AKC Dog Breeds: Stabyhoun

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Foundation Stock Service® Breed
Height: 19-21  inches  Weight: 40-55 pounds  Color: black, brown and orange with white marking

The Stabyhoun or Stabij is a rare dog breed that originates from Friesland, a province in the North of the Netherlands. The Stabyhoun is both a retriever and a pointer. It works very well on water, being able to withstand the coldest of rivers and lakes, and is easily controlled over greater distances. It brings in any game alive and undamaged. The Stabyhoun is a gundog of which descriptions were found as early as 1800. In earlier days it was used for hunting foxes, small game, and birds, and it also turned out to be a fine mole catcher. During the hunting season, it was used as an all-round gundog, an occupation it keeps to this day, although British and German breeds are more popular. It is a fine pointer, an excellent tracker, and also a good watchdog. The Stabyhoun that we know today, shows definite similarities to dogs that were depicted in paintings from the 17th Century; for example those by the well known Dutch artist Jan Steen. Today it enjoys a moderate, though very devoted fancy among Dutch sportsmen and homeowners and its numbers are increasing slowly but steadily. It has yet to gain any significant fancy outside of the Netherlands. The first recorded litter born in the United States was in 1994. The Stabyhoun has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since March 2005.

General Appearance
The Stabyhoun breed is said to be related to the Small Munsterlander. Stabyhouns are strong and well muscled. A simply sturdily built long coated pointer, greater in length than height, which should be neither too coarse not too refined in build. The skin fits the body closely: there is no dewlap nor do they show too much lip. The appearance of the Stabyhoun has some very typical characteristics, of which the sleek coat is one. On the ears, a unique characteristic of theirs is the fringed hair on the base of the ear and the smooth fur on the tip. The shape of the ear is the form of a mason's trowel. The hair on the legs and tail is also typical. On the back of both the front and hind legs, the hair is bushy, as it is on the tail. It should never be feathering. The dog has a rather wide brisket and fairly big, well-developed feet. Remember it has to be able to walk, swim and climb for long periods at a time! They have a "soft mouth", meaning they can retrieve prey without damaging it in their mouth. The expression of the face should always be gentle and intelligent. The majority of Stabyhoun are black and white; brown and white coloring is also seen in the Netherlands, but the orange and white Stabyhoun is nearly extinct.

The Stabyhoun has a nice temperament, friendly, peaceful, patient, and willing to please. They are comfortable in different scenarios, whether it be playing fetch or retrieving fowl. The Stabyhoun is considered to be an "all-around" dog, with abilities in hunting, retrieving, and pointing. They also are ideal family dogs because of their size, affectionate character, love for children and tolerance towards other animals. Most Stabyhoun love water and are excellent swimmers. The Stabyhoun should be obedient and devoted to its owner, making it easy to train, these dogs should never be vicious or snappy. The Stabyhoun is a project-oriented dog and loves to share in his owner's tasks. The Stabyhoun are keen and active dogs outside, but very calm inside the house, as long as they get a moderate amount of exercise daily. The Stabyhoun is a dog easily cared for due to its versatility. However, the best owner for this breed would be an active family living in a rural or suburban environment.


The Stabyhoun does not need any special care apart from proper brushing to keep tangles out. The dogs shed  twice a year, and thorough brushing helps the dog to finish its moult in about two weeks. Washing should be avoided when possible, because it affects the natural sleekness of the coat. The coat by its nature will lose dirt very quickly. After a swim the dog is usually quite clean and dry in a couple of hours.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The Stabyhoun is a healthy dog. In the past the breed had some problems, but careful breeding expelled most problems. Epileptics occurred in the past, but the inheritable form has luckily not been diagnosed for a long time. The average life expectancy is 13-14 years.

Activity Level

The Stabyhoun breed needs exercise and is not for the lazy owner, although it can be very laid back in the home environment, it still needs plenty of activity. Due to its strong retrieving instinct, is very happy to spend the whole day playing fetch with its owner.


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