The Stabyhoun is a sturdily built hunting dog originating in the Friesland region of north-western Netherlands. Staby or Stabji refers to “stand by me,” while houn means dog in Dutch. Counted among the world’s five rare canine breeds, they are just some thousands of them at present.
|Other Names||Stabij, Stabijhoun, Beike, Friese Stabij, Frisian Pointing Dog, Dutch Stabyhoun, Friesian Pointer|
|Coat||Long, soft, sleek and silky|
|Color||Black and white ( common), brown and white, orange and white ( rare)|
|Group||Sporting, Spaniels, Rare dogs|
|Lifespan/ Life Expectancy||13 to 14 years ( some even live for 16 to 17 years)|
|Height||Males 53 cm; Females: 50 cm|
|Weight||Males: 45 lbs; Females: 55 lbs|
|Litter size||7 on an average|
|Behavioral Characteristics||Gentle, intelligent, willing, patient, peaceful|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||AKC, ACA, ACR, AKC/FSS, ASA, DRA, NAPR, FCI, UKC, SCA, UKSA|
A dome-shaped skull characterizes this spaniel breed, that also has an arched neck, face tapered towards its nose, straight bridge, and a broad muzzle. Other features include a well-developed nose, wide nostrils, tight lips, low set, long ears, dark brown ( for those with black and white coats) or brown/ orange ( brown and white coat) eyes and a long tail.
Though the exact details of its origination remain unknown, they have been referred to in the 1800s in the literary works of Dutch authors Nynke fan Hichtum, Joost Halbertsma and Waling Dijkstra. Since they emerged as perfect all-rounders in retrieving, pointing and catching the game without causing damage to it, the Stabyhoun mostly had farmers as their owners who could not afford separate breeds for each task. Besides hunting small games, birds, and foxes, they were also adept at catching moles. Other duties included pulling carts as well as guarding property.
In the olden times, crosses of the Stabyhoun and the Wetterhoun were produced for obtaining active working breeds.
However, since these rare breeds were moving towards extinction, crossbreeding was halted by the owners of the Stabji, who even took initiatives for recognizing these dogs officially. Though in the present times its popularity is confined to the Dutch people( mostly athletes), enthusiasts in North America, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom are also taking notice of them.
Approved by the AKC in the Sporting breed category, they were in its FSS ( Foundation Stock Service) from 2005, while given approval for participating in its companion and performance events from 2008 and 2011 respectively.
The Dutch Association for Stabyhouns and Wetterhouns are taking special care to ensure a healthy and safe breeding of both the breeds. Though small numbers exist outside Netherlands, a major part of it is conserved in this country which regards it as their national heritage. The reproduction timeline for the female ranges from eighteen months to nine years.
These gentle dogs with their sensitive, patient and loyal nature make for an excellent family pet. Because of their kind and friendly nature, they share a great rapport with children as well as other house pets. However, since they were great chasers, it is advisable to keep small games or birds out of their reach, since the sight of the same might trigger their hunting instinct.
Another unique trait in their character is their versatile nature, as their high activity levels when at work is reduced to calmness and composure when in the comforts of his home. Apart from their pointing and retrieving skills, they even have a strong sense of smell, which makes them excel as a guard dog. Due to this ability, they might not always be amicable towards strangers.
These intelligent dogs are easy-to-train owing to their loyal nature and eagerness to please their masters.
Feed them good quality dry dog food alongside a diet high in energy and essential nutrients like vitamins and protein.