The Kooikerhondje is cheerful, friendly, brave, self-confident and intelligent. Kooikerhondjes are not friends with everybody and bond very closely with their owners or family. They are sensitive dogs and can be rather touchy and therefore are not ideal playmates for children. The Kooikerhondje is eager to learn and intelligent making them easy to train. They need a firm handler to prevent them from becoming dominant. Kooikerhondjes make good watchdogs as they are naturally cautious towards strangers. These dogs need to be socialized with other dogs and household pets at an early age in order for them to get along.
Kooikerhondjes need little grooming and their coats will remain tidy with a quick regular brush. This breed does shed hair and the coat needs extra grooming during these times to remove the dead hairs. Any excess hair between the pads of the feet should be trimmed and their ears need to be kept clean.
Kooikerhondjes have an average demand for exercise. They enjoy running about and playing and most of these dogs enjoy swimming or retrieving. Kooikerhondjes generally perform well in obedience and agility sports. These dogs are generally energetic outdoors but will be calm indoors if their exercise needs are met.
Kooikerhondjes have existed in the Netherlands for a long time and it was one of these dogs that was credited for saving the life of Prince William of Orange, by ruining an assassination attempt by barking and waking them up in time. They were originally used as working dogs, especially for duck hunting. Kooikerhondjes were popular in the 17th and 18th century and appeared in the paintings of Rembrandt and Jan Steen. This breed almost became extinct, but it was revived by Baroness v. Hardenbroek van Ammerstool who worked with the breed after World War I.
General Appearance: Well-balance and agile with a kindly expression.
Color: White with red patches. A white blaze and red colored cheeks are preferred for the head markings.
Coat: Medium length, fine, slightly wavy or straight (not curly) and close fitting.
Tail: Carried level with the back or slightly above and well feathered with a white plume.
Ears: Medium sized, hanging close to the cheeks with long feathering and black tips are preferred.
Body: The back is strong with a deep chest and well-sprung ribs.
- Kooikerhondje is pronuonced as "Koy-Ker-Hond".
- A distinguishing feature of this breed is the long black tips on the ears. The length and amount of these "earrings" is determined by genetics. Kooikerhondjes usually have some black hairs on their body when they born, which fall out in the first shedding (3-4 months). If a puppy doesn't have any black hairs when it's born, it will not develop earrings. Black and white and tri-colored Kooikerhondjes are not permitted within the breed standard and these color restrictions makes breeding Kooikerhondjes quite difficult.