Nederlandse Kooikerhondje – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Did you know Nederlandse Kooikerhondje joined the first dog show in 2018? Here is everything that you should know abotu this small spaniel-type breed of dog.
Dog Breed Group:
Sporting Dogs
14 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder
20 to 25 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 14 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Friendly Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is a self-confident, agile, and alert dog. Overall, this breed is known as easy-going, faithful, and extremely friendly, especially toward his family members.

As a true agile breed, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje loves being outdoors and spending time in fun activities.

Since Nederlandse Kooikerhondje has durable stamina and sufficient perseverance, he enjoys working and overall being useful.

If you are thinking about welcoming a playful Nederlandse Kooikerhondje to your home there are some facts that you should know abotu this breed. Read on.

Quick Facts

Real name: Kooikerhondje
Other names: Kooiker
Origin: Netherlands
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 20-30 pounds
Height: 15-17 inches (male), 14-16 inches(female)
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Color: Orange-red
Coat: Medium coat lenght

Kooikerhondjel: History

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is a pure breed and one of the oldest dog breeds of today. The breed is so old, that it even appeared in paintings by the Dutch masters back into the very late Middle Ages.

This Dutch dog breed had a rather interesting job. The fast Kooikerhondje was responsible for luring ducks into a trap, also named Kooi, where the fowl are either banded for ornithological research or dispatched for the market.

Dog experts claim that Kooikerhondje is actually the predecessor of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, who also was responsible for luring ducks.

Although Kooikerhondje is an ancient breed, the breed wasn’t recognized officially until 1971, in the Netherlands.

This breed is relatively new to the States and AKC recognized the breed in 2018. The major club of the breed is Kooikerhondje Club of the USA.

Kooikerhondjel: Physical Appearance

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is a medium-sized dog with an orange-red coat that is soft and straight. This is a sporting dog that’s built to matches the dog’s original purpose.

Ears may be black at the point and visible scissoring or excessive grooming is severely penalized in the dog shows.

The head is moderate in length, while eyes are almond-shaped, next to medium-size ears that are close to the cheeks without a fold.

The neck is medium, nicely balanced to the body, while the chest is reaching to the elbows with moderate spring of ribs, while the back is short and strong.

The coat is always medium-length and may be straight or wavy, but never open or curly.

The coat is also extremely soft, with undercoat, and the coat on the head should be short.

Kooikerhondjel: Temperament

Kooikerhondjes are friendly, good-natured, alert, and well-behaved dogs. A huge factor is their temperament will play the environment. They thrive when they are into a lovable and safe environment.

They are also highly intelligent, attention, and real people-pleasers. They can also adapt to any situation fast, and transform their behavior from quit to high alert.

Your Kooikerhondje may not be fond of strangers immediately, but once they warm up to someone, they will easily trust them until the rest of life.

If you provide regular walks and well-planned exercises this breed can be a really nice apartment dog. If you have a backyard, a fenced yard is still a must.

Although this breed was used for games, it has only a medium energy level and can be extremely quiet indoors.

They may be reactive with strange dogs and wary of children, which is why you should educate your children on how to behave around dogs.

Kooikerhondjel: Training

The Kooikerhondje is a highly intelligent dog and as such he will demand a mental stimulation and challenging training.

This is the breed that is eager to please you but will also expect a lot in return. Therefore, it’s crucial to start training your Kooikerhondje from day one.

Early socializatuon is the key when it comes to any well-behaved and disciplined dog. Because this breed can be determined, you can ask for a from the professional trainer – just in case.

It’s far better to invest in the professional trainer in the beginning than to have an undisciplined dog later on. Keep training sessions fun, engaging and short. Use the breeds developed need to please the owner to promote training sessions.

You can also try some sport because Kooikerhondje will be more than happy to participate in any sports discipline.

Kooikerhondjel: Exercise

The Kooikerhondje will love spending time outdoors. This is a lively breed that will mix with other dogs and try to outrun them.

This breed is also faithful, gentle, and lively, so making new dog friends shouldn’t be a problem. They are also well-built, athletic, eager, driven, and busy explorer of the outdoors.

As with any other breed, the Kooikerhondje will require at least two walks per day of 20min minimum.

Still, this is something that may defer from dog to dog, so tracking your dog’s needs is the best thing that you can do to build a good routine.

Kooikerhondjel: Nutrition

You can do wonders with good food. The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje should do just fine on high-quality dog food.

You can serve your dog either dry or wet food, as long as you stick to proportions and know general rules on feeding your dog. This is more important if you have a large breed dog, becuase they are more prone to bloat which can have a fatal outcome.

If you tend to serve your dog raw food, double-check with your veterinarian what are the benefits and the downside. The same goes for the B.A.R.F. diet.

Also, some dogs are prone to easy weight gain, so make sure that you don’t cross the food measures and expose your Kooikerhondje to obesity. Always watch the dog’s weight level and dog’s calorie consumption.

As a responsible pet owner, you must know what is safe for your dog, and what isn’t. That being said, learn which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not.

Always check with your veterinarian if there are any concerns about the dog’s weight or diet. Make sure that your dog always has clean and fresh water available.

Kooikerhondjel: Grooming

The Kooiker has a medium-length coat with soft and straight hair. Kooiker’s hair shouldn’t ever be curly, but it can be slightly wavy.

Just like with any other dog breed, you must invest time and energy into grooming your Kooikerhondje.

Regular grooming sessions will help your dog to have a healthy coat and skin. This is also a nice bonding activity, since dogs love to be touched, and they prefer body language to show love, preferably than vocal.

You can use grooming to check your dog’s skin for any changes, or fleas. Don’t forget to check the dog’s teeth, ears, and eyes on a weekly level.

If you don’t know how to use a nail clipper or grinder, hire a professional groomer, or ask your veterinarian to explain to you how to do it by yourself.

You must be extremely careful when it comes to nail clipping because nails contain blood vessels and you don’t want to harm them.

Ears should be checked for buildup wax, and gums should never be pale.

Teeth should be cleaned regularly, and proper food for strong teeth should be given to dogs regularly.

Kooikerhondjel: Health

The Kooikerhondje is a relatively healthy breed. Their life expectancy is one of the highest one among dogs because their life span is usually between 12 to 15 years and usually longer.

Some have been known to live up to 18 years. The Kooikerhondje originates from a very limited founding population, making them susceptible to various hereditary conditions.

Even with the best breeding practice, the Kooikerhondje can inherit a range of canine diseases.

These are the most common health problems in this breed.

Major Health Concerns:

  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Kooiker Paralysis
  • Polymyositis

Minor Concerns

Occasional Diagnoses

Occasional Tests

  • OFA
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination
  • Genetic Tests

Responsible breeders will always screen dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthier and best-looking specimens.

Despite the best breeding practices, unexpected things happen. Therefore, it’s still recommended taking your dog to your veterinarian immediately, as soon as you get your new pup or an adult dog.

Don’t forget that you can directly influence one of the most common diseases in dogs – obesity.

So, always keep your Kooiker at an appropriate weight. This is one of the best things that you can do to extend your dog’s life.

The Bottom Line

The lovely Kooikerhondje is also known as the Dutch decoy dog, who resembles a lot to Brittany (tail), and to Cavalier King Charles Spaniel due to its red-white color.

This dog is a real bundle of joy, with a smart and fun-loving personality. Hikes walk, playing at the beach all day – name it, this dog will love any activity as long as he gets to do it with you.

If you want to explore the world of agility sport, your Kooikerhondje will be more than happy to assist you. This is a great dog if you have some dog experience already.

This breed is not recommended for first-time dog owners. Consider this breed if you are an experienced dog owner who is ready to be involved in a dog’s life.

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