Nederlandse Kooikerhondje

Temperament: Friendly, Alert, Quick

  • Height: 15-17 inches (male), 14-16 inches (female)
  • Weight: 20-30 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Sporting Group 

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is lively, agile, self-confident, good-natured and alert. The breed is faithful, easy-going and friendly in the home. Outdoors he is a true sporting dog being keen, swift, tough, attentive and energetic. With sufficient perseverance and stamina, he enjoys working and does so with a cheerful character.


The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is a harmoniously built orange-red parti-coloured small sporting dog of almost square body proportions. He moves with his head held high; in action, the well-feathered waving tail is carried level with, or above the top-line. The ears may have black hair at the tips, the so-called earrings. The dog is presented with a natural, untrimmed coat. Visible scissoring or grooming, except for neatening the feet, is to be severely penalised.

About the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje

The Kooikerhondje (Koi-ker-hond-yuh)—the “little white and orange dog with a big heart”—is a sporty, eye-catching fellow with a silky all-weather coat of white with red patches. They are instantly recognisable thanks to their large, black-tipped ears and the richly feathered tail they wag proudly. The breed has the sturdy bone structure expected of a serious hunter, but the overall picture is that of a harmoniously built dog of smooth, flowing contours and springy gait.

NUTRITION The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING Beyond regular weekly grooming, the occasional bath will keep the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje clean and looking his best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your dog. The strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

EXERCISE A clever, lively, cheerful, devoted, sweet companion in the home and an athletic, driven, eager, busy explorer outdoors.

TRAINING The Kooikerhondje is a cheerful, intelligent and lively but not hyper companion. The nature of the historic work for this small sporting breed means that they have prey drive and energy along with the sensitive character of a spaniel. They can be very determined, and are best trained with a firm attitude and gentle methods. The cheerful personality, athletic build, intelligence, and eager-to-please attitude makes the Kooikerhondje a highly trainable dog.  However, their drive and determination means that they do need that gentle training to fulfill their promise as charming household pets and sporting companions.

HEALTH The Kooikerhondje is a relatively healthy breed living a long life. Originating from a very limited founding population, the Kooikerhondje is susceptible to various hereditary conditions. Utilisation of proper breeding practices to reduce the coefficients of inbreeding is recommended to promote genetic diversity within the limited gene pool. Knowledge of genetic lines of disease within the breed combined with good breeding practices reduces serious illnesses within the Kooikerhondje.

Even with applicant of good breeding practices, the Kooikerhondje can suffer from a variety of canine diseases.

Current health concerns in regards to the breed include the following: 1. Polymyositis (PMN) 2. Renal disorders 3. Epilepsy

Recommended Health Tests From Parent Club

  • Blood test for Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) for carrier status – submitted to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
  • Blood test for Hereditary Necrotizing Myelopathy (ENM) for carrier status -submitted to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA
  • Eye examination – certified through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
  • Patella examination – certified through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
  • Hip x-rays – certified through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)

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