There are quite a few dog breeds which are rarely seen in the UK, whether they are a rare foreign breed or breeds that are just not as popular on British shores as they are in other regions of the world. This usually means that anyone wanting to share a home with one, would need to register their interest with a breeder and the chances are the waiting may well be very long. One such breed is the Stabyhoun, an unusual, stunning looking but very rarely seen breed in the UK.
The lovely Stabyhoun is a relative to two other breeds, namely the Heidewachtel and the Drentsche Patrijshond. They were bred and developed in a region of the Netherlands known as the Frisian Forest. The breed was often crossed with another Dutch breed called the Wetterhoun which during the 20th Century meant that some of each breed’s natural traits were being lost, but thanks to breed enthusiasts, both breeds were saved before being officially recognised as unique in 1942. Five years later, the Dutch Association for Staby and Wetterhounen was founded with the goal being to preserver both Frisian breeds.
Native to the Netherlands, the Stabyhoun resembles the Springer-type breed that’s more commonly known and seen in the UK. They are exceptionally intelligent and responsive to positive reinforcement training. They also boast having quite a long lifespan which can be 15+ years when well cared for and fed an appropriate diet to suit the different stages of their lives. When it comes to size, they stand at anything from 40 to 53 cm at the wither, much like a Springer Spaniel.
The Stabyhoun although gentle by nature and obedient, showing a lot of patience and tolerance, they can be wilful too. They form exceptionally strong bonds with their families and thrive on human company, always willing and eager to please. Having been bred as a hunting and retrieving dog, the Stabyhoun in soft-mouthed and highly prized in their native Holland and other European countries in the hunting field as well as in a home environment. Stabyhouns love being in and around water, they have super sight and an acute sense of smell which are some of the reason they are so popular with hunters.
Their name Stabyhoun means “Stand-by-me-dog” in Dutch and not only are they extremely obedient when well handled and trained, they are exceptionally loyal too. With this said, they have an independent side to their natures which means they are very likely to go off and do their own thing if they spot anything interesting in the distance or pick up an interesting scent they decide to follow. They are playful, inquisitive and will happily dig up a flower bed or lawn just for the fun of it. Many owners say that if their Stabyhoun goes too quiet, the chances are they up to something that needs to be investigated.
Always on the alert and “ready”, a Stabyhoun makes for a good watchdog and will alert an owner when something they don’t like is going on, only settling down again when they are satisfied that everything is okay. With this said, they are not good guard dogs and would rarely show any sort of aggressive behaviour towards anyone. Colour-wise, most Stabyhouns have black and white coats although in their native Holland, more brown and white coated dogs are often seen. The only colour that is extremely rare is the orange and white Stabyhoun.
Although Stabyhouns have always been highly prized gundogs in Europe and more especially in the Netherlands, they make wonderful family pets thanks to their affectionate and tolerant natures. As such, agreeing to go on a waiting list for the pleasure of sharing a home with a Stabyhoun would definitely be well worth the wait, although finding a UK breeder can prove extremely challenging.