Breed Family: Gun Dog
Country of Origin: Netherlands
Size: Medium, 55-59 cm tall, weight 25-35 kg
Also Known as: Frisian Water Dog, Otterhoun, Dutch Spaniel
Lifespan: 11-13 years
Care Requirements: Medium
Exercise Requirements: High
General information and Appearance
The Wetterhoun has thick, curly hair, which covers the entire body except for the head and ears as well as the legs. The coat colour can be liver, liver and white, black or black and white and the dogs generally have spots. The coat is oily and water-repellent.
The ears are set low on the dog’s large head, and the eyes are prominent. The chest is broad and feet large. The legs of the dog are comparatively thin, but remain strong when running and swimming. When the dog is alert, the tail curls above the dog’s back.
The name Wetterhoun means water dog in Frisian. Although the Wetterhoun does not have webbed feet, it loves to spend time in the water and is an excellent swimmer. This breed is also excellent at retrieving animals from the water. This breed is also a natural hunter.
The Wetterhoun is a strong, rugged dog. It thrives in water and endures all weather types. The breed works very hard and has impressive physical endurance. This dog is an excellent guard dog and is loyal to its family. It does well with children and is friendly.
The Wetterhoun is also strong-willed and independent. It is a good family dog, but dominance must be established early in training. These dogs are not recommended for first-time dog owners as experience in training is necessary. If the Wetterhoun is not accustomed to obeying, it will ignore commands. A firm, alpha leader is necessary in a home this dog.
Once trained, these dogs will protect their families and will get along well with other pets. Because of these protective instincts, new people should be introduced with caution, so the dog will understand that the stranger is not a threat to the family.
Though the Wetterhoun loves to hunt, it is not an aggressive dog. If a family chooses to keep one along with smaller animals, the dog must be introduced to small animals early in life to combat against the high prey instinct dominant in this breed. These dogs can be protective, but once trust in a family is established, owners call them affectionate and loving. Disobedience is attributed to a wilful personality and stubborn nature, rather than inability to learn. The intelligent dog is quick to learn with the proper teacher.
The Wetterhoun does not have any breed-specific health concerns. These dogs exist primarily in the Netherlands, and because they are not common, many health issues have not developed. Because the dogs enjoy swimming, it is important to prevent ear infections from the water.
There have been some issues with hip dysplasia in the Wetterhoun, though this is not common. Epilepsy can be another concern. Anyone interested in purchasing a Wetterhoun should speak with a breeder, as most Australian breeders are committed to breeding dogs with the best possible health.
Grooming and Care
This dog has a coat that is thick and oily and requires little maintenance. Brushing and combing is recommended on an occasional basis. Ears must be cleaned regularly, particularly if the dog swims frequently.
Suitability as Pet In Australia
The Wetterhoun can be suitable for life in Australia so long as the environment is well suited. This breed would not do well in an apartment or flat. This dog needs a lot of exercise, so the owner must be active. Most pf these dogs can be found living in a country setting, as it allows for exercise, hunting and swimming.
This breed can be suited for life in a family, but training can be difficult. The strong dog is also stubborn and needs a gentle yet firm alpha. Once properly trained, a Wetterhoun is loyal and protective, but without training it has a will of its own. These dogs are recommended for experienced dog owners only. Like other gun dogs, they are excellent companions for hunters.
The Wetterhoun is a rare dog found almost solely in the Netherlands. The dog may be rather difficult to find in Australia. Some warmer places in Australia may not be well suited for the Wetterhoun, which does well in cold climates. If the dog is properly groomed, Australia can be a good home, given that the dog has enough space for exercise.