Stabyhoun Image courtesy of Magda Ehlers

Welcome to our article all about the fascinating Stabyhouns! If you’re a dog lover looking for a unique and versatile breed, then the Stabyhoun might just be the perfect companion for you. In this guide, we’ll explore the history, characteristics, and notable traits of the Stabyhoun breed. Whether you’re considering adding a Stabyhoun to your family or simply curious to learn more, this article will provide you with all the information you need. So, let’s dive in and discover what makes Stabyhouns so special!

History and Origins of the Breed

The Stabyhoun breed has a rich history that dates back several centuries. Originating in the Netherlands, specifically in the Friesland province, the Stabyhoun is believed to be one of the oldest Dutch breeds still in existence today.

The exact origins of the Stabyhoun are somewhat unclear, as there are no written records available. However, it is widely believed that the breed developed from a combination of local farm dogs and various spaniel-type breeds brought to the region by Spanish conquistadors during the 16th century.

The Stabyhoun was primarily used as an all-purpose hunting dog, capable of tracking and retrieving a variety of game, including birds, rabbits, and even larger game like deer. They were highly valued for their versatility and their ability to adapt to different hunting terrains and tasks.

The breed’s name, “Stabyhoun,” is derived from the Dutch words “sta me bij” which translates to “stand by me.” This name reflects the breed’s loyalty and dedication to its human companions, as well as its willingness to assist in various tasks.

Despite its long history, the Stabyhoun remained relatively unknown outside of the Netherlands until recent years. However, the breed’s unique characteristics, charming personality, and versatility have gained attention and popularity among dog enthusiasts worldwide.

In the next section, we will delve into the size and appearance characteristics of the Stabyhoun breed, providing you with a detailed understanding of their physical attributes.

Size and Appearance Characteristics

The Stabyhoun is a medium-sized breed with a strong and sturdy build. Let’s explore the size and appearance characteristics that make them so distinctive.


  • Adult male Stabyhouns typically stand between 19 to 20 inches (48 to 53 cm) at the shoulder.
  • Adult females are slightly smaller, ranging from 18 to 19 inches (45 to 48 cm) in height.
  • The breed’s weight generally falls between 45 to 55 pounds (20 to 25 kg).


  • The Stabyhoun has a well-proportioned body with a slightly longer than tall silhouette.
  • Their head is well-developed with a moderately broad skull and a well-defined stop.
  • The breed features medium-sized, almond-shaped eyes that express a gentle and intelligent expression.
  • Stabyhouns have medium-sized, hanging ears that are set high on the head and covered with long hair.
  • Their muzzle is strong and medium in length, with a well-pigmented nose.
  • Stabyhouns have a muscular neck that flows into a well-developed, level back.
  • The breed’s tail is moderately long, reaching the hocks, and is carried straight or with a slight curve when in action.
  • Stabyhouns have well-angulated hindquarters, providing them with the necessary drive and agility.

Coat and Colors:

  • The Stabyhoun’s coat is characterized by a dense, water-resistant double coat that provides protection in various weather conditions.
  • The outer coat is moderately long, straight, and slightly wavy, while the undercoat is soft and insulating.
  • The breed’s coat comes in two color variations: black and white, or brown and white.
  • The color distribution can vary, with some individuals having more extensive patches of color, while others may have more solid areas.

The Stabyhoun’s size and appearance contribute to their overall athleticism and hunting capabilities. In the next section, we will discuss the average life expectancy of this remarkable breed, allowing you to better understand the commitment and longevity of owning a Stabyhoun.

Life Expectancy

The Stabyhoun breed has a relatively long life expectancy compared to many other dog breeds. On average, Stabyhouns live between 12 to 14 years. However, with proper care, nutrition, and regular veterinary check-ups, some Stabyhouns have been known to live even longer, reaching 15 years or more.

It’s important to note that individual factors such as genetics, environment, diet, exercise, and overall health management can influence a Stabyhoun’s lifespan. Providing them with a balanced diet, regular exercise, mental stimulation, and a loving, stress-free environment can contribute to their overall well-being and longevity.

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor their health, address any potential issues early on, and ensure they receive necessary vaccinations and preventive care. This proactive approach can significantly contribute to extending their lifespan and ensuring a high quality of life.

In the next section, we will explore the temperament of Stabyhouns, providing insights into their personality traits and behavior patterns. Understanding their temperament is crucial for potential owners to gauge compatibility and ensure a harmonious relationship with this breed.


The Stabyhoun breed is renowned for its friendly and affectionate temperament, making them excellent companions and family pets. Let’s delve into the various temperament traits that define the Stabyhoun.

Gentle and Loving:

  • Stabyhouns are known for their gentle and loving nature. They form strong bonds with their families and enjoy being involved in all aspects of their lives.
  • This breed is particularly fond of children and often displays patience and tolerance towards them, making them great family dogs.

Intelligent and Trainable:

  • Stabyhouns are highly intelligent and eager to please, which makes training them a rewarding experience. They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement-based training methods.
  • Their intelligence also makes them versatile in various dog sports and activities such as obedience, agility, and tracking.

Affectionate and Loyal:

  • Stabyhouns are exceptionally loyal to their families and are known for their devotion. They thrive on human companionship and enjoy being involved in family activities.
  • Their affectionate nature means they may crave physical contact and enjoy cuddling with their loved ones.

Calm and Even-Tempered:

  • Stabyhouns generally have a calm and even-tempered demeanor. They are not prone to excessive barking or aggression, making them well-suited for living in various environments, including apartments, as long as their exercise needs are met.

Social and Amicable:

  • Stabyhouns tend to be sociable and amicable with other animals, including dogs and cats, when properly socialized from a young age.
  • They may exhibit a friendly and curious attitude towards strangers, although they may initially be reserved. Early socialization can help them become more comfortable in new situations.

Understanding the temperament of the Stabyhoun is essential for potential owners to ensure a harmonious and fulfilling relationship. In the next section, we will discuss their trainability and adaptability, providing insights into their learning abilities and how well they adjust to different environments.

Trainability and Adaptability

The Stabyhoun breed is known for its trainability and adaptability, which makes them an excellent choice for owners who enjoy engaging with their dogs in various activities. Let’s explore their trainability and adaptability in more detail.


  • Stabyhouns are highly intelligent and eager to please their owners, making them highly trainable. They excel in obedience training and can quickly learn and master commands with consistency and positive reinforcement.
  • Their willingness to learn and their natural desire to work alongside their human companions make Stabyhouns suitable for various dog sports and activities, including agility, tracking, and even therapy work.


  • Early socialization is important for Stabyhouns to ensure they grow up to be well-rounded and confident dogs. Exposing them to different people, animals, environments, and experiences from an early age helps them develop good social skills and adaptability.


  • Stabyhouns are generally adaptable to different living environments, including apartments, as long as their exercise needs are met. They can adjust well to both urban and rural settings.
  • While they are adaptable, it’s important to note that Stabyhouns thrive on human companionship and may not do well if left alone for long periods. They are happiest when they can be an active part of their family’s daily life.

Exercise Needs:

  • Stabyhouns have moderate exercise needs and require daily physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. This can include walks, runs, playtime, and engaging in activities that challenge their minds.
  • Providing them with regular exercise and mental stimulation not only helps keep them physically fit but also prevents boredom and destructive behaviors that may arise from under-stimulation.

Energy Level:

  • Stabyhouns have a moderate energy level, but they can be adaptable to their owner’s lifestyle. They are content with a daily exercise routine but can also adjust to more active lifestyles if provided with additional physical and mental stimulation.

The trainability and adaptability of Stabyhouns make them a versatile breed that can fit well into various households and lifestyles. However, it’s important to remember that individual dogs may vary in their trainability and adaptability based on their personality and upbringing. In the next section, we will discuss the exercise requirements and energy level of Stabyhouns in more detail.

Exercise Requirements and Energy Level

The Stabyhoun breed has moderate exercise requirements and a balanced energy level. Let’s explore their exercise needs and energy levels in more detail.

Exercise Requirements:

  • Stabyhouns benefit from daily exercise to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated. A mix of activities is recommended to fulfill their exercise needs.
  • Daily walks or jogs are essential for Stabyhouns to burn off energy and maintain a healthy weight. Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise per day.
  • Engaging in interactive play sessions, such as fetch or tug-of-war, can provide mental stimulation and strengthen the bond between you and your Stabyhoun.
  • This breed also thrives in activities like agility, obedience, and tracking, which challenge their intelligence and physical abilities.

Mental Stimulation:

  • In addition to physical exercise, mental stimulation is vital for Stabyhouns. Puzzle toys, obedience training, and interactive games can help keep their minds sharp.
  • Providing them with new experiences, such as exploring different environments or participating in scent work, can also satisfy their curiosity and mental needs.

Energy Level:

  • Stabyhouns have a moderate energy level that can adapt to their owners’ lifestyles. They are generally content with a daily exercise routine, but they can also adapt to more active lifestyles if given the opportunity.
  • It’s important to note that Stabyhouns may become restless or exhibit undesirable behaviors if their exercise needs are not adequately met. Regular exercise helps prevent boredom and promotes a calm and well-balanced temperament.

Remember to tailor the exercise routine to your Stabyhoun’s individual needs and abilities. Factors such as age, health, and temperament should be taken into consideration when determining the appropriate level and type of exercise.

In the next section, we will discuss the grooming requirements of Stabyhouns, including their coat care and maintenance.

Grooming Requirements

The Stabyhoun has moderate grooming requirements to keep their coat healthy and looking its best. Let’s explore the grooming needs of this breed in more detail.

Coat Type:

  • The Stabyhoun has a dense, water-resistant double coat that helps protect them in various weather conditions.
  • The outer coat is moderately long, straight, and slightly wavy, while the undercoat is soft and insulating.


  • Stabyhouns are moderate shedders throughout the year, with slightly heavier shedding occurring during seasonal transitions.
  • Regular grooming can help manage shedding and keep loose hair under control.


  • Regular brushing is recommended to keep their coat free from tangles, mats, and debris.
  • Using a slicker brush or a medium-bristle brush, gently brush through their fur at least two to three times a week.
  • Pay extra attention to areas prone to matting, such as the ears, armpits, and the back of the legs.


  • Stabyhouns generally have clean and odorless coats, so bathing is only necessary when they are visibly dirty or have a strong odor.
  • Use a mild dog shampoo and ensure thorough rinsing to prevent any residue from irritating their skin.

Ear Care:

  • Stabyhouns have hanging ears, which can be prone to ear infections if not properly cared for.
  • Regularly check their ears for signs of redness, swelling, or discharge. Clean their ears using a veterinarian-recommended ear cleaning solution and cotton balls, being careful not to insert anything deep into the ear canal.

Nail Trimming:

  • Regular nail trimming is essential to keep their nails at a proper length. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and affect their gait.
  • Trim their nails using a dog nail trimmer or consult a professional groomer or veterinarian if you are not comfortable doing it yourself.

Dental Care:

  • Dental hygiene is important for overall health. Brush your Stabyhoun’s teeth regularly with a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent tartar buildup and maintain good oral health.

By following these grooming practices, you can keep your Stabyhoun looking and feeling their best. In the next section, we will discuss common health issues that may affect this breed and how to keep them in optimal health.

Health Issues

While the Stabyhoun breed is generally healthy, like all dog breeds, they may be prone to certain health issues. It’s important for potential owners to be aware of these conditions and take necessary precautions. Let’s explore some common health issues that may affect Stabyhouns:

Hip Dysplasia:

  • Hip dysplasia is a common orthopedic condition in dogs, including Stabyhouns. It occurs when the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to joint instability and potential arthritis.
  • Responsible breeders will conduct hip evaluations on their breeding dogs to help reduce the incidence of hip dysplasia in the breed.

Elbow Dysplasia:

  • Elbow dysplasia is another common orthopedic condition that affects Stabyhouns. It involves abnormal development of the elbow joint, leading to lameness and arthritis.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups and proper nutrition can help manage and prevent the progression of elbow dysplasia.


  • Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. While the exact cause is often unknown, it can be hereditary in some cases.
  • If you’re considering getting a Stabyhoun, it’s important to inquire about the health history of the parents and ask the breeder about any known cases of epilepsy in their lines.

Eye Conditions:

  • Stabyhouns may be prone to certain eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and cataracts.
  • Regular eye examinations by a veterinary ophthalmologist can help detect and manage these conditions.


  • Hypothyroidism is a hormonal disorder that occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms may include weight gain, lethargy, and skin issues.
  • Regular blood tests can help diagnose and manage hypothyroidism in Stabyhouns.

It’s important to note that not all Stabyhouns will develop these health issues, and the majority of them lead healthy lives. However, it’s crucial to choose a reputable breeder who conducts health screenings and genetic testing to minimize the risk of these conditions.

In the next section, we will explore comparable breeds to the Stabyhoun, providing alternative options for those seeking similar characteristics in a dog.

Comparable Breeds

While the Stabyhoun is a unique and wonderful breed, there are several other breeds that share similar characteristics and may be of interest to dog lovers. Let’s explore some comparable breeds to the Stabyhoun:

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever:

  • The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a medium-sized sporting breed known for its intelligence, versatility, and love for water.
  • Like the Stabyhoun, Tollers are friendly, trainable, and excel in various dog sports and activities, including hunting and agility.

Brittany Spaniel:

  • The Brittany Spaniel is a medium-sized breed known for its energetic and enthusiastic nature.
  • Similar to the Stabyhoun, Brittanys are intelligent, easily trainable, and make excellent companions for active individuals or families.

English Springer Spaniel:

  • English Springer Spaniels are medium-sized hunting dogs known for their versatility, intelligence, and affectionate nature.
  • Like Stabyhouns, Springers are highly trainable and can excel in various activities, including hunting, obedience, and tracking.

Welsh Springer Spaniel:

  • The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized breed that shares similarities with the Stabyhoun in terms of temperament and appearance.
  • Welsh Springers are known for their friendly and gentle nature, making them great family pets and companions.

English Setter:

  • English Setters are elegant and athletic medium to large-sized breeds known for their friendly and outgoing personalities.
  • Like the Stabyhoun, English Setters are intelligent, trainable, and enjoy being part of an active and engaged family.

These comparable breeds offer similar traits to the Stabyhoun and may be worth considering for those who are drawn to the Stabyhoun’s characteristics but are open to exploring other options.

In conclusion, the Stabyhoun is a remarkable breed with a rich history, versatile temperament, and unique set of characteristics. Whether you choose a Stabyhoun or one of the comparable breeds mentioned, it’s important to consider your lifestyle, preferences, and commitment to providing a loving and fulfilling home for your new furry friend.

Notable Dogs from This Breed

The Stabyhoun breed has produced several notable dogs that have made their mark in various fields. Let’s explore some of the notable Stabyhouns:

Nort (Nort fan ‘e Sudewyn):

  • Nort is a famous Stabyhoun known for his exceptional hunting skills and versatility in various dog sports.
  • He has won numerous awards and titles in hunting trials and has showcased the breed’s intelligence and trainability.

Froukje (Froukje fan ‘t Suydevelt):

  • Froukje is a Stabyhoun who gained recognition for her outstanding performance in obedience trials.
  • She has achieved top rankings in obedience competitions, demonstrating the breed’s ability to excel in obedience training.

Pim (Pim fan ‘e Sudewyn):

  • Pim is a Stabyhoun who has made a name for himself in agility competitions.
  • With his agility and speed, Pim has impressed judges and spectators alike, highlighting the Stabyhoun’s athletic abilities.

Bente (Bente fan ‘e Sudewyn):

  • Bente is a Stabyhoun who has excelled in therapy work, bringing comfort and joy to those in need.
  • Her gentle and loving nature, combined with her intelligence, make her a perfect fit for providing emotional support.

These notable Stabyhouns represent the breed’s versatility, intelligence, and adaptability. They have showcased the Stabyhoun’s potential in various fields, whether it be hunting, obedience, agility, or therapy work.

It’s important to remember that every Stabyhoun is unique and may have its own set of talents and abilities. Whether they excel in performance sports, therapy work, or simply being a loving companion, Stabyhouns can make a lasting impact on the lives of their owners and those around them.

We hope this glimpse into the notable Stabyhouns has provided insight into the breed’s potential and the remarkable dogs that have represented it.

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