Frisian Pointing Dog
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 7 Section 1 #222
||Gun Dog Breeds
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Stabyhoun or Stabij is a rare
that originates from
in the North of the
Netherlands. The first part of the name is probably from the Dutch: "sta me
bij" (stand by me). The last part is simply Friesian, meaning dog, which is
pronounced "hoon". There are only approximately 3500 Stabyhouns in existence
A sturdily built long-coated breed, greater in length than height, which
should be neither too coarse not too refined in build. Acceptable colors are
black, brown, and orange with white markings. Spotting and/or
roan in the white
are acceptable but tricolour is objectionable.
Dogs are 53
and bitches 50
cm, measured at the
Ideal weight is 45
(20 kg) for bitches and 50 to 55 lb (23 to 25 kg) for dogs.
The head should show more length than width, with the skull and foreface
equally long. The coat on the head is short. The skull should be slightly domed
but not narrow and may never give the impression of being wide, it is carried
low on a strong, slightly arched neck. The stop is only slightly indicated. The
foreface is powerful, tapering to the nose without getting pointed. The
expression of the face should always be gentle and intelligent. The bridge is
straight and the muzzle is broad with a nose that is well developed and has wide
nostrils. Lips are tight and cover the teeth, which are strong and have a
scissor bite. The neck should be free of throatiness or
The Ears are set
fairly low and are strongly developed, which cause the fold in the ear not to
take place directly at the root but further on, so that the ear is not carried
against the head but stand away from it. They are moderately long and have the
form of a mason's trowel. The feathering of the ear is a typical characteristic
of the breed, they are rather long at the base of the ear, decreasing in length
down to the point where the lowest 1/3 part of the ear is covered with short
The eyes should lie level in the head, and be of medium in size with round
with tight lids, without showing haw or third eyelid. The colour dark brown for
dogs with black ground color, brown for dogs with a brown or orange ground
The coat on the body is long and sleek, only over the croup may there be a
slight wave and should never be curly. The back of both the front and hind legs
should be bushy, as it is on the tail, but should never be feathering. A
somewhat curly coat shows that a cross has been made, and that is why the dogs
with that sort of coat cannot be recognized as Stabyhoun.
The body should be powerful with well rounded ribs. The back is straight with
the croup only slightly sloping. The loin is powerful, the belly is only
moderately tucked up. The tail is long, reaching to the hock. It is set low and
carried downwards to the last third part, which is bend upwards in a gentle
curve. In action, the tail is lifted, but never so as to curl. The tail is
covered with longer hair on all sides to the end, without curls or waves, not
feathered, but bushy.
The shoulder is well laid against the chest and the blade well laid back and
angulated. Lower arm powerful and straight, forelegs straight, with no weak
pasterns. The hindquarters are powerful and well angulated with a low placed
hock. The feet should be round and rather big with toes that are well developed
and arched, the Stabyhoun should have thick pads
The Stabyhoun has a nice temperament, friendly, peaceful, patient, and
willing to please. A characteristic of the stabyhoun is tolerance toward
children and other animals. The Stabyhoun should be obedient and devoted to its
owner, making it easy to train, these dogs should never be viscious or snappy.
The breed needs excercise and is not for the lazy owner, although it can be
very laid back in the home environment, it still needs plenty of activity. Due
to its strong retrieving instinct, is very happy to spend the whole day playing
fetch with its owner.
The Working Stabyhoun
The Stabyhoun is both a retriever and a pointer. It works very well on water,
being able to withstand the coldest of rivers and lakes, and is easily
controlled over greater distances. It brings in any game alive and undamaged.
When catching moles and other vermin these animals are killed through breaking
the neck, but the furs remain undamaged. It is a very powerful dog and larger
ones are used to pull sleds in the winter.
These dogs have high levels of energy and endurance because of their history
as a gundog, people have recognised this and the Stabyhoun is now used in almost
all imaginable forms of training and activity: agility, obedience, hunting,
triathlon, endurance, frisbee and others.
The average life expectancy is 13-14 years.
The stabyhoun is a healthy dog. In the past the breed had some problems, but
careful breeding expelled most problems.
occurred in the past, but the inheritable form has luckily not been diagnosed
for a long time.
The stabyhoun does not need any special care apart from proper brushing. All
you have to do is keep tangles out. The dogs moult (shed) usually twice a year,
and thorough brushing helps the dog to finish its moult in about two weeks.
Washing should be avoided when possible, because it affects the natural
sleekness of the coat. The coat by its nature will lose dirt very quickly. After
a swim the dog is usually quite clean and dry in a couple of hours.
As the stabyhoun population is so small, careful breeding is very important.
The association has breed advisors and the official opinion of the club is to
keep inbreeding very limited. More specifically: not over 10%. Although in the
last 10 to 15 years dogs have gone abroad, there is no population elsewhere to
fall back on. The dogs are sold relatively cheaply in the Netherlands,
especially because most breeders see them as a national heritage. This makes
them breed out of love rather than out of other motives. The average number of
puppies in a litter is 7, and the bitches are not allowed to have more than 5
litters in their lifetime.
The bitch has to be over 18 months and no older than 9 years of age, at least
one year should elapse in between litters, the hips have to be x-rayed (not over
FCI-C result), and the combination has to be approved by the breeding committee.
Sometimes wrong colours may be passed on, which is to be avoided. The
association keeps very careful track of these matters. The studs have to be 18
months of age, with the same show and hip results as the bitches, and they are
not allowed to give over 20 litters in their lifetime. It is preferred to have
no more then 3 litters out of a male a year, so on the breeders' days the
litters can be checked and notes can be taken as of the traits that the males
(and females) may or may not inherit. Stud-owners are expected to appear on
these breeders' days. It is expected the breeders will promote the breeders'
days towards those who have bought puppies in the past year, so that as many as
possible will visit these days.
The stabyhoun is a gundog of which descriptions were found as early as 1800.
In earlier days it was used for hunting, foxes, small game and bird, it also
turned out to be a fine mole catcher. During the hunting season it was used as
an all-round gundog, an occupation it keeps to this day, although
are more popular. It is a fine pointer, an excellent tracker and also a good
watchdog. It has also been used as a draught dog.
The dog used to be owned by farmers who were in general poor it was very
welcome to have such an all rounder, because often only one dog could be
afforded. As a versatile breed, Stabyhouns have been used through out ages as a
guard and watch dog for the farms, but before all it is a hunting dog.
The breeds looks and purpose have not changed for decades, although in
earlier days the breed was often mixed with another Friesian breed: the
Wetterhoun, because only working capacities were counted. In 1942 the breed
was officially acknowledged and since then
crossbreeding between the two has stopped.
Today it enjoys a moderate, though very devoted fancy among Dutch sportsmen
and homeowners and its numbers are increasing slowly but steadily. It has yet to
gain any significant fancy outside of the Netherlands.
Not many books exist on the stabyhoun, and none have been translated.
However, the association is presented on a homepage: www.nvsw.nl. Nederlandse
Vereniging voor staby-en wetterhounen (Dutch association for staby-and
wetterhounen). This is the official contact for the association on the stabyhoun.
Web site in the US is:
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