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The Stabyhoun

The Stabyhoun

By Michael Russell

The Stabyhoun is a dog with beautiful proportion and is well known for its skills as a water retriever and for a soft mouth which will bring in the birds undamaged. The function and origin of this breed is that of a gun dog breed native to the province of Friesland in Holland. It is noted for its propensity to be an excellent swimmer and water retriever, with a soft disposition and friendly character. It is sometimes of quite a heavy build and has been used also as a draft dog. The Stabyhoun is an all around farm dog and hunting dog and is treasured by the farmers of Holland for his ability to fill many roles on the farm, from hunting to watch dog to livestock protector and family pet. When he is a dog on a family farm he also fulfills the role of rodent killer, for he will go after moles and rats as well as flushing out wild game.

The Stabyhoun can be black and white, orange and white, or brown and white. It has a sleek single coat with long body hair and feathering on the front legs and breeches on the rump and rear legs. The entire coat can be speckled or “ticked” or the spots can be large and splashy. Tri color is not acceptable in the standard of the breed. The tail is bushy and has a distinctive feature in that the tip of the tail is covered with a short smooth coat. It is a medium sized dog, built much like a spaniel. Height at the withers is 21-23 inches. The dog is proficient at hunting and retrieving and will naturally point and flush. He retrieves from water as well as land. He is reliable, steady on point and is also an affectionate and calm family pet with an even and unshakably gentle temperament. This is a breed that can live as long as 13-15 years and appears to have very few health difficulties.

The Stabyhoun is little known outside of Holland, although it is becoming increasingly popular in Germany and England. In 1942 it was officially recognized by the F.C.I. as a member of the Gundog Group and has steadily gained in popularity from an all time low after the great World Wars. At the present time there are only about 3500 registered members of the breed and the Stabyhoun breeders are very aware of the necessity for careful breeding practices with such a limited gene pool. At the present time the Dutch Association for the Stabyhoun keeps very careful records on breeding and maintains a strict control over the breeding population of the dog. It is not uncommon in Europe for a Breed Club to maintain the records and require compliance with strict breeding regulations in order for any puppies to be officially registered.

Even the numbers of litters a bitch may have in a lifetime are regulated, as well as the numbers for a male. It is also of course of paramount importance that only studs and dams of superior quality and animals who have been x-rayed are used for breeding purposes and keeping a close track of this is part of the responsibility of the Stabyhoun Breed Club.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dogs

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