(Kooiker Dog) (Small Dutch Waterfowl Dog) The Kooikerhondje is a small breed, standing a little over a foot high. It has a double coat – the over coat, waterproof, is medium long, with the hair either slightly wavy or straight, and does not require clipping. The coat is bicolored – predominantly white and chestnut. The long ears hang straight down, close to the sides of their heads. The tips of the ears have wisps of black hair, called “earrings.” Their feathered tails are held upright. When the breed was being developed several years ago, dogs with black fur were introduced into the lines in order to develop the black earrings. However, this introduction also means that some black and white and tri‑colored Kooikerhondjes are born – and dogs with these variations cannot be exhibited at dog shows. If the puppy does not have any black hairs when born, it will not develop the necessary earrings. In addition, if the dog does not have a white blaze on its head, or a tail that does not have a white tip, it cannot be exhibited. The strict demands of the appearance of the Kooikerhondje’s coat makes breeding very difficult..
Most puppies do not have black tips on their ears when they are born. The black tips develop around 3 weeks of age. This breed should be slightly longer than it is tall.
The Kooikerhondje has an affectionate nature, and can be a good family dog. However, they are also sensitive and do not like a lot of rough handling. They must be socialized from a young age to overcome a tendency toward timidity. House training can be started between 5 to 8 weeks of age, and will take a few months. Obedience training can be started after that, especially if you intend to show your Kooikerhondje. The Kooikerhondje is not a barker - except towards other dogs.
The Kooikerhondje has several hereditary diseases. Cataracts. Epilepsy. Hereditary Necrotizing Myelopathy - a degenerative spinal disease, similar to multiple sclerosis in humans (now considered rare). Patella luxation - the abnormal inward or outward moving of the knee. Dogs with Patella luxation appear bowlegged. Von Willebrandt Disease (VWD)- a common hereditary bleeding disorder in dogs, similar to hemophilia in humans. Properly cared for, a Kooikerhondje can live about 12 years.
Genetic screen has eliminated most hereditary diseases. This is especially true for Kooikers that originate in the UK.
The Kooikerhondje is an ancient breed from the Netherlands. They can be seen in paintings from the 16th and 17th century. They were used in hunting ducks - getting their name by the fact that they drove ducks into "koois" - canals with traps at the ends. Like many European breeds, they almost became extinct during World War II - with only 25 left in existence. They were re-established thanks to the efforts of Baroness van Hardenbroek van Ammerstol. The breed did not become official until June 18, 1966. It received its final recognition from the Dutch Kennel Club on December 20, 1971, when it was decided a sufficient gene pool had been established. From that time, unregistered dogs are allowed to participate in the breeding program.
The Kooikerhondjes shed, and must be brushed on a regular basis.
Kooikers shed very little and will only need to be brushed twice a week to keep their coat debris free.
The Kooikerhondje will do all right in an apartment as long as they are taken out for a lot of exercise, however, they will do best in a house with a fenced-in yard. They are a curious breed, and it is not safe to let them run free on streets - they don't pay attention to cars and can easily be hit. The Kooikerhondje loves to eat, and gain weight easily, so be careful with their diet.
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