Kooikerhondje

Kooikerhondje

Kooikerhondje was developed in the Netherlands around the sixteenth century to be a tolling breed. They were used to lure and drive ducks into ‘kooien’ (cages in the form of canals with traps at the ends), where the hunter (the so called Kooiker) could easily catch the fowl. The dogs that were used by the Kooiker for this kind of hunting technique, were referred to as the ‘Kooiker’s hondjes’ (Kooiker’s dogs). Eventually this led to this dog being called Kooikerhondje.

Kooikerhondje or Kooiker Hound, is a small spaniel-type dog breed of Dutch ancestry that was originally used as a working dog, particularly in duck hunting and tolling. The Kooikerhondje dog breed is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States, Canada and Scandinavia.

In 1942, during the Second World War, the Baroness Van Hardenbroek van Ammerstol began to recreate the Kooikerhondje. She gave a picture of the type of dog she was looking for to a peddler and asked him to look out for such dogs. At a farm in the province of Friesland he found the bitch now well known as Tommy. She became the founding bitch of the Kooikerhondje. In 1966 the Raad van Beheer adopted the interim breed and in 1971 the breed was officially recognized.

The Kooikerhondje was and still is used in the duck decoys. His task is still to lure the ducks into the decoy with his gaily waving tail; he does not hunt the ducks. He calmly moves between the decoy-screens in order to provoke the ducks’ curiosity and lure them further down the decoy pipe where the ducks are captured in a trap. They are either killed for the table or ringed for ornithological research.

Kooikerhondje dogs are around 35 to 40 cm (14 to 16 inches) high at the withers with a nearly square body that is slightly longer than their height at the shoulders. Depending on the gender and the size a Kooikerhondje is not supposed to weigh more than 9-11 kilograms. The fur is medium long and either slightly wavy or straight. For conformation showing, dogs with black ear tips and white tails are preferred.

Kooikerhondje dog breed is cheerful, good natured, friendly, quiet, well-behaved, and alert. They are also intelligent, attentive and more than willing to please their owner. The Kooikerhondje adapts to situations rather quickly, changing his behavior from quiet to lively when the situation allows him to be. He will not always immediately like strangers, instead choosing to retreat. But once he warms up to someone, the trust will be there for the rest of his life.

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Kooikerhondje