Kooikerhondje dog face, panting



Hello, fellow dog lovers! Today, we’re going to explore the world of a lesser-known but absolutely delightful breed: the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje. This unique breed has a rich history, striking physical characteristics, and a playful personality that is bound to make you fall in love. So, let’s dive right in and discover everything there is to know about the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje!

Kooikerhondje: History + Origin

The Kooikerhondje, also known as the Dutch Decoy Dog or simply the Kooiker, has a fascinating history that dates back to the 16th century. Hailing from the Netherlands, this breed was originally developed to aid in duck hunting using a method called “eendenkooi” or “duck decoy.” The Kooiker’s job was to attract ducks into a series of traps using its wagging tail, which was visible thanks to its distinctive white plume.

The breed’s presence in Dutch history can be seen in numerous paintings by famous artists such as Rembrandt and Jan Steen. Unfortunately, the Kooikerhondje faced near extinction during World War II, but thanks to the dedication of passionate breed enthusiasts, the breed was revived and is now a treasured member of the dog-loving community.

Physical Characteristics of the Kooikerhondje

The Kooikerhondje is a small to medium-sized dog, weighing between 20 and 40 pounds and standing 14 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder. This breed has a well-balanced and athletic build, making it agile and graceful in its movements.

One of the most striking features of the Kooikerhondje is its beautiful, silky coat. The coat is predominantly white with orange-red patches, known as “plates.” The fur is medium in length, slightly wavy, and waterproof, making it perfect for its original purpose of working in wetlands.

Another notable feature is the breed’s unique ears. The Kooikerhondje’s ears are moderately large and hang down, with long, black hair at the tips, known as “earrings.” This charming trait adds to the breed’s overall appeal.

Temperament + Personality

The Kooikerhondje is known for its friendly, intelligent, and playful nature. These dogs are highly adaptable and make wonderful companions for families, singles, and seniors alike. They form strong bonds with their owners, which means they’re happiest when they’re included in all aspects of daily life.

Kooikers are alert and observant, making them excellent watchdogs. However, they are not typically aggressive and tend to be reserved around strangers. Early socialization is important to ensure that they grow up to be confident and well-adjusted dogs.

One thing to note is that the Kooikerhondje can be sensitive and may not tolerate harsh training methods. Positive reinforcement and a gentle approach are key to building a strong relationship with your Kooiker.

Health + Care needs

The Kooikerhondje is a generally healthy breed, with a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. However, like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues.

Some common concerns include: Hereditary Necrotizing Myelopathy (ENM) – A rare, inherited neurological disorder that affects the dog’s spinal cord, leading to paralysis;Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) – A bleeding disorder that affects blood clotting; and Patellar Luxation – A dislocation of the kneecap, which can cause lameness and discomfort.

Responsible breeding practices and regular veterinary check-ups can help minimize the risk of these health issues. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight, providing appropriate exercise, and offering a balanced diet will contribute to your Kooiker’s overall well-being.

Grooming-wise, the Kooikerhondje’s coat requires regular brushing to prevent tangles and matting. A thorough brushing once or twice a week should suffice. Keep an eye on their ears and clean them as needed to prevent infections. Like all dogs, Kooikers also require regular nail trimming, teeth brushing, and bathing.

Feeding your Kooikerhondje

When it comes to feeding your Kooikerhondje, it’s important to provide a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Choose high-quality dog food that meets the needs of your dog’s age, size, and activity level. You can consult with your veterinarian to determine the best food and portion size for your individual Kooiker.

Keep in mind that treats should be given in moderation and table scraps should be avoided, as they can lead to obesity and other health problems. Always ensure that your dog has access to fresh water at all times.

Exercise + Training needs

The Kooikerhondje is an energetic breed that requires regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. A daily walk, combined with playtime in the backyard or a visit to the dog park, should keep your Kooiker happy and healthy. They also excel in dog sports such as agility, obedience, and flyball, which are fantastic ways to bond with your dog and provide mental stimulation.

Training your Kooiker should be a positive and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. As mentioned earlier, this breed can be sensitive, so it’s essential to use positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise, treats, and toys, to encourage desired behaviors. Consistency and patience are key to building a strong, trusting relationship with your Kooiker.

Early socialization is also important, as it helps your Kooikerhondje develop into a well-rounded and confident adult. Expose your puppy to a variety of people, animals, and environments to ensure they grow up to be a well-mannered and adaptable companion.


In conclusion, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is a delightful and charming breed that can make an excellent addition to many households. With their rich history, striking appearance, and friendly personality, it’s no wonder that Kooiker enthusiasts are so passionate about this breed.

If you’re considering adding a Kooikerhondje to your family, be prepared to commit to regular grooming, exercise, and training to ensure your dog’s health and happiness. In return, you’ll be rewarded with a loving, loyal, and playful companion that will bring joy and companionship for years to come.

Thank you for joining me on this journey into the world of the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje! I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about this incredible breed as much as I have. If you’re now a Kooiker fan, don’t forget to share this blog post with fellow dog lovers and help spread the love for these amazing dogs! ❤️

Kooikerhondje Image Gallery

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