What does Kooikerhondje mean?
A “kooi” is a specialized type of trap to catch waterfowl, a “Kooiker” is the of hunter who manages the traps, “Hond” means dog, and “Je” is a diminutive form, attached to the end of a word, to emphasize endearment. Thus, “Kooikerhondje” means the duck hunter’s dog.
How big do they get?
The typical Kooiker is between 14-16 inches tall for females, and 15-17 inches tall for males. Usually they weigh between 24-30lbs. They are a perfect size for those who want a small/medium sized dog.
Do kooikers bark a lot?
Most Kooikers will alert you to strange sounds, such as visitors arriving at your doorstep, but are not supposed to be yappy or bark for the sake of barking. The Kooikerhondje was supposed to work in silence while it lured ducks into the Kooi.
Do they shed?
The Kooikerhondje is a breed with hair that is neither coarse nor soft. This makes it easy to maintain. They shed year round, although you will notice heavier shedding when there is a change in the seasons, due to temperature change. Like with every dog, shedding can be managed by baths and frequent bushing to pull out dead hair, or hair that are about to be shed. (The author writing this article notes that she is allergic to dogs, and finds a well groomed Kookerhondje does not aggravate her condition.)
How do they get along with children and other dogs?
Generally, the Kooikerhondje is a superb dog for families, however some can be sensitive to touch and loud noises, and might not be appropriate as a dog in a house with toddlers who might grab unexpectedly. Again, it depends on the individual dog and it is good to see the parents of a litter to determine what temperament your puppy might inherit. It is a good idea to talk with the breeder and express what kind of temperament you seek. A well-bred Kooikerhondje should get along with other dogs of good nature easily, although one should be conscious of the hierarchy between unspayed females and males, respectively.
What about cats?
Typically, the Kookerhondje has a high prey drive and a strong instinct to chase small and fuzzy creatures who run away from them. Due to this, some Kooikers might not be compatible with other animals. However, there are always exceptions and it truly depends on the individual dog and cat and how they are raised together.
How active are they?
You will find the Kooikerhondje will adjust easily to your schedule. They are a moderately active breed and require both physical and mental stimulation. They love learning tricks and RUNNING (this is why so many have an aptitude for agility). They are a highly intelligent and will often train you instead of the other way around.