Stabyhoun has a nice temperament, friendly, extremely intelligent, peaceful, patient, and willing to please, but has a reputation for being stubborn and very vigilant. A characteristic of the stabyhoun is tolerance toward children and other animals. The Stabyhoun should be obedient and devoted to its owner, making it easy to train, these dogs should never be vicious or snappy.
The Stabyhoun dog breed needs exercise and is not for the lazy owner. Although it can be very laid back in the home environment, it still needs plenty of activity. Due to its strong retrieving instinct, it is very happy to spend the whole day playing fetch with its owner.
Historically, the Bijke is very much a dog for the common man, and hence fairly allround. Apart from hunting, these dog were also used as guard dogs, and to catch rats, moles, bunzing. This versatility is still reflected in the breed. The Stabyhoun is both a retriever and a pointer. It works very well on water, being able to withstand the coldest of rivers and lakes, and is easily controlled over greater distances. It brings in any game alive and undamaged. When catching moles and other vermin, these animals are killed through breaking the neck, but the fur remains undamaged. It is a powerful dog and larger ones are used to pull sleds in the winter. These dogs have high levels of energy and endurance because of their history as a gundog. People have recognised this and the Stabyhoun is now used in almost all imaginable forms of training and activity: dog agility, obedience, hunting, triathlon, endurance, frisbee, and others.
The Stabyhoun is a gundog of which descriptions were found as early as 1800. In earlier days it was used for hunting foxes, small game, and birds, and it also turned out to be a fine mole catcher. During the hunting season, it was used as an all-round gundog, an occupation it keeps to this day, although British and German breeds are more popular. It is a fine pointer, an excellent tracker, and also a good watchdog. It has also been used as a draught dog. The dog used to be owned by farmers who were, in general, poor. It was very welcome to have such an all arounder, because often only one dog could be afforded. As a versatile breed, Stabyhouns have been used throughout ages as a guard and watch dog for the farms, but before all it is a hunting dog. The breed’s looks and purpose have not changed for decades, although in earlier days the breed was often mixed with another Friesian breed: the Wetterhoun, because only working capacities were counted. In 1942 the breed was officially acknowledged and since then crossbreeding between the two has stopped. Today it enjoys a moderate, though very devoted fancy among Dutch sportsmen and homeowners and its numbers are increasing slowly but steadily. It has yet to gain any significant fancy outside of the Netherlands.