Stabyhoun (Frisian Pointing Dog)
The Stabyhoun is a frisky and clever dog with its origin in Netherlands. It’s endowed with a happy and outgoing disposition, which makes it highly suitable for home-keeping. The dog has great sporting talents and thrives in all kind of canine sports, especially at water retrieving.
The Stabyhoun most probably descended from the Spaniel that was imported to the Netherlands during the Spanish Occupation (1567-1648). In the following years it was interbred with local Frisian Pointing Dog in order to create the modern type of the Stabyhoun. The name of the dog can be translated as «stand by me dog».
The written mentioning of this dog appeared in various works from the early XIX century and it was usually depicted as the dog with black and white coloration and long fur, exceptional hunter and gentle home pet. In the breeding practices the Wetterhoun (the Frisian Water Dog) was also involved, but it broke off when the dog was given its official acceptance as a breed in Holland on October 10, 1942.
Over the centuries of its history the Stabyhoun was extremely popular among poor farm people and peasants of the Netherlands who couldn’t keep more than one dog. The breed was truly multifunctional performing the duties of a hunter, retriever and pointer. It was particularly good specialist in hunting on duck and uplands birds. The farmers also utilized it as an efficient exterminator of such vermin as rat, mouse, mole, fox, polecat and ferret. The Stabyhoun was really accepting of other livestock and possessed well-developed protecting instinct, which spread on the master’s family and belongings. Furthermore this sportive and active dog was relaxed and well-behaved in domestic surrounding, playing a role of wonderful family pet.
The Stabyhoun was almost exclusively bred in its native Friesland until 1960s but nowadays it’s constantly gaining more and more following in other countries. The dog is most widely known in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland and in lesser extent in North America. It still remains rare with just 4500 specimens living in Europe and 250 in the USA and Canada. In 2005 the Stabyhoun was finally granted the admission to the Foundation Stock Service, which is a special department by the AKC. The dog is eligible to take part in Obedience and Field competitions but it’s not acknowledged by this club due to an exceptional rareness of the breed.
Today the breed serves mainly as companion dog but it also competes at the highest level at agility contests and excels at flyball, obedience and endurance competitions.
If you are looking for a good-natured and energetic dog, which will be quite and tranquil at home but playful and active outside, then the Stabyhoun is a right choice for you. It’s prone to cling to its master and craves to always stay by his side. This friendly and communicative animal wants nothing more than to make happy every family member. However, the breed tolerates much better older children and should always be under control while communicating with their younger counterparts.
Though the Stabyhoun won’t build a friendship with strange person immediately and will act pretty standoffish for some time it will soon get over the initial shyness and happily welcome his or her by wagging its tale. The breed possesses strongly pronounced protective instinct so it will make up an excellent watchdog. However it doesn’t have natural aggression to become a good guard dog.
The Stabyhoun gets along with other dogs and most specimens crave to share a home with several other canine animals. The dog still keeps a substantial chunk of its hinting drive so the other home pet may be perceived as a prey object. Nevertheless when the breed was properly socialized with them it won’t harass in any way a home cat or other creature.
The Stabyhoun requires early and profuse socialisation and it should be exhibited to the uncommon circumstances (people, sights, sounds, etc.) from the age of fourteen weeks. It’s going to help to overcome some negative tendencies in the Stabyhoun’s character, more specifically shyness and fearfulness. As the result it will grow in a quite adaptable animal, which will adequately behave in any conditions.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· canin hip dysplasia;
· elbow dysplasia;
· congenital heart disorder.
The Stabyhoun’s coat won’t require much care just a regular brushing to prevent it from matting (preferably several times a week). It’s also may be considered as a pretty dirt-proof and it doesn’t have usual «doggy» smell. The owner should bathe the dog only when it’s really necessary since water and soap wash off the natural oil that covers the dog’s fur and makes it gleam.
The Stabyhoun sheds intensely twice a year but more frequent brushing is going to help to reduce the shedding period to two weeks. The rest is a basic care. All parts of the dog’s body should be regularly examined and cleaned, so it will always look tidy and well-attended.
The Stabyhoun’s training is an easy task due to its remarkable intelligence and willingness to oblige its master. Certainly the breed possesses a wilful streak and the training should be initiated from the puppyhood when the dog is ready to soak up every bit of knowledge you have for it.
The Stabyhoun also needs adequate obedience training since it can be easily distracted by its hunting instincts or appealing smells and run away. The crucial requirements of successful learning process include consistency, repetitiveness and abundance of positive reinforcement.
The Stabyhoun is a great athlete and has a considerable need for exercise. It should be taken for a long and vigorous daily walk to keep it in a good shape and healthy. Luckily the dog enjoys various physical challenges and happily takes part in outdoor games, such as fetching a ball.It’s also keen on swimming and will be gratefulif taken to the local pond to swim to its heart content. The Stabyhoun is an infamouscat chaser and should always be kept on the leash and released only when in asafely enclosed territory.