Dutch Smoushond (Hollandse Smoushond)
The Dutch Smoushond is an average-sized companion dog of the Dutch origin. Initially bred in the middle of the XIX century, after the Second World War it actually went extinct but was reconstructed virtually from scratch in the 70s of the XIX century. Presently the breed’s number is still too low to consider it to be fully revived and its puppy is almost impossible to acquire outside its native land.
Hailing from the Netherlands, the Dutch Smoushond was a common sight in the Jews communities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the 50s of the XIX century. «Smous» is an insulting word for Jews and it may have been used for the breed’s name. It’s also likely that it represents the first part of the word «Smousbaard», which is translated from Dutch «moustache and beard» and implies on thick hair on the dog’s muzzle.
One of its first populariser was C.J. Abraas who kept lots of Dutch Smoushonds in his stall and made them available for sale. He called these dogs Heeren Stallhonden (Gentelmen’s Stable-Dogs). Subsequently this canine variety became known as the Stable Pincher or Dutch Shnauzer. Nevertheless the precise origin of Abraas’ dogs remains disputable. Some canine experts believe that he brought them from Rotterdam. Others assume that its close progenitors were shipped to this region from England. It also may have been developed with the involvement of some German breeds specifically the German Pincher.
By the early XX century the breed advanced in popularity in its native land as well as in Germany and Belgium. Thanks to the efforts of its enthusiastic fancier and breeder, Mr. Stinstra, the Dutch Smoushond entered the show ring in 1874 in a Dutch Agriculture Show. After his death however the dog gradually fell into oblivion since it was barely standardised in appearance. Things began looking up in 1905 with the foundation of the first breed club. Unluckily this organisation failed to succeed in the promotion of this canine and in 1925 it was replaced by the second breed club. After the Second World War the interest to the Dutch Smoushonds died away entirely so it was excluded from the stud books of the Dutch Kennel Club.
In 1973, two Dutch ladies, Mrs. Mia van Woerden and Mrs. Riek Barkman-van Weel began drawing up a project aiming to rehabilitate this unique breed. In their breeding work they concentrated primarily on robustness and temperament of this dog and didn’t strive for an absolute identity with its original version. Currently the population of the Dutch Smoushond is still rather scanty and its each and every puppy is carefully evaluated as a potential candidate for continuing breeding program. Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) granted its complete recognition to this canine in 2001.
Although initially the Dutch Smoushond was predominantly praised as a peerless rat exterminator, by now it evolved into a wonderful canine companion whose cheerfulness and gentle disposition have already endeared it to many dog lovers. Separation anxiety is fairly typical issue for this breed as can’t bear being alone for any sizeable length of time. It makes a great four-legged friend for those children who don’t invade in the dog’s personal space while it is eating or chewing a bone. Nonetheless some of its specimen have strong possessive instinct and can become snappy if a small child encroaches on its food or toys.
The Dutch Smoushond is a companionable dog that views all strangers as good friends. Excessive shyness or nervousness around new people can be much more frequently observed in this breed than aggressive tendencies. At the same time it reacts to any unusual sound or smell with its ringing barking and therefore can be successfully charged with the duties of a watcher. But this breed is incapable of carrying out guarding tasks because of its too kind and affable demeanour.
In most cases the Dutch Smoushond is totally fine with other dogs and likes interacting with them in parks. Remember however that it’s bold enough to get into a fight with an unequal rival and keep your inquisitive pet on a firm leash while outside. This dog will demonstrate respectful attitude to those non-canine pets with whom it co-exists since a very young age.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· patellar luxation;
· hip dysplasia
· eye problems;
· skeletal problems.
The Dutch Smoushond has lots of hair that demand relatively extensive amount of care. Its coat should be carefully brushed at least twice a week in order to stay free of mats and tangles. The best tool for this procedure is a long teethed comb, which suits ideally for keeping naturally rustic look of this breed intact.
Apart from frequent brushing, the dogs’ coat also needs manual plucking twice a year. It’s a fairly easy task although many owners prefer to take their Dutch Smoushonds to a professional groomer a few times a year.
Other than that this breed should receive only usual care. The dog’s teeth require weekly brushing and its nails should be clipped every other month. Regular examinations of its ears allow noticing early signs of infection and timely preventing it.
The Dutch Smoushond has docile character and usually learns quickly and eagerly. This dog will seek to make the handler happy if he manages to become for it an incontestable authority. Combination of generous praise with tasty treats works best in its training.
On the contrary, screaming and physical abuse will only provoke the breeds’ specimen to self-willed behaviour or simply terrify it to death. The properly trained Dutch Smoushond commonly excels in obedience contests, agility and other canine sports.
In spite of its compactness the Dutch Smoushond is filled to the brim with energy and therefore should be provided with plentiful of both physical and mental exercise. This dog should spend minimum 45 minutes every single day off-leash in a safely fenced area. However a brisk stroll with its master is also an acceptable way to satisfy its need for physical outlets.
Remember that breed member that has to stay all day long within four walls will become too boisterous, uneasy and destructive within the house or fall into habits of unreasonable barking.