We can not be sure who are the direct ancestors of Kooikerhondje, but is believed, that they share similar ancestry with the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, often times they are marked as one of the Nova Scotia ancestors, and indeed, they serve similar purpose and their appearance is quite similar as well. What we know for sure is, that Kooikerhondje was developed in Netherlands in 16th century to lure ducks into traps.
2) Decoy dogs
The Kooikerhondje was used to lure ducks into cages that were built along wetlands and canals where the hunter could easily catch them. The hunter was called a Kooiker and the dogs that helped the hunter was called Kooikers hondjes, literally dog of the kooiker. They were also used to hunt small vermin around the home and of course, as great companions.
One of the reasons why they are so good at luring the ducks is actually their well feathered big tail. The ducks are following the white plummed wagging tail to the trap. Their playful movement is probably also helping them to lure the ducks.
Next to the tail, another very distinctive part of the Kooikerhondjes body are definitely its ears. The interesting part of their ears are the black tips, which are often times called as earrings. Not all the Kooikerhondjes have these black tips, but its very common.
The Kooikerhondje is pretty small dog with proud appearance and average height between 14-16 inches which is 35-40 cms and weight between 20-25 pounds, which is 9-12 kgs. The females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
Kooikerhondje is highly energetic dog who needs regular daily physical and mental exercise, but if you will provide it, they will be pretty calm and quiet indoors. They will love long walks jogs or swims. They really love water and you should let them swim from time to time. They are also big fetch lovers.
Kooikerhondjes are highly intelligent and trainable. They do not respond to harsh training methods, it is important to be gentle, but still firm and consistent when training them. Kooikers can be trained for many dog sports in which they excell, for example agility, obedience trials or flyball.
8) Other pets
If you have some small household pets in your home, for example guinea pigs or rabbits, the Kooikerhondje might not be the best choice for you. They have high chasing instinct and i would definitely not leave them alone with small pets. On the other hand, they can live with other dogs, especially if they are socialized with them from the puppyhood.
This is relatively healthy dog breed with good lifespan between 12-14 years. Of course, just like all dog breeds they do suffer from some health issues, most commonly from von Willebrands disease, patellar luxation, cataracts, Distichiasis, epilepsy and kidney diseases.
10) Social animal
Kooikers want to be with their family all the time. They will probably follow you from one room to another. It might be little bit problematic to leave them for long periods of time alone, especially if they are not exhausted by previous exercise. If they get bored, they can become pretty vocal and destructive. You should buy them A LOT of toys they can play with, if you are going to leave them alone for longer periods of time.