The Stabyhoun is a breed that originates from the Netherlands, in a northeastern province known as Friesland. They are believed to be descended from spaniel breeds that were brought to the country during the Spanish Occupation of the 15 and 1600s. Throughout the years these dogs were bred for their working ability and not their looks. Stabyhouns are a versatile breed that have been known to work as both hunters and watch dogs. The name is believed to be derived from the Dutch phrase “sta me bij hond,” which means “stand by me dog.” These dogs are excellent retrievers, especially in water. As such a versatile breed, they were often used by farmers who could only afford one dog and needed it to be able to perform many jobs. The Stabyhoun was often crossbred with the Wetterhoun, but when the Stabyhoun was officially recognized as a breed in 1942, the crossbreeding stopped. The Stabyhoun has not yet officially been recognized by the AKC, but they are recorded in the Foundation Stock Service. This is a preliminary step to AKC recognition and the purpose of this service is to keep records and information on breeds that are either rare or still being developed.
The Stabyhoun is a medium sized and sturdy dog. They are slightly longer than they are tall, standing at about 19 to 21 inches high at the withers. They should weigh between 40 and 55 pounds. These dogs have a slightly rounded head with a long tapering muzzle that has only a slight stop. The nose is either black or brown depending on the color of the dog’s coat. The medium sized eyes are round and come in various shades of brown. The ears are fairly low set and triangular in shape with rounded tips. They fold forward and hang down alongside the dog’s head. The tail is long and reaches the hock, usually carried in a relaxed manner. The Stabyhoun has a coat that is long and smooth over the whole body except for the head where it is shorter. The coat may have a slight wave, but dogs with a curly coat are though to be the result of crossbreeding. The coat may be black, brown, or orange in color, with white markings. Ticking or roan is also permitted. Stabyhouns are a naturally clean breed and do not require much grooming. They should be brushed regularly, more so during the shedding seasons. Bathing should only be done when necessary, since too much washing can damage the natural sleekness of the coat.
Stabyhouns are a breed that are not only hard working, but they are also a devoted family companion. These dogs naturally get along well other dogs and children as well. They are gentle and playful. They will enjoy playing with children and they also love to cuddle. Stabyhouns are devoted to their owners and naturally obedient. They will also be a naturally good guard dog without being aggressive. It is important that the owner of this dog act as a naturally authoritative pack leader, otherwise the dog can become stubborn and willful. They need to begin their obedience training early on. Training should be firm and consistent, but at the same time gentle. Stabyhouns are an intelligent breed and they will learn quickly with the proper techniques. Make sure to also socialize this breed while they are still puppies. Although they are naturally friendly, they should still be taken out to be exposed to new people, places, and situations. Doing this will help them from becoming timid around strangers.
The Stabyhoun is an active breed both indoors and out. They are not recommended for apartment life and will need a large yard to run and play in. They can even stay outside for long periods of time in cold weather as long as they have adequate shelter. These dogs do need a fair amount of exercise, and they will be calm indoors as long as they are getting plenty of exercise every day. Play will meet a lot of their needs, but they still need to get out for a long walk or run every day.
Stabyhouns are a mostly healthy breed that has had most of its genetic diseases and abnormalities bred out. Hip dysplasia has still been known to occur, though most breeding clubs are actively working to eliminate it. A healthy Stabyhoun will live about 13 or 14 years.
Overall the Stabyhoun is a breed that is both a versatile and efficient worker, and a great family companion. They are highly trainable and friendly, but they are best suited to a very active family that can meet all of the dog’s exercise needs in order to keep them happy and healthy.