The Wetterhoun is an old Dutch breed. The exact ancestry and history of this breed is unknown, but it is believed, that the Wetterhoun is at least 400 years old dog breed and that it was developed by crossing various Gypsy dogs with local indigenous Frisian dogs, very likely the already extinct Old Water Dog. The breed is native to the province of Friesland in the Netherlands.
The name Wetterhoun comes from the West Frisian Wetterhûn meaning “water dog.” In english speaking countries the breed is often times named as Frisian Water dog. Sometimes, the breed is also nicknamed as Dutch Spaniel or Otterhoun.
3) Almost extinct
Just like many other European hunting breeds, even the Wetterhoun almost dissappeared after the Second World War. Without the efforts of breed fanciers and lovers, the breed would most likely completely vanished. But these fanciers, most notably Jan Bos, found remaining specimen of the breed and they saved the breed from extinction. Today, the breed is still considered as rare, but definitely not on the verge of extinction anymore and it is officially recognized by all the major kennel clubs around the world, such as FCI or AKC.
Originally, the Wetterhoun was used to hunt in water and they were most often hunting otters and polecats. Today, they are most often used for retrieving game, both in and out of the water and to hunt small mammals and waterflow. This is outstanding hunter, which is very loyal to the hunter, have very high prey drive, excellent nose and great stamina, all very important traits for a hunting breed.
The Wetterhoun is primarily a hunter, but it can also be a very good watchdog. Their extreme loyalty to its owners and family combined with their alertness makes them perfect for being a reliable watchdog. This breed is naturally suspicious of strangers, but they should never be agressive without a reason. This is not the biggest barker, but they will most likely bark when they will hear or see something suspicious around their home.
This is not only a worker, but also confident, strong willed, loyal and quite lively companion. I would not recommend this breed to novice owners, but with patient and firm training, these dogs can learn almost anything, it really is very smart dog. They can be socialized to live with other dog without problems, but other household pets might be problematic due to their higher prey drive. The Wetterhoun can also be good playful partner for kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
7) Water lover
The Wetterhoun is not a coach potatoe. If they are not used for hunting, than they will need proper amount of exercise every day to stay healthy and happy. It can be long walks, jogs, hikes, vigorous playtime.. You name it. And of course, they will love to swim and you should let them to swim from time to time! It is a water dog after all. Without enough exercise, this breed can develop some unwanted behaviour, such as destruction.
The Wetterhoun is a medium sized dog breed with average height between 55-59 cm, which is 21-23 inch and weight between 25-35 kg, which is 55-77 lbs. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
9) Coat and color
The Wetterhoun is characterized by a very dense, curly coat of medium length. It is an all purpose weather resistant and water repellant coat which is extremely good for their purpose as water dogs. The coat is oily to touch. The coat colors include black and brown, either solid or combined with white, with or without ticking and roaning.
Speaking of coat it is important to mention the maintenance as well and luckily, the Wetterhoun has only minimal grooming requirements. Occasional brush will keep the coat in best possible condition. No other grooming is required. Just like with any other breed, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
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