The Kooikerhondje


A small to medium sized Kooikerhondje
Kooikerhondje Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)13-16in (33-40cm)
Weight20-40lbs (9-18kg)
Hair Colour(s)White, chestnut
Lifespan12-14 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size3-7
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingLow
Suitability for kids
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftLow

The Kooikerhondje is an attractive small-medium sized spaniel-type dog. The body is square with a level topline, straight legs and a well feathered tail. The head has a fine muzzle, dark brown eyes and ears set close to the head that have tips also known as earrings. The waterproof coat can be either straight or wavy, and the colouring tends to be white with chestnut-coloured sections on the head and back.


Kooikerhondjes are good-natured and friendly dogs with cheerful dispositions. These energetic dogs make trustworthy companions. These intelligent dogs are often difficult to train and can be very dominant, sensitive and temperamental, and so training is best carried out whle they are still puppies. For this reason they are best suited to experienced dog owners rather than novices. Kooikerhondjes often look nice and approachable but looks can be deceiving. They are not suitable for children unless properly trained, and they are not suitble for smaller kids as they do not like any rough handling. They are fine with other pets when raised with them but caution is required around other dogs and smaller animals. Around strangers they tend to be reserved, and they are ready to defend their owners at any time, usually through ferocious barking.

History & Skills

Kooikerhondjes oriniate from the Netherlands and were originally bred as working dogs for tolling ducks, that is to lure and drive them into cages called koois for hunters, from where they drive their name. Also knwn by easier names such as Kooikers, Kooker Dogs and Dutch Decoy Dogs, they have a history stretching back to the 1500s and were later used for trapping ducks, and also watch dogs and for controlling vermin. They almost became extinct during the 1930s and these days make fine companion dogs.

Breed Specific Ailments

Kooikerhondjes tend to live between 12-14 years years. Some of the health problems noted in this breed includes von Willebrand's disease, cataracts, epilepsy and patella luxation.


Kooikerhondjes are medium shedders and so may not be suitable for those suffering with allergies. Their grooming requirements are moderate and their waterproof coat will need brushing every other day to prevent matting.

Exercise & Environment

Kooikerhondjes are active dogs, and although they can live in small homes such as apartments, they are better suited to homes with more space. They will generally need a good daily walk on the leash and an outside area in which to play. These areas must be secure because they like to roam and tend to chase after smaller animals.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)

Breed Clubs

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Owners Gallery

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