Kooikerhondje: Dog Breed Information

Country of origin: The Netherlands
Shoulder height: 35-42 cm
Weight: 9-14 kg
Age: 12-14 years
Colour: orange-red spots on a white background
Use: Companion dog, the family dog

The Kooikerhondje is a petite, two-tone dog with a friendly and downright good-natured personality. It learns quickly and happily and is also fun for a novice dog. But the lively Kooiker also wants to be employed.

Origin and history

The Kooikerhondje (also Kooikerhund) is a very old Dutch dog breed that was used for centuries for duck hunting. The Kooiker didn’t have to track down or hunt down the wild ducks, though. His task was to attract the attention of the ducks with his playful demeanor and to lure them into a trap – the duck decoy or the kooi. With the Second World War, the population of this dog breed declined dramatically. Only gradually could the breed be rebuilt from the few remaining specimens. In 1971 it was recognized by the FCI.


The Kooikerhondje is a dainty, well-proportioned, small dog with an almost square build. It has medium-length, slightly wavy straight hair with a dense undercoat. The hair is shorter on the head, front of the legs, and paws.

The color of the coat is white with clearly defined orange-red spots. The Kooikerhondje only has long black fringes (earrings) on the tips of the lop ears. A visible white blaze, which extends from the forehead to the snout, is also typical.


The Kooikerhondje is an exceptionally happy, friendly, and good-natured family dog. It is alert but not loud or aggressive. The Kooiker bonds closely with its people and willingly submit to clear leadership. It is affectionate, intelligent, and capable of learning so it is also a pleasure for a novice dog. Its upbringing requires a sensitive hand, empathy, and consistency. The sensitive Kooikerhondje does not tolerate excessive severity or harshness.

Since the Kooikerhondje’s hunting task originally consisted of attracting ducks and not tracking them down, the dog does not tend to stray or hunt – assuming good training from puppyhood onwards. 

At home, the Kooikerhondje is a cuddly, affectionate, and uncomplicated little fellow who easily adapts to all life situations. However, it needs enough exercise and would like to be kept busy. With its joy of movement, endurance, and willingness to cooperate, the Kooikerhondje is an ideal partner for dog sports activities such as agility, flyball, dog dancing, and much more.

The Kooikerhondje’s sleek long coat is relatively easy to care for. It just needs regular brushing.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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