The [[breed]]:

A Lively and Engaging Companion

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje, or Kooiker, is a medium-sized breed with a rich history as a skilled hunter. Today, they are cherished for their friendly demeanor and adaptability as family pets.

Quick facts


Medium - 20-50lbs

Energy Level

Moderate - Require 30-60 mins exercise per day, moderately active


Medium - 10-12 years


Active - High energy, requires vigorous exercise

Watchdog Ability

Good - May bark to alert owners

Training Difficulty

Easy - Eager to please, responds well to training

Overall Health

Robust - Usually healthy, few issues


Outgoing - Friendly and sociable with new people


High - Very tolerant, gentle, and playful

Climate Tolerance

Moderate - Comfortable in most climates

Apartment Friendly

Yes - Can thrive in apartments

Coat Length

Medium - Fur length between 1-3 inches

Grooming Needs

Moderate - Needs brushing several times per week

Grooming Cost

Moderate - May require occasional professional grooming, moderate expense

Shedding Level

Moderate - Average shedding

Exercise and Activity

Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes enjoy a variety of activities, including long walks, fetch, and agility training. They are intelligent and benefit from mental challenges such as puzzle toys and interactive games, which keep them entertained and prevent boredom.

Agility and Obedience Training

Engaging your [[breed]] in agility and obedience training can be a fantastic way to channel their energy constructively. These activities promote discipline, physical fitness, and mental sharpness. Ensure that training is age-appropriate and doesn't strain their backs.

Interactive Toys

Toys that stimulate their minds are invaluable. Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, and interactive games can keep their brains engaged and provide mental exercise even when outdoor activities are limited.

Moderate Walks

Daily walks on a leash are an excellent way to provide [[breed]] with exercise and mental stimulation. Aim for a moderate pace to help them burn off energy and engage their senses as they explore their surroundings. Remember that short legs may mean shorter strides, so be patient and accommodating during walks.

Yard Playtime

[[breed]] love to play; your yard can be their playground. Interactive games like fetch or hide-and-seek can provide both physical and mental exercise. However, ensure the yard is securely fenced to prevent them from wandering off, as their hunting instincts may lead them to chase small animals.

Want to train your dog independently?

Dogo logo

Dogo offers comprehensive and personalized dog training programs, designed by certified trainers, to address specific behavior issues or teach new skills to dogs of all ages and breeds.

Get Dogo App
Start Training

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje, often affectionately referred to as the Kooiker, is a charming and versatile dog breed that has captured the hearts of many canine enthusiasts. With its distinctive appearance and lively personality, this medium-sized breed has carved a niche for itself in the world of companion animals. Originally bred for hunting purposes, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje has evolved into a beloved family pet, known for its friendly demeanor and agility.


Country of Origin

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje hails from the Netherlands, where it was originally bred for a specific purpose that has since evolved. The Dutch name "Kooikerhondje" translates to "small cager dog," reflecting the breed's historical role in assisting hunters by luring ducks into traps known as "koois." This intelligent and agile dog was an indispensable companion to hunters, showcasing its versatility from the early days.

Genealogical Tree

The genealogical tree of the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje traces its roots to the 17th century. While exact details may be challenging to trace due to the breed's age, it is believed that Spaniels and other small retrieving dogs played a role in its development. Over time, careful breeding refined the breed, preserving its distinctive characteristics and ensuring the continuation of its unique lineage.

Purpose of Breeding

Originally, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje was bred for practical purposes related to waterfowl hunting. Its primary role was to assist hunters by attracting ducks into concealed traps, showcasing not only the breed's intelligence but also its ability to work closely with humans. As times changed and hunting practices evolved, the Kooiker transitioned into a beloved companion animal, with its hunting instincts still evident in its energetic and alert demeanor.

Type (Hunting, Toy, or Other)

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje falls into the hunting dog category, showcasing its historical roots as a skilled waterfowl retriever. Despite its diminutive size, the breed's intelligence and agility made it an effective partner for hunters. Over time, as its hunting role diminished, its friendly nature and adaptability have endeared it to families, transforming it into a sought-after companion dog.


Difficulty Level

Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes are generally intelligent and eager to please, making them receptive to training. While they are quick learners, their independent nature may add a touch of challenge for novice owners. Consistent and positive reinforcement methods work best, ensuring a well-behaved and responsive companion. Patience and a gentle approach go a long way in fostering a strong bond between owner and Kooiker.

Type of Training

The breed responds well to positive reinforcement techniques, including treats, praise, and play. Incorporating interactive and mentally stimulating activities into training sessions keeps the Kooiker engaged and motivated. Obedience training is essential to establish boundaries and ensure a well-behaved pet. As natural problem solvers, Kooikers excel in agility training, showcasing their versatility beyond basic commands.


Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes are adaptable dogs that thrive in various living environments. Whether in an apartment or a house with a yard, they can adjust as long as their exercise and mental stimulation needs are met. Their sociable nature makes them well-suited for family life, and they generally get along with different household dynamics.


Early socialization is crucial for Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes to develop into well-rounded and confident adults. Exposing them to various people, environments, and other animals from a young age helps prevent shyness or fearfulness. Positive interactions during the critical socialization period contribute to the breed's friendly and approachable demeanor.

Security Level and Barking Tendencies

While not inherently guard dogs, Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes possess a natural alertness that makes them effective watchdogs. Their tendency to bark when something seems amiss makes them an excellent choice for alerting their owners to potential intruders. However, their friendly nature means they may not be suitable as aggressive guard dogs.

Mental Stimulation

Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes thrive on mental stimulation, and activities that challenge their intellect are essential for their well-being. Puzzle toys, interactive games, and agility exercises are excellent ways to engage their minds and prevent boredom. Mental stimulation also contributes to a well-behaved and content Kooiker, as it helps channel their energy in constructive ways.

Potential as a Guard Dog

While not bred specifically as guard dogs, Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes exhibit a natural protective instinct towards their families. Their alertness and tendency to bark when something is amiss make them effective watchdogs. However, their friendly nature may limit their suitability as aggressive guard dogs, as they are more inclined to approach strangers with curiosity rather than aggression.


Size, Weight, and Lifespan

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje typically falls into the medium-size category, with males standing between 15 to 17 inches at the shoulder and females slightly smaller. Weighing in at 20 to 30 pounds, these dogs are well-proportioned, combining strength and agility. With proper care and a healthy lifestyle, Kooikers can enjoy a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, ensuring long-lasting companionship for their owners.

Coat and Shedding Level

The breed boasts a distinctive coat characterized by feathering on the ears, legs, and tail, giving it an elegant appearance. The coat comes in various shades of red and white, with a well-defined pattern. While their luxurious coat may suggest high shedding, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is surprisingly moderate in this aspect. Regular grooming, including brushing and occasional baths, helps maintain the coat's health and minimize shedding.

Recognition by Kennel Clubs

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje has gained recognition from major kennel clubs, solidifying its status as a well-defined breed with established standards. Organizations such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC) have acknowledged the breed's unique qualities, contributing to its popularity among dog enthusiasts and potential owners seeking a pedigreed companion.


While not among the most popular breeds globally, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje has seen a steady increase in popularity, thanks to its friendly nature and distinctive appearance. This rising popularity can be attributed to the breed's versatility, making it suitable for both active individuals and families seeking an engaging and affectionate pet. Historically, the breed gained recognition in the United States in the 1990s, leading to increased interest among dog lovers.

Energy Level and Suitable Activities

Known for their boundless energy, Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes thrive on physical and mental stimulation. Regular exercise is essential to keep them happy and healthy. Long walks, interactive play sessions, and engaging activities such as agility training are ideal for channeling their energy. Owners who enjoy an active lifestyle will find a perfect companion in the Kooiker, as they are always ready for an adventure.

Friendliness with Kids, Strangers, and Other Pets

One of the standout qualities of the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is its friendly and affectionate nature. These dogs typically get along well with children, making them excellent family pets. Their gentle disposition extends to strangers, as they are generally welcoming and approachable. Moreover, when properly socialized from a young age, Kooikers tend to coexist harmoniously with other pets in the household, fostering a peaceful and inclusive environment.

Temperament, Playfulness, and Drooling Level

Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes are known for their lively temperament and playful demeanor. They possess a natural curiosity, making them eager learners and enthusiastic participants in various activities. Their playful nature makes them well-suited for families with children or individuals looking for an interactive and entertaining companion. Fortunately, their joyous antics are not accompanied by excessive drooling, making them a clean and manageable addition to the household.

Grooming Needs and Costs

Grooming Requirements

Maintaining the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje's coat requires regular grooming to ensure its health and appearance. Brushing at least two to three times a week helps prevent matting and reduces shedding. Additionally, routine ear cleaning and dental care contribute to overall grooming needs. Occasional baths are recommended, particularly if the dog enjoys outdoor activities or gets dirty during playtime.

Costs Associated with Grooming

The financial commitment to grooming a Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is relatively moderate compared to some high-maintenance breeds. Basic grooming supplies, including brushes, combs, ear cleaners, and toothbrushes, are essential. While some owners may opt for professional grooming services for occasional trims and neatening, many find that regular at-home grooming is sufficient to keep their Kooiker looking its best.

Most Popular Names

Choosing the perfect name for a Nederlandse Kooikerhondje can be a delightful task. Some popular names for these charming dogs include Luna, Max, Bella, Charlie, Daisy, and Oliver. While traditional names are favored by some, others opt for whimsical or unique monikers that reflect the dog's personality and charm.

Additional Interesting Facts

Unique Traits

Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes have a unique trait known as "kooi lure," referring to their historical role in luring ducks into traps. This specialized skill set demonstrates the breed's intelligence and cooperation with hunters. While this trait may not be relevant in a modern domestic setting, it adds an interesting layer to the breed's background.

Notable Achievements

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje's versatility extends beyond the home, with some individuals excelling in dog sports and competitions. Their agility and intelligence make them well-suited for activities such as obedience trials, agility courses, and even canine freestyle. Some Kooikers have achieved recognition and success in various dog sports, showcasing the breed's capabilities beyond being a delightful companion.

Fun Facts

In the Netherlands, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is celebrated annually during the Kooikerhondje Day, where enthusiasts and owners gather to share their love for the breed. This event often includes activities, exhibitions, and opportunities for Kooikers to showcase their skills in agility and obedience. It serves as a testament to the breed's enduring popularity and its cherished place in the hearts of dog lovers.


The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is a captivating and adaptable breed that seamlessly blends its historical roots with contemporary family life. From its origins as a skilled hunting companion to its role as a beloved family pet, the Kooiker has evolved into a versatile and charming canine companion. With its friendly nature, intelligence, and playful spirit, the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje continues to enchant dog lovers around the world, making it a delightful addition to a variety of households. Prospective owners seeking a loyal, affectionate, and active companion will find the Kooiker to be a perfect match for their lifestyle and preferences.





Best dog training app