The Kooikerhondje was believed to have been developed in the Netherlands around the sixteenth century to be a tolling breed. They were used to lure and drive ducks into koois (cages in the form of canals with traps at the ends), where the hunter could easily catch the fowl; and are therefore named after this type of technique.
In 1942, during the Second World War, the Baroness Van Hardenbroek van Ammerstol began to recreate the Kooikerhondje. She gave a picture of the type of dog she was looking for to a pedlar and asked him to look out for such dogs. At a farm in the province of Friesland he found the bitch now well known as Tommy. She became the founding bitch of the Kooikerhondje. In 1966 the Raad van Beheer adopted the interim breed and in 1971 the breed was officially recognized.
The Kooikerhondje was and still is used in the duck decoys. His task is still to lure the ducks into the decoy with his gaily waving tail; he does not hunt the ducks. He calmly moves between the decoy-screens in order to provoke the ducks curiosity and lure them further down the decoy pipe where the ducks are captured in a trap. They are either killed for the table or ringed for ornithological research.