Emerging from the scenic landscapes of the Netherlands, the Stabyhoun stands as a beacon of rarity in the canine world, recognized not only for its status among the world’s most scarce breeds but also for its multifaceted talents.
This versatile breed, known as the Stabij, Stabijhoun, Fryske Stabij, or Beike in its homeland and dubbed the Dutch Stabyhoun or Frisian Pointer in English, shines in roles from tracking to retrieving, carting to guarding.
Yet, beyond its notable skills in the field, the Stabyhoun wins hearts as a gentle, obedient companion, deeply devoted to its family, showcasing an eagerness to please paired with remarkable aptitude in water work and upland bird hunting.
History and Origins
Nestled in the wooded landscapes of Friesland, the Stabyhoun’s legacy began, making its first appearance in Dutch literature in the early 1800s. The name “Stabyhoun,” a blend of the Frisian words ‘stabij’ and ‘houn’, poetically translates to “stand-by-me dog” or “stand-by-me hound”. This moniker encapsulates the breed’s loyalty and steadfast nature.
The Common Man’s Trusted Companion
Historically, the Stabyhoun was not the companion of the elite but the faithful ally of small landowners, day laborer farmers, and dairy farmers. Its versatile nature equipped it to serve both as a guardian of the land and a skilled hunter, proficient in tracking and capturing foxes, birds, rats, moles, European polecats, and other small game.
Genetic Ties and Breeding Evolution
The Stabyhoun shares its genetic tapestry with breeds like the Drentsche Patrijshond and the Heidewachtel. However, the early 20th century saw a flurry of crossbreeding activities, especially with the Wetterhoun, blurring the distinctive lines between these breeds. Recognizing the importance of preserving the uniqueness of the Stabyhoun and the Wetterhoun, breeders, in 1938, initiated dedicated efforts to develop them as distinct entities. Their endeavors culminated in 1942 when both breeds received official recognition, marking a significant milestone in the annals of canine history.
Today, the Stabyhoun stands as a testament to the dedicated efforts of breeders and enthusiasts who have ensured its survival and prominence. As we celebrate its rich history, we also look forward to a future where this breed continues to captivate hearts and showcase its unparalleled versatility.
The Different Types of Stabyhoun
There is just one breed standard with the Stabyhoun. The breeding practices for purebred Stabyhouns are strictly controlled. Tricolor along with curly coats tend to be signs of crossbreeding.
Other Names for the Stabyhoun
The Stabyhoun is also known as:
Frisian Pointing Dog
Pros and Cons to the Stabyhoun
- Loyal and Affectionate: Stabyhouns are deeply devoted to their families, making them excellent companions. Their affectionate nature also makes them great with kids and other animals.
- Versatile Workers: Their history as hunting and farm dogs means they are adaptable and can be trained for various tasks. Whether it’s fetching, guarding, or agility work, they’re up for the challenge.
- Low Maintenance Coat: Their coat, while long, is surprisingly easy to care for. It has a self-cleaning quality, and they typically dry quickly after getting wet.
- Rare and Expensive: Being one of the rarer breeds, finding a Stabyhoun puppy can be challenging, and when you do, they can be quite pricey.
- Can Be Stubborn: Their independent nature can sometimes translate to stubbornness, which might pose challenges during training. It’s essential to be consistent and patient with them.
- Needs Regular Exercise: They have a fair bit of energy and need regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. Without enough activity, they can become bored and potentially destructive.
Stabyhoun Size, Weight and Height
At the withers, males stand at 53 cm (21 in), while females measure 50 cm (20 in). A female Stabyhoun ideally weighs around 45 lb (20 kg), whereas a male weighs between 50–55 lb (23–25 kg).
|Height at the withers||53 cm (21 in)||50 cm (20 in)|
|Ideal Weight||50-55 lb (23-25 kg)||45 lb (20 kg)|
The Stabyhoun boasts an impressive range of talents, from hunting to being an all-around family companion. At the heart of its character lies an innate protectiveness, tethered with unwavering loyalty and a keen intelligence. Their gentle demeanor is easily felt by those around them, making them exceptional companions for families, even with young children.
Strangers will find a calm and approachable dog, one that radiates warmth and friendliness rather than hostility.
Notably, their hunting background endowed them with a soft-mouth retrieving ability. This means the Stabyhoun carries game with utmost care, ensuring it remains unharmed, a testament to their gentle nature. In the fields, their versatility shines. Whether it’s pointing, tracking, or guarding, they’re adept, yet without hyper-specializing in any one area.
Water, particularly, is a realm where the Stabyhoun excels. Their love for swimming, combined with their sturdy physique, allows them to endure cold waters and retrieve with gusto.
In the domestic setting, their tender side becomes more pronounced. The Stabyhoun is known to wear its heart on its sleeve, often seeking affection and the comfort of cuddles. Their laid-back temperament harmonizes well with the bustling sounds of a household. Yet, they’re not mere couch potatoes; give them a task, like fetching balls or participating in agility, and watch their eyes light up with enthusiasm. Their adaptability, from being attentive watchdogs to pulling sleds in snowy terrains, speaks volumes of their versatility.
However, it’s worth noting that beneath their easy-going exterior, there’s a need for clear guidance. The Stabyhoun values consistent leadership, ensuring they remain obedient and avoid developing a stubborn streak.
In essence, the Stabyhoun is a delightful blend of a dedicated worker and a loving family dog, making them an invaluable addition to any home. Their slow but sure resurgence in numbers is a nod to their enduring charm and utility.
Stabyhouns, like many purebred dogs, can have their share of health quirks. While generally robust and hearty, it’s wise to be aware of certain potential health issues. Hip dysplasia, a common ailment in many dog breeds, can occasionally crop up in the Stabyhoun.
Epilepsy and ear infections have also been reported, though they’re less frequent.
Another thing to watch out for is their propensity to gain weight. A balanced diet and regular check-ups are essential to keep them at a healthy weight and nip potential problems in the bud.
While these issues might sound daunting, remember that with regular veterinary care and a proactive approach, many of these concerns can be managed, ensuring your Stabyhoun lives a long and joyful life.
Coat Color And Grooming
The Stabyhoun’s coat is distinctive, being long and either straight or having a slight wave. As the breed standard, while a light wave is acceptable, curly coats are not characteristic of purebred Stabyhouns and might indicate crossbreeding.
The Stabyhoun is pretty low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. A good brush now and then keeps their coat from getting all tangled up, especially during their shedding seasons, which happen twice a year. Make sure to give some extra attention behind the ears; that’s where their hair loves to knot up. And when it comes to bath time? Less is more. Avoid using strong soaps and shampoos since they can take away the coat’s natural glow. The coolest thing about their coat? It’s almost like it’s self-cleaning! After they take a dip, they’ll usually be clean and dry in no time.
- Spotting and Roan: Both spotting and roan patterns are deemed acceptable in the Stabyhoun’s coat. These patterns add to the breed’s aesthetic appeal and are often seen in many purebred dogs.
- Tri-Color: A tri-color coat is not a standard characteristic of the Stabyhoun and is not considered acceptable for the breed’s standards.
While the Stabyhoun can be found in a variety of colors, some are more prevalent than others.
- Black and White: This is the most common coloration for the Stabyhoun. The contrast between black and white gives them a striking appearance, making them easily recognizable.
- Brown and White: Though less common than black and white, this combination is still recognized and appreciated among enthusiasts of the breed.
- Orange and White: The rarest of the standard colorations, orange and white Stabyhouns are unique and especially treasured by breed enthusiasts.
Life Span – 13 to 15 Years
Stabyhouns are wonderful companions and, with a bit of luck and good care, they often stick around for 13 to 15 years. Just like us, their health is shaped by the food they eat, the exercise they get, and regular check-ins with the vet. Give them love, keep them active, and they’ll likely be by your side, wagging their tails, for many happy years!
Embrace Their Intelligence: Stabyhouns love flexing those brain muscles. From the get-go, show them the ropes. They’re quick learners, but remember, it’s all about engaging both their mind and heart.
The Stubborn Streak: They can be a bit headstrong. When they dig their paws in, keep your cool. Gentle nudges and encouragement work wonders.
Don’t shout at them. That’s a big no-no. It just sends them into their shell.
Velcro Vibes: They love being close, maybe a tad too much. It’s sweet, but watch out, because left unchecked, it can morph into separation anxiety. Gradual training to ensure they’re comfortable alone is crucial.
Recall is Everything: Picture this – a squirrel dashes by. Will your Stabyhoun be by your side or chasing bushy tails? Training for recall ensures they stick close, even when distractions are aplenty. Especially since they’ve got that innate prey drive.
Guardian of the Homestead: Those barks aren’t just for show. Your Stabyhoun is always on the lookout, ears perked up for any odd sounds. They’re not being noisy; they’re just letting you know, “Hey, something’s up!” But, thankfully, they aren’t too keen on turning everything into a chew toy or playing cowboy with the kids.
Exercising your Stabyhoun is like hitting the refresh button for their lively spirit. This breed, originally a worker at heart, thrives on regular activity.
Daily walks are a must, and love to swim, but they truly come alive during playful romps in the backyard or spirited games of fetch. Remember, mental exercise is just as crucial for this intelligent breed, so puzzle toys and hide-and-seek games can be great additions to their routine.
And if you’re up for an adventure? Stabyhouns make excellent hiking companions! Just be sure to mix up the activities and keep them engaged.
It not only strengthens your bond but also ensures they stay happy and well-balanced, both physically and mentally.
Stabyhoun puppies are a rare find. Securing a Stabyhoun puppy can be quite the investment, both in patience and finances.
Given their rarity, these puppies can set you back anywhere from $1,000 to $3,200. In some cases, people have even paid over $10,000 for one of these beautiful dogs.
Factors like the breeder’s reputation, unique coat colors, and potential overseas importation can influence the final price. If you’re referencing the guidelines set by the American Stabyhoun Association, expect to budget between $2,000 and $3,200 for one of these distinctive pups.
Dogs that are similar to the Stabyhoun
The Stabyhoun is a distinct breed, but it shares similarities with several other breeds in terms of appearance, temperament, and functionality. Here are some dogs that bear resemblance to the Stabyhoun:
Drentsche Patrijshond (Dutch Partridge Dog)
Originating from the same region as the Stabyhoun, the Drentsche Patrijshond is another versatile hunting dog from the Netherlands. It’s recognized for its friendly demeanor and its feathered coat, especially on the ears and tail.
Small Munsterlander Pointer
This is a versatile hunting dog, known for its sharp nose and enthusiastic nature. It has a coat similar to the Stabyhoun and is friendly, intelligent, and trainable.
While the Brittany hails from France, it shares the Stabyhoun’s love for fieldwork. It’s an energetic, trainable dog with a keen nose, ideal for bird hunting.
English Springer Spaniel
Renowned for its hunting prowess, this breed is similar in size and appearance to the Stabyhoun. It’s friendly, obedient, and possesses a balanced temperament.
Also from Friesland, the Wetterhoun was often crossbred with the Stabyhoun in the past. It’s an excellent water dog and was traditionally used for otter hunting. The Wetterhoun has a curly coat, different from the Stabyhoun, but shares its solid build and versatile skill set.