Why Choose A Kooikerhondje?
Three kooikerhondjes. Photo courtesy of Henna Palmunen
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Why you should get to know more about Kooikers
As a dog breed, the Kooikerhondje is big enough that you will be proud to have us by your side. Yet, we are small enough that we are easy to handle.
Many people confuse Kooikerhondjes with other breeds, like a King Charles Spaniel for instance. We may have some of their blood in our breed’s lineage, but we are from an old Dutch breed.
Now you are probably asking yourself, “How do you pronounce Kooikerhondje?”
Excellent question. We would try to tell you but it would come out something like, “Bark! Bark! Bark!” Just kidding. It is pronounced like this:
Photo courtesy of Henna Palmunen
Loyalty Says It All!
If there’s one word to describe the average Kooikerhondje, it’s “friendly”–provided that the Kooiker knows you well. Kooikerhondjes tend to be reserved with people, animals and situations that they don’t have experience with. Once the Kooikerhondje has had the opportunity to make your acquaintance, however, the dog will enthusiastically greet you, be entirely willing to learn from you, and will soak up any attention that you’re willing to give.
Toni at La Selva Beach. Photo courtesy of Henna Palmunen.
Kooikerhondjes in general, although enthusiastic, are also quite sensitive to the tone of people’s voice and to being touched–qualities that make them good watchdogs, but that can sometimes be problematic when the Kooiker is primarily being used as a family pet. Excessive shouting and harsh behavior towards the dog can ruin the Kooikerhondje.
Amica at 1.5 years old at Crissy Field, San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Henna Palmunen
With time and training, the kooikerhondje and its human can participate in agility, search and rescue, and other outdoor activities like hunting. The size and loyalty of the Kooikerhondje allow for more freedom of travel than with other larger breeds.
Kooikerhondjes. Photo courtesy of Henna Palmunen
When a Kooikerhondje knows their trainer, their loyalty is unwavered, in fact it is the stuff of legend. As the story goes sometime during the reign of William I, Prince of Orange (ca. 1544-1584) owned a Kooikerhondje named Kuntze, who performed other valuable services, slept at his feet and literally saved the Prince’s life by deliberately waking him up during an assassination attempt while he was in France. While we may not have the same threats, the Kooikerhondje still show this same quality of loyalty to the families they belong to and will bark at anyone who’s actively threatening you or your family. Meanwhile the Kooikerhondje will remain reserved yet fairly quiet to anyone who seems harmless, but still unknown to the dog.
Toni von Chicostein busted with a bagel at age 1.