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11 Dog Breeds From the Netherlands

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11 Dog Breeds From the Netherlands: A Guide to Dutch Pups

The Netherlands is known for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and of course, its unique dogs. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring 11 great Dutch dog breeds. From the friendly and intelligent Dutch Shepherd to the charming and energetic Keeshond, each breed has its own distinct characteristics and qualities. So let’s explore 11 dog breeds from the Netherlands!

Exploring Dutch Dog Breeds

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a versatile and intelligent hunting dog that originated in the Netherlands. Known for their distinctive wire-like coat, these dogs are highly adaptable and excel in various dog sports and outdoor activities. Historically, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was bred for its exceptional hunting abilities, particularly as a gundog for waterfowl and upland game birds. With their keen sense of smell and natural retrieving instincts, they were valued for their ability to locate and point game while also being excellent swimmers. In terms of temperament, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are known to be friendly, affectionate, and eager to please. They are highly trainable and make wonderful family companions due to their gentle nature and love of human company.


Saarloos Wolfdog: A Unique Blend of Wild and Domestic

The Saarloos Wolfdog is a unique breed that traces its origins back to the Netherlands. Leendert Saarloos, a Dutch zoologist and dog breeder, played a pivotal role in the creation of this magnificent canine. He believed that the German Shepherd had become too domesticated and sought to breed back the natural properties of wolves to create a superior working dog. In 1935, he crossed a male German Shepherd with a female Eurasian grey wolf, resulting in the first generation of Saarloos Wolfdogs. Over time, Saarloos selectively bred these dogs to refine their temperament and characteristics. Today, the Saarloos Wolfdog is known for its strong work ethic, intelligence, and loyalty. While they possess some wolf-like traits, such as high energy levels and an independent nature, they are also highly trainable and make devoted companions for experienced owners who can provide them with proper socialization and stimulation.


The Versatile Dutch Shepherd

The Dutch Shepherd, also known as the Hollandse herdershond, is a unique and versatile working dog that hails from the Netherlands. This breed has a rich history and has been used for various purposes throughout the years. Originally developed as a herding dog, the Dutch Shepherd was valued for its intelligence, agility, and versatility on the farm. However, its skills were not limited to herding alone. The Dutch Shepherd also excelled in other areas such as guarding, police work, search and rescue, and even as a loyal companion. Despite its impressive capabilities, the Dutch Shepherd remains a relatively rare breed today. Known for its high energy levels and strong work ethic, this breed requires an experienced handler who can provide them with plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

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Some Lesser Known Dutch Dog Breeds

The Stabyhoun, a popular multitalented Dutch dog, is cherished for its small size and friendly nature. Recognized and promoted by Dutch kennel clubs like the Raad van Beheer, these breeds, such as the Kooikerhondje, make excellent companions for active families. Embracing a rich heritage, Dutch dog breeds, including the lesser-known ones, play a crucial role in Dutch culture, adding to the country’s diverse canine landscape.

Drentsche Patrijshond: The Dutch Partridge Dog

The Dutch Partridge Dog, also known as the Drentsche Patrijshond, is a versatile spaniel-type hunting dog that hails from the Dutch province of Drenthe. This breed has a rich history that dates back several centuries. Originally used for hunting partridges and other game birds, the Dutch Partridge Dog has proven to be a skilled and reliable companion in the field. With its keen sense of smell, intelligence, and agility, this breed excels at tracking, flushing, and retrieving game. In addition to its hunting abilities, the Dutch Partridge Dog is known for its friendly and affectionate temperament. It is a loyal and devoted family companion that gets along well with children and other pets.


Stabyhoun: The Multitalented Dutch Dog

The Stabyhoun is one of the 11 dog breeds from the Netherlands. Its name translates roughly to “stand by me dog,” which reflects its loyal and devoted nature. Historically, the Stabyhoun was primarily found on farms in the Dutch provinces of Friesland and Drenthe, where it was used for various tasks such as hunting small game, guarding livestock, and even pulling carts. Today, the Stabyhoun is considered a Dutch national treasure and is cherished for its intelligence, versatility, and friendly temperament. Despite its historical significance and admirable qualities, the Stabyhoun remains a relatively rare breed, with only a few thousand individuals worldwide.


The Cheerful Kooikerhondje

The Kooikerhondje, also known as the Kooiker, is a charming and versatile breed with a rich history. Originating in the Netherlands, Kooikerhondjes were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries and even appeared in the paintings of renowned artists like Rembrandt. One of their historical uses was as decoy dogs for duck hunting. With their striking appearance and intelligent nature, Kooikerhondjes were trained to lure ducks into traps by playfully enticing them with their wagging tails and playful demeanor. This unique skill set showcases the breed’s intelligence and adaptability. Today, Kooikerhondjes are cherished as loving companions and excel in various dog sports such as agility and obedience trials. They have a friendly and affectionate temperament, making them great family pets who thrive on human companionship.

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More Unique Dutch Breeds


Schapendoes: The Dutch Sheepdog

The Schapendoes is one of the eleven dog breeds native to the Netherlands, specifically originating from the Drenthe province. This breed has a rich history as a general farm and herding dog, known for its versatility and intelligence. The Schapendoes was traditionally used to assist farmers in herding livestock, especially sheep, hence its name which translates to “sheepdog” in Dutch. With a medium/large-sized build and a shaggy coat that protects it from harsh weather conditions, the Schapendoes is a hardy and resilient breed. In terms of temperament, this breed is known for being friendly, gentle, and sociable. They are not aggressive by nature and get along well with other animals and children.


Wetterhoun: The Water Dog of the Netherlands

The Wetterhoun, also known as the Frisian Water Dog, is one of the 11 dog breeds from the Netherlands. Its history can be traced back at least 400 years to the Dutch province of Friesland. Known for its strong will and natural guarding abilities, the Wetterhoun was originally bred for hunting waterfowl and other small game in the wetlands of Friesland. With its webbed feet and waterproof coat, it excelled as a gun dog, retrieving game from both land and water. Despite its hunting background, the Wetterhoun is also known for its gentle temperament and loyalty towards its family. It forms strong bonds with its owners and is often described as affectionate and devoted.


Markiesje: The Dutch Tulip Hound

The Markiesje, also known as the Dutch tulip hound, is a small black dog breed with a fascinating history. While some believe that they are an old breed dating back to the 1600s, their exact origins and historical uses are not clear. However, similar looking small black dogs can be seen in paintings from that time period, leading to speculation about their ancient lineage. Despite the mystery surrounding their history, one thing is certain – the Markiesje has a delightful temperament. They are known for being friendly, affectionate, and intelligent companions. With their gentle nature and eagerness to please, they make excellent family pets and are well-suited for various activities such as obedience training and agility competitions. Whether they truly date back to the 1600s or not, there’s no denying that the Markiesje is a charming and lovable breed.


Keeshond: The Dutch Barge Dog

The Keeshond, also known as the Dutch Barge Dog, is a breed that has a rich history and unique temperament. Descended from ancient Arctic dogs, the Keeshond was originally bred in the Netherlands for various purposes. One of its historical uses was on barges, where it served as a guard dog and companion to sailors. The Keeshond’s presence on barges not only provided protection but also offered companionship during long journeys. Interestingly, this breed played a significant role in politics as well. Before the French Revolution, the Keeshond became a symbol of the Patriot political party in the Netherlands. They were often seen alongside their owners at political rallies and events, representing their support for liberty and resistance against oppression.


Dutch Smoushond: The Dutch Ratter

The Smoushond, often referred to as the Dutch Ratter, is a charming and unique breed with an intriguing history. The name “Smoushond” translates to “muzzle dog” in Dutch, which refers to its shaggy fur and distinctive face. While the exact origins of the Smoushond are unclear, it is believed that they may be related to Schnauzers and other European terrier breeds. Historically, these dogs were used as ratters, meaning they were skilled at hunting and catching vermin such as rats and mice. Their small size and agile nature made them perfect for navigating tight spaces. Today, the Smoushond is primarily kept as a companion dog due to its friendly and affectionate temperament.

The Role of Dutch Breeds in History

Dutch dog breeds have played a significant role in history, including during World War II. One notable breed is the Dutch Shepherd, which was utilized by the Dutch resistance during the war. These intelligent and versatile dogs were trained to assist with various tasks, such as carrying messages, detecting mines, and providing protection. Their loyalty and bravery made them invaluable assets in wartime operations.

Another important Dutch dog breed is the Keeshond, which has a storied history as a symbol of political resistance. During the 18th century, the Keeshond became associated with the Patriots movement in the Netherlands, which aimed to overthrow the ruling House of Orange. The Keeshond was seen as a symbol of freedom and resistance against tyranny.

In addition to their historical significance, Dutch dog breeds continue to be cherished companions and working dogs today. From the agile and energetic Dutch Shepherd to the friendly and affectionate Keeshond, these breeds exemplify the unique bond between humans and canines throughout history.


FAQ-Dutch Dog Breeds

What was the original purpose of each Dutch dog breed?
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Each Dutch dog breed had a specific purpose. For example, the Keeshond was a watchdog on barges, the Dutch Shepherd herded sheep, the Kooikerhondje was used for hunting ducks, and the Drentsche Patrijshond was a versatile hunting dog. Each breed was bred to excel in its specific task.

Which Dutch dog breed is best for families with children?
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The Dutch Dog breed that is best for families with children is the Keeshond. Known for their friendly and affectionate nature, Keeshonds are great companions for kids. They are patient, playful, and protective, making them an ideal choice for families looking for a loving and reliable family pet.

How can I find a reputable breeder for a Dutch dog breed?
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To find a reputable breeder for a Dutch dog breed, research local breed clubs or organizations dedicated to the specific breed you are interested in. They can provide recommendations and connect you with responsible breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs.

11 Dog Breeds From the Netherlands-Final Thoughts

The Netherlands is not only known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture but also for its remarkable dog breeds. From the small and sociable Dutch Smoushond to the intelligent and versatile Dutch Shepherd, this country of origin has produced some of the most popular dog breeds worldwide. These dogs excel in various roles, from being a small companion in urban settings to a hardworking farm dog in rural areas. Regardless of their size or purpose, these Dutch breeds share common traits such as intelligence, trainability, and a natural affinity for human companionship.

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