The Stabyhoun, which has been bred for hundreds of years in Friesland’s province in northern Holland, most likely originates from spaniels brought to the Netherlands by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century. Written evidence of the breed can be found from the the beginning of the 19th century onwards. As a versatile breed, the Stabyhoun has always been used in Holland as a watchdog, but first and foremost it is a hunting dog. It was used for hunting foxes, small game and birds, and it also dug up and caught moles.
The Stabyhoun was officially accepted as a breed in the Netherlands in 1942 and the Dutch Association for Stabij- and Wetterhounen was founded in 1947. The first Stabyhouns were registered in Finland in 1991.
The Stabyhoun is described as a good hunting dog, a fine pointer and a soft-mouthed retriever. It is also a charming companion dog. The Stabyhoun is often compared to the original Frisian people who have been said to be stubborn, honest and direct, social, quiet and friendly, but a bit reserved towards strangers. The Stabyhoun is brave by nature, wants to please its owner and will always try its best. It has a joyful spirit and is easy to train.
How healthy are the Stabyhouns?
The Stabyhoun is generally speaking a healthy breed, its biggest problems being hip joint dysplasia, elbow joint osteochondrosis and elbow joint dysplasia. In addition, epilepsy and eye diseases have been reported in the breed. Also Type 1 von Willebrand’s disease, a bleeding disorder, is also found in the breed.
Is the breed used for hunting and how does it work in the field?
The Stabyhoun is originally an all-around farm dog, so its main task has been to get rid of vermin. The Stabyhoun does not discriminate regarding game – it is interested in all kinds of animals, from moles to hares and even raccoon dogs.
The use of the Stabyhoun as a pointing bird dog has almost completely disappeared, both in the breed’s country of origin and elsewhere. In recent years, breed owners have become interested in using the breed for this purpose and the first Stabyhoun participated in the KAER examination (a test in Finland for breeds in the FCI group 7) in 2009.
Are the Stabyhouns sensitive to noise?
Sensitivity to noise is found in the breed to some extent, even though it is not part of the breed description. If a puppy will be used for a hobby where good nerves are required, it is good to pay attention to the qualities and character of the parents.
Is the Stabyhoun suitable as your first dog?
The Stabyhoun is well suited to be your first dog, but you need to be consistent in its training like with any other breed.
Is the Stabyhoun easy to train?
The Stabyhoun wants to please its owner, and therefore it is fairly easy to train. It is important to find the right kind of motivation for your dog. Stabyhouns learn quickly, but the breed can be characterized by having a certain kind of stubbornness.
How active is the breed, and how much does it need action?
The Stabyhoun enjoys exercise tremendously but it can handle a day with less exercise. It is not enough for a Stabyhoun to simply hang out in the yard, it needs exercise. In addition to short walks, it should have one longer walk every day. The Stabyhoun will enjoy walks the most when it can freely move in the woods or in fields so that it can use its senses. Mere exercise is not enough – it should have some activity that requires it to use its brains, e.g. some hobby or some other kinds of tasks and activity (e.g.. playing, basic obedience training, retrieval training, searching for things or people).
What kind of hobbies can you have with a Stabyhoun?
The Stabyhoun’s versatility makes it a wonderful hobby dog, and this breed can be seen in obedience and agility competitions. MEJÄ (“tracking for hunting dogs”) is also a popular hobby, as are dog shows.
Can the Stabyhoun be kept off the leash?
The Stabyhoun is a typical bird dog that constantly searches different places while constantly checking the owner’s location and maintaining a visual connection. This should of course be regularly practised already with a small puppy. When a Stabyhoun encounters game, however, the owner may be helpless, so it is not advisable to keep the dog off the leash in the vicinity of motor roads if you are not sure whether your dog will obey you in such circumstances.
Do Stabyhouns watch their home and how easily do they bark?
The Stabyhoun is a watchdog that informs owners about visitors or unusual things by barking. It does not bark without a reason. Barking can be minimized by training.
How are the males and bitches different?
Males and bitches are fairly similar, the males being slightly larger. A male needs stricter discipline during adolescence.
How easy is it to get a puppy? Is it worth asking kennels abroad?
The Stabyhoun is rare but it is constantly becoming more popular. In Finland, there are more takers than there are puppies, so you may need to wait for a puppy for a quite long time. Due to this, many end up acquiring a puppy from abroad. The most popular country from which people import Stabyhouns is Sweden, and Holland is the second most popular country. It is fairly easy to import a puppy from abroad and it is usually not particularly expensive. The puppy contact person will also help people wanting to import a puppy.