room and a large fenced yard. If you live in a home with limited space, make sure you take the Kooiker out for regular walks and, if the Kooiker is well-trained, you can let the dog off its leash and let him run. If you can’t control your Kooiker, it’s best to retain the leash.

Grooming Requirements

Kooikerhonjes are known for their coat. They have slightly curly, medium to long hair that lies close to the body. Brush at least every other day to keep from matting. The base color of their coat is white spattered with distinct patches of orange-red fur. Another distinct feature of Kooiker Dogs is the black colored hair at the tips of their ears.

Health Issues

Kooikerhondjes are prone to having green or gray cataracts which, if left untreated, would affect the dog’s vision. Aside from these, the only other disease the Kooikerhondjes may have are those that stem from irresponsible inbreeding (epilepsy, patella luxation, etc).

If you liked this dog…

Consider similar breeds are those that come from the spaniel family such as the Clumber or Cocker Spaniels.



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