The Kooikerhondje is described as a small red and white spaniel like sporting dog. Its most unique feature is its long black ear fringe known as ear rings. Originally bred in Holland as a duck decoy dog, its most important feature is its white plumed tail waving to entice ducks to follow into the eendenkooi traps.
This translates into a dog standing 14-16 inches at the shoulder, weighing from 20-30 pounds. His coat is white with red patches and his ears have long black feathering referred to as “ear rings”. His coat is of medium length and density lying flat on the body having feathering on the ears, legs and tail. His coat is neither silky nor harsh and is shed seasonally. Occasional trimming on the feet and ears is all that it takes to keep a Kooiker neat.
Kooikers are intelligent and eager to join in any offered activity. They are self confident, good natured & alert. They were bred to work along side their owner luring ducks into nets. They also killed vermin and have a strong prey drive. Most are active and enjoying retrieving, playing and swimming in water yet Kooikers also are happy to lie on the couch and relax with their family.
A young Kooiker that is not given sufficient outlet for expending its energy may find its own by digging or chewing or whatever else comes to his active mind. Young dogs in particular need maximum companionship with their owners each day. This is the opportune time for learning which activities are acceptable and which are not. A properly raised Kooiker that is well exercised physically and mentally will mature into a quiet, well behaved family member.
Kooikers are calm and loyal companions not given to noisy hyperactivity. They can be reserved with strangers and sensitive to loud noises and sudden movements. It is important to properly socialize a young Kooiker and expose him to many varied environments. They are not fighters, usually being friendly or indifferent to other dogs and adapt easily to other pets if properly socialized. They are always watchful. They are reserved toward strangers, children and other dogs. But once they accept someone, they are friends for life.
Kooiker are highly trainable but easily bored by repetitive methods. Their sensitivity and desire to please makes them much more vulnerable to harsh corrections or repeated failures than the other sporting breeds. They respond better to praise than to punishment.
The Kooiker tends to be a “one person” or “one family” dog. Kooiker that are socialized to young children at an early age will enjoy them. In turn, young children who respect animals will find Kooiker to be willing playmates.
Owning a Kooikerhondje provides the opportunity to become involved in some interesting activities and perhaps new lifetime hobbies. Many people enjoy joining Obedience, Agility, Breed or Kennel Clubs whose members share their interests.