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Stabyhoun Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

stabyhoun by the lake

Height: 18-22 inches
Weight: 44-55 pounds
Lifespan: 13-14 years
Colors: Black, brown, white, pied
Suitable for: Active owners, homeowners with large yards, attentive owners, families with children
Temperament: Gentle, Energetic, Intelligent, Affectionate, Hardworking, Friendly

The Stabyhoun is a beautiful, medium-sized dog that originated in Newfoundland where they were originally used for hunting and pointing. These dogs are therefore very active and energetic, and they enjoy exercising and working above all else.

These dogs are well suited for families of any size, including those with children, and they do best in homes where they have plenty of space to run and play.

Stabyhouns are also very affectionate and loving dogs who will fit in very well with all familiar people. We’ll discuss everything you need to know about this rare dog breed so you can decide if they will make a good addition to your home.

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Stabyhoun Puppies

stabyhoun puppy on beach
Image Credit: keeskoopmans, Shutterstock

The first thing you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared for when considering a Stabyhoun is their energy level. Even throughout puppyhood, these dogs will have an abundance of energy, and they will need ample exercise every single day to stay happy and healthy. They can turn to destructive behavior if they don’t get their energy out with daily exercise, and this is particularly true with Stabyhoun puppies.

These dogs are also rather sensitive, and they won’t take kindly to punishment, raised voices, or stern discipline. They do tend to be a bit stubborn, especially as puppies, so it will take an owner who is educated and experienced with obedience training to train these dogs effectively. Knowing how to implement positive reinforcement and gentle discipline is essential before committing to this breed.

Lastly, you need to make sure you’re prepared for heavy seasonal shedding. Stabyhouns shed year-round, but they shed most heavily leading into summer and winter. During this time, daily brushing with a de-shedder is recommended, and still, you’ll need to commit to vacuuming up excess hair at least once a week.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Stabyhoun

1. This is one of the rarest dog breeds.

The Stabyhoun is a Dutch breed native to Newfoundland, and while they’re popular in their home country, many sources, including the American Kennel Club, recognize the Stabyhoun as one of the rarest dog breeds in the world. There are only an estimated 3,500-6,000 Stabyhouns that exist worldwide!

2. They make excellent companion dogs.

Many breeds developed for hunting often make great hunting dogs but can lack affection due to their hard-working spirit. While the Stabyhoun is great for hunting and pointing, these dogs also make excellent companion dogs for individuals and families alike. They have a lot of love and attention to go around when they’re not busy working. In fact, “Stabyhoun” comes from a Dutch phrase, “sta mij bij houn,” which translates to, “stand by me dog.”

3. They are very versatile dogs.

While many dogs excel at a single activity such as herding or tracking, the Stabyhoun is a very versatile dog and can be used for a multitude of purposes. They do make excellent pointing and hunting dogs, but their alertness and protective nature make them good guard dogs, and their love of human interaction makes them great companion dogs as well. The Stabyhoun is truly a jack-of-all-trades!

white and tan stabyhoun
Image credit: Peakpx

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Stabyhoun 🧠

Stabyhouns are highly energetic and playful dogs that also love having a job to do. Above all else, they enjoy exercising and interacting with their owners.

They’re affectionate and loving, and while they can be a bit wary of strangers, they are welcoming and friendly to all familiar faces.

Despite their activity level outdoors, they are gentle and kind when not exercising or working, and they’ll never turn their nose up at the opportunity to relax with you or your family members.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Stabyhouns can make wonderful family pets! They have big hearts and always enjoy human interaction. In fact, they don’t fare well in isolation, so they are best suited for homes where there is always someone around to give them attention and love.

As highly active and playful dogs, Stabyhouns are great for families with multiple members who can contribute to exercise and playtime. You’ll likely find that your dog will outlast you in physical activities, so the ability to tag in family members to help get their energy out will be the best-case scenario for you!

These dogs are also extremely gentle and patient with all humans that they’re familiar with, and this includes children of all ages. They will never show aggression or unfriendliness toward even the youngest of children. These pups are also highly intelligent and seem to know that children require and deserve a little extra patience.

You’ll never have to worry about your dog interacting with your kids. However, because they can be distrusting of strangers, you should keep an eye on how your dog reacts if your children have playdates, as they may feel the need to step in and protect your child if play gets too rough.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Stabyhouns are very welcoming and friendly dogs toward humans, and this disposition extends to other dogs as well. They will almost always get along well with other dogs you have in the house, and they very often will befriend unfamiliar dogs they meet elsewhere as well.

The Stabyhoun does have a fairly high prey drive, as they were bred to hunt small game. Normally a high prey drive in a dog means they won’t get along with cats, but your Stabyhoun will usually be fine with any pet cats or other small pets you may have. There may be issues with unfamiliar animals, but with early and regular socialization, Stabyhouns normally get along well even with smaller animals you keep.

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Things to Know When Owning a Stabyhoun:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Stabyhouns are highly active, medium-sized dogs, so a commercial dog food formulated specifically for active dogs will be a good fit for your pooch. A food high in protein will help ensure that your dog gets the nutrition and energy they need to exercise and play as much as they do. Expect to feed your energetic pooch between two and two and a half cups of food each day, and split this volume into two different meals to help keep your dog’s energy levels stable.

As an active dog, the Stabyhoun is prone to joint issues like hip and elbow dysplasia. Choosing a food that includes omega-3 fatty acids or adding a fish oil pill to supplement their diet can help keep their joints healthy and functioning properly.

Exercise 🐕

Stabyhouns were bred for action, and yours will need about an hour of dedicated exercise every day. They enjoy moderate and vigorous exercise, so this time can be spent on brisk walks, runs, and swimming, which they enjoy immensely.

Because Stabyhouns have a fairly high prey drive, squirrels, rabbits, and other small animals they see on walks or during other outdoor exercise are very likely to grab their attention. They may try to lunge at or chase any such animals, so off-leash time should be limited to enclosed and secure spaces. You should also always keep your pooch on a sturdy harness that can’t be backed out of easily.

They inherit a desire to work from their ancestors who were bred for hunting and tracking, so providing your Stabyhoun with a job to do will help get their energy out in a fun and exciting way. Jobs can include guarding your yard, hunting, agility, flyball, and any other active dog sports.

Lastly, these dogs are very intelligent and need regular mental stimulation in addition to their physical exercise. Toys and games designed to get them to think and reason will help deplete some of their energy and keep their minds sharp, but it shouldn’t replace physical exertion.

stabyhoun at the beach
Image Credit: Pxfuel

Training 🦮

Stabyhouns have a high level of intelligence, which means they will very quickly pick up on commands and tricks. They have an uncanny ability to understand what you’re asking of them with just a few instances of repetition.

However, these dogs also have a bit of an independent streak, and this can lead to some stubbornness and unwillingness to listen or obey. For this reason, these dogs can offer any owner a challenge when it comes to training. They are recommended for owners who have some experience with obedience training, but the training can be managed by new owners who have patience and can maintain their authority.

As we mentioned before, positive reinforcement will work best when it comes to training a Stabyhoun. They are usually eager to please their owners, and although their stubbornness can get in the way of that, they can become discouraged or upset if they feel like they’re letting you down. Use treats, praise, and affection to drill in good behavior and obedience.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming your Stabyhoun will be very straightforward and will require far less effort than you may think given their long, dense fur. Their coats are resistant to water and dirt, so you’ll likely find that your pooch needs baths only on rare occasions. Two to three times a year will likely suffice, and of course, the occasional emergency bath may be needed if they find their way into mud or get particularly dirty outside.

Their coats can be prone to minor matting and tangling, so brushing once a week with a pin brush is recommended. In early summer and winter during their seasonal shedding, swapping out your normal pin brush with a de-shedder will do wonders to cut down on loose fur in your home.

About once a week you should also plan to brush your dog’s teeth and wipe out their inner ears to prevent infection, and you will also need to keep their nails properly trimmed. If you can hear them clicking on hard surfaces, take them to the vet for nail clipping or use your own clippers at home.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Thankfully, the Stabyhoun is a rather healthy and hearty dog that doesn’t experience many health problems, and those that are more common generally aren’t life-threatening. Vet checkups once a year are still recommended, and you should also keep an eye out for symptoms of any of the below issues which are more common in this breed and should be treated as early as possible.

Minor Conditions
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patent ductus arteriosus

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Male vs Female

Male Stabyhouns are usually a bit larger and stockier, and they can stand up to four inches taller and weigh in around ten pounds heavier. Males do tend to have a slightly higher prey drive, and they also tend to be a bit more distrustful of strangers. Other than these factors, both genders are very similar in temperament and behavior.

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Final Thoughts

Stabyhouns are gentle and friendly dogs who get along well with familiar humans, most dogs, and even cats and other small animals. They have a lot of patience for children as well, so you won’t have any problems with your dog and kids playing together.

These are active dogs who need quite a bit of exercise every day, and they enjoy having a job to do that can provide them with some mental stimulation as well.

Stabyhouns were bred for and excel at hunting and tracking, but they also make excellent companion dogs for families of any size. If you’re able to commit the necessary time to provide your pooch with the exercise and training they need, you’ll find a wonderful friend and family member in your Stabyhoun.

Featured Image Credit: Max Jongkoen, Shutterstock

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