Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Sporting    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 55-77 lbs     Fur length: Long    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Curly    Fur Color: Black, Black & White, Brown & White, Dark Brown / Chocolate


Life Expectancy: 12-13 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The Wetterhoun is a medium size hunting dog that originated in Friesland region of Netherlands. The name Wetterhoun comes from West Frisian and it translates to Water Dog in English. It is also called Otterhoun (NOT OTTERHOUND) or Dutch Spaniel. This hunting dog is used to hunt small mammals and waterfowl in the lake districts of its homeland. Though exact origin of this breed is unknown, its ancestral type is believed to have originated some 400 years ago in Friesland region. Its ancestors are thought to be Gypsy dogs, native Spaniel and spitz type farm dogs and now extinct Old Water Dogs. The breed is primarily kept as a yard dog. Friesian farmers depend on this breed to reduce moles and pole cat population from the farm buildings and from the fields. It is also an excellent water retriever dog.

This rugged and sturdy size dog stands between 21 to 23 inches. It comes with a large head, powerful skull and powerful muzzle that tapers slightly to well developed, self colored black or brown nose. Medium size, oval shaped eyes that are set slanting, give the dog a grim expression. Like nose, the eyes may be black or brown in colour depending on coat. Low set, moderately long ears hang down close to the head. They are covered with curly hair. Strong, arched and clean neck is carried low. The powerful, well balanced and strong body of this dog has deep and wide chest with rounded ribs, short and straight back and strong loin. There is a moderate tuck up. The long tail that curls into a semi puff ball and carried alongside the croup is a distinctive feature of this breed. The thick and curly coat covers entire body except head and legs where it is smooth. It is coarse, water repellent and has greasy feel to it. The coat comes in solid black, solid brown, or black or brown with white markings, with or without ticking.

This dog is very rare outside its native country.

This breed is NOT recognized by AKC however it is recognized by FCI and UKC.


Coat colour may be solid black or brown, or black with white, or brown with white, with or without white ticking or roan marks.


The thick coat is curly all over the body except head and legs where it is shorter and smooth. Coat texture is coarse and it has oily or greasy feel to it.


A cautious Frysk with a heart of gold this is how this breed is described by Dutch Wetterhoun Club. According to United Kennel Club breed standards, this dog is described as "Intelligent, stubborn and independent, the breed is friendly with its family and good with children but suspicious of strangers and makes a good guard dog." Despite its friendly nature, this dog is not for every owner for its obdurate nature. The dog needs a firm and experienced handler who can tame this dogs' stubborn nature to mold it into a well balanced and obedient family companion. It is a loyal and good natured breed that bonds strongly with its family. It has natural guarding and protecting instincts which makes it an excellent watch and guard dog. As described in breed standard, the dog is naturally wary of strangers though not aggressive despite its rather intimidating expression. This dog is very gentle and playful with children and makes excellent playmate. It can get along well with other dogs though it tends to be naturally dominant. Its high prey drive makes it unsuitable around small non-canine pets. Early age training and socialization is a must for this dog. This excellent hunter, when properly trained, makes an excellent family pet for all the family.


The all weather, curly coat of this breed needs minimum grooming. Weekly brushing will be sufficient to remove dirt and dead hair from the coat. Being a water retriever, this dog's ears need to be regularly checked for infection.


Though stubborn and headstrong, the Wetterhoun is an intelligent breed of dog that will respond to consistent and firm training. An experienced trainer, with consistent and positive training methods, will be successful to train this dog.


This breed requires large amount of exercise to satisfy its high energy levels. Apartment living is not for this dog and it needs atleast a yard to play and make use of its energy. Exercise requirements are minimal when the dog is used as hunting dog but when employed as full time family companion, the owners need to take this dog for long daily walks.

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