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12 Dutch Dog Breeds: Pictures, Facts & History

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Wet frisian stabyhoun poses in the park

The Netherlands, a country known for its rich history and diverse cultural heritage, is also home to a fascinating array of dog breeds that reflect the nation’s deep-rooted connection to canine companionship.

From versatile herding dogs to spirited hunting companions, these Dutch breeds offer a wonderful glimpse into the world of Dutch canine heritage, showcasing both their distinctive appearances and the integral roles they’ve played in the lives of their owners over the years.

Whether you’re a dog enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious about the remarkable diversity of dog breeds worldwide, this list of 12 Dutch dog breeds is sure to feed your knowledge on these wonderful dogs!


The 12 Dutch Dog Breeds

1. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

wirehaired pointing griffon lying
Image Credit: Vaclav Sonnek, Shutterstock
Class: Sporting
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 20–24 inches (51–61 cm)

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a versatile and highly skilled sporting breed known for its distinctive wiry coat and exceptional hunting abilities. This breed hails from Europe and was specifically developed for pointing and retrieving game birds in harsh terrains. With their keen noses and boundless energy, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons excel as hunting companions, equally proficient on both land and water.

Their affable and obedient nature makes them not only excellent hunting partners but also beloved family pets. Characterized by their rugged appearance and wiry coat, these dogs are as hardworking as they are affectionate, forming strong bonds with their families while displaying unwavering dedication in the field.

2. Saarloos Wolfdog

Saarloos Wolfdog
Image Credit: gloverk, Shutterstock
Class: Working
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 24–30 inches (61–76 cm)

The Saarloos Wolfdog is a striking and unique breed, famous for its wolf-like appearance and loyal disposition. This breed originated from a cross between a German Shepherd and a Eurasian wolf in the early 20th century, resulting in a canine with a strong, wolfish resemblance and a deep, intrinsic sense of pack loyalty.

While their wild appearance might suggest an aloof temperament, Saarloos Wolfdogs are actually quite devoted to their families, displaying a calm and gentle nature. They excel in various canine activities and thrive with regular exercise and mental stimulation. Owners of the Saarloos Wolfdog often appreciate their striking appearance and the opportunity to forge a close bond with a breed that embodies both the wild and the domesticated worlds.

3. Dutch Shepherd

dutch shepherd dog standing on the old tree
Image Credit: Viktorija Zar, Shutterstock
Class: Herding
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 5–24.5 inches (55–62 cm)

The Dutch Shepherd is a versatile and hardworking breed that embodies intelligence, agility, and unwavering loyalty. These dogs were traditionally bred for herding livestock, and their incredible work ethic and quick thinking have made them exceptional all-around working dogs.

With a striking appearance, Dutch Shepherds typically have a brindle coat, erect ears, and a keen, alert expression. They are known for their versatility, excelling in various roles such as police work, search and rescue, and even as loving family companions. This breed’s innate protective instincts, combined with their gentle demeanor, make them great with children and a steadfast presence in the lives of those lucky enough to share their homes with these remarkable dogs.

4. Drentsche Patrijshond (Dutch Partridge Dog)

Drentsche Patrijshond dog lying down on a white background
Image Credit: Connie Sinteur, Shutterstock
Class: Sporting
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Height: 21–25 inches (53–63.5 cm)

The Dutch Partridge Dog, also known as the Drentsche Patrijshond, is a charming and rare breed with a rich history deeply rooted in the Netherlands. This versatile pointing breed was originally developed for hunting game birds and small game, showcasing their exceptional hunting instincts and intelligence.

They are renowned for their elegant, yet sturdy appearance, characterized by a feathered coat and expressive eyes that reflect their friendly nature. Beyond their hunting prowess, Drentsche Patrijshonds are cherished family companions, treasured for their gentle and affectionate temperament. Their adaptability, willingness to please, and natural affinity for outdoor activities make them a wonderful choice for both hunters and families seeking an enduring and loyal canine companion.

5. Stabyhoun

stabyhoun by the lake
Image Credit: Max Jongkoen, Shutterstock
Class: Sporting
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Height: 5–21.5 inches (49.5–54.5 cm)

The Stabyhoun, also known as the Dutch Stabyhoun or Frisian Pointer, is a captivating and rare breed hailing from the Netherlands. Known for their endearing, shaggy appearance and friendly demeanor, Stabyhouns are versatile and loyal companions.

Originally bred as versatile farm dogs, they excel in various roles, including hunting small game, retrieving, and serving as an affectionate family pet. Their name, “Stabyhoun,” translates to “stand by the dog” in Dutch, which reflects their unwavering devotion to their owners.

6. Kooikerhondje

Kooikerhondje dog sitting on a pathway
Image Credit: dodafoto, Shutterstock
Class: Sporting
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Height: 13–16 inches (33–41 cm)

The Kooikerhondje is a charming and lively breed that hails from the Netherlands. This small to medium-sized dog is known for its striking orange-red and white coat, distinctive feathered tail, and perky ears.

Originally used as a duck-hunting dog, the Kooikerhondje’s name is derived from “kooiker,” meaning “duck decoy.” They played a crucial role in luring and herding ducks into traps for hunters. Today, Kooikerhondjes are cherished as delightful family companions due to their friendly and affectionate nature.

7. Schapendoes

Schapendoes Dutch Sheepdog standing outdoor
Image Credit: Edwin Butter, Shutterstock
Class: Herding
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 5–19.5 inches (42–50 cm)

The Schapendoes, often called the Dutch Sheepdog, is a delightful and shaggy herding breed originating from the Netherlands. This medium-sized dog is famously known for its abundant, tousled coat, expressive dark eyes, and a perpetually wagging tail that reflects its friendly and animated personality.

Originally bred for herding and guarding sheep, the Schapendoes is known for its agility, intelligence, and reliability. They thrive on physical and mental stimulation, making them excellent companions for active families who appreciate their playful and affectionate nature!

8. Wetterhoun

Image Credit: Marjoleine, Pixabay
Class: Sporting
Lifespan: 11–13 years
Height: 5–21.5 inches (49.5–54.5 cm)

The Wetterhoun, often referred to as the Frisian Water Dog, is a robust and unique breed. Named after the Dutch word “wetterhoun,” which means “water dog,” these dogs were originally bred to assist in hunting otters and waterfowl in the marshy regions of their homeland.

They are instantly recognizable by their curly, water-resistant coat and distinctive facial furnishings. Wetterhouns are known for their strong work ethic, determination, and intelligence, which make them excellent hunters and watchdogs. Beyond their working abilities, they are cherished as loyal family companions, displaying a calm and gentle demeanor with their loved ones.

9. Markiesje

Black Markiesje dog laying in the grass
Image Credit: Ev_Parasochka, Shutterstock
Class: Toy
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Height: 5–12.5 inches (24–30 cm)

The Markiesje, also known as a Dutch Tulip Hound, is a small dog with a big personality! Known for its elegant appearance and charming demeanor, the Markiesje sports a glossy, jet-black coat and a gracefully feathered tail that carries itself with an air of sophistication.

Despite its diminutive size, this breed is surprisingly agile, making it an excellent companion for active families and individuals. Markiesjes are cherished for their friendly and affectionate nature, forming strong bonds with their owners and thriving on human companionship.

10. Keeshond

Keeshond sitting on green grass
Image Credit: Olga Aniven, Shutterstock
Class: Non-sporting
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 17–18 inches (43–46 cm)

The Keeshond, a charismatic breed native to the Netherlands, is a breed known for its charming appearance and friendly personality. Instantly recognizable by its plush, foxlike double coat, erect pointed ears, and expressive “spectacles” marking around the eyes, Keeshonds are beloved for their cheerful and alert disposition.

Despite their smaller stature, they were originally bred as barge dogs to guard and companion Dutch canal boats. They are natural watchdogs, loyal to their families, and quick to sound the alarm if something seems amiss.

11. Dutch Smoushond

Dutch Smoushond lying on the ground
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock
Class: Terrier
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 10–12 inches (25–30 cm)

The Dutch Smoushond is a small terrier breed with an endearingly scruffy appearance and a big heart. This charming and relatively rare breed is characterized by its rough, wiry coat, expressive eyes, and a distinctive, bushy mustache and beard that give it a unique and lovable look.

Bred in the Netherlands as a farm and pest control dog, the Dutch Smoushond is known for its tenacity and fearlessness when it comes to chasing and catching rodents. Despite its small size, this breed has a bold and confident personality, making it an excellent watchdog and a loyal, affectionate companion.

12. Bouvier des Flandres

Bouvier des Flandres
Image Credit: Tatyana Kuznetsova, Shutterstock
Class: Herding
Lifespan: 10–12 years
Height: 5–27.5 inches (60–70 cm)

The Bouvier des Flandres is a bold and versatile working breed that hails from the Flanders region of Belgium. This imposing and powerful dog is instantly recognizable by its thick, weather-resistant coat, impressive beard, and well-muscled frame.

A dog bred for herding and driving cattle, as well as serving as a reliable farm dog, the Bouvier des Flandres excels in various roles, including search and rescue, police work, and as a loyal family protector. Despite their imposing appearance, Bouviers are known for their steady and calm temperament, as well as their unwavering devotion to their families.

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Final Thoughts

The 12 Dutch dog breeds we’ve explored in this discussion offer a tapestry of diversity and history. From the hardworking Dutch Shepherd to the elegant Stabyhoun, each of these breeds carries with it a unique story and purpose deeply intertwined with Dutch culture and tradition.

As we’ve discovered, Dutch dog breeds not only embody a rich heritage but also continue to enrich the lives of people around the world with their distinctive qualities, making them a source of pride for the Netherlands and a source of joy for dog enthusiasts everywhere!

Featured Image Credit: Max Jongkoen, Shutterstock

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