Stabijhoun adult © Eric Isselee / Shutterstock

The Stabijhoun is a medium-sized Dutch breed which is famed for its friendly, loving and gentle temperament. Originally bred as a working farm dog, this smart and active breed needs plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation if kept as a companion pet. Despite this, providing this lovely breed’s needs are met, it’s a calm, cuddly and good-natured dog to have within a family home.

Key facts about the Stabijhoun

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Playful Intelligent Hunter

Size :

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Origins and history

The Stabijhoun originates from Holland and is believed to have descended from Spaniels. Literature concerning the breed dates back to the early 1800s, though the breed wasn’t officially recognised until 1942. Nowadays, the Dutch consider the Stabijhoun a national treasure - however, the breed has also gained popularity in numerous other countries, including the UK.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 7 - Pointing Dogs


Section 1 : Continental Pointing Dogs

Physical characteristics of the Stabijhoun

  • Stabijhoun

    Adult size

    Female : Between 19 and 20 in

    Male : Between 20 and 22 in


    Female : Between 40 and 60 lb

    Male : Between 40 and 60 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    The Stabijhoun is a medium-sized dog with a strong and powerful build. The body is very slightly longer than it is tall, and has an athletic and agile appearance. Females of this breed are visibly smaller than males. The Stabijhoun’s face boasts friendly, round, brown eyes, low-set feathered ears and a black nose with wide nostrils. Overall, the breed is similar in appearance to Spaniels.

    Good to know

    The name ‘Stabijhoun’ translates to ‘stand by me, dog’ - which, considering the breed’s warm and friendly nature, seems perfectly apt!


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      This breed is renowned for its sweet, friendly, warm and affectionate nature.

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      The Stabijhoun loves to play, especially with children. Learning through play can help this dog to focus during training.

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      Providing the Stabijhoun’s needs are met, it’s a calm, gentle and content breed in the house.

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      The Stabijhoun is an intelligent pooch who is eager to learn and please its owner. However, due to its high intelligence, it does need plenty of mental stimulation.

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      This breed was bred to work and hunt, so it should come as no surprise that a high prey-drive comes as part of the package. While this breed may be tempted to chase, it is fairly obedient once trained, meaning a strong recall can dissolve tricky situations.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      The Stabijhoun is very protective of its family and has a healthy suspicion of strangers. It’s essential to socialize this breed well as a pup to avoid excessive shyness around new people.

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      This dog was bred to be able to hunt independently with little direction from its master, so it can be a rather free-thinking and stubborn breed. 

      Behaviour of the Stabijhoun

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        Tolerates solitude

        The sociable Stabijhoun will become depressed and unfulfilled if regularly left alone. If you’re looking for a pooch who can be left for several hours at a time on a regular basis, you’d be better looking elsewhere.

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        Easy to train / obedience

        Although the Stabijhoun has an independent and stubborn streak to its personality, it’s generally an obedient dog who likes to please its owner. With consistent training sessions, plenty of praise, positive training methods and rewards, you’ll be rewarded by a well-behaved, obedient dog.

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        The Stabijhoun was bred to guard its territory, so barking comes as a natural instinct. However, it does seem that some Stabijhoun pups are more vocal than others. If you’re looking for a quiet breed, the Stabijhoun is probably best avoided regardless.

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        Tendency to run away

        Having the Stabijhoun off the lead can be challenging around small animals or wildlife, as it may be tempted to take off and chase. However, as previously mentioned, thorough training and a strong recall can really help control this sort of behaviour.

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        The potential for destructiveness in the Stabijhoun all comes down to lifestyle. If this breed doesn’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation, it’s highly likely to be destructive. On the flipside, with an active and fulfilling lifestyle, the Stabijhoun will be calm and content.

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        Greedy / Gluttony

        This breed can be a little greedy at times, with eyes bigger than its stomach. Try not to overdo it on the treats!

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        Guard dog

        The Stabijhoun excels as a watchdog. It’s naturally protective of its family and territory, without ever showing an ounce of aggression.

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        First dog

        The Stabijhoun is a truly wonderful breed, and can be a good first dog for people who are aware of its needs.

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        Is the Stabijhoun right for you?

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          Stabijhoun in a flat

          The Stabijhoun is a highly active breed and is likely to become very restless in a flat or apartment unless it gets lots of outside walking time.

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          Need for exercise / Sporty

          The energetic Stabijhoun has a high exercise requirement and needs an active lifestyle in order to look and feel in good health. Ideally, it’ll need at least an hour of exercise every day - walking, hiking, jogging, free-running and swimming are all great ways to burn off some energy.

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          Travelling / easy to transport

          The Stabijhoun is a medium-sized dog and will require a sizeable car for transportation. Due to its high exercise requirements, it might struggle with long journeys. Take regular walking breaks.


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            Stabijhoun and cats

            Despite its high prey drive, a well-socialized and obedient Stabijhoun can live with cats peacefully, especially if brought up with them as a puppy.

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            Stabijhoun and dogs

            Providing a Stabijhoun has been socialized thoroughly, it generally gets along well with other canines.

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            Stabijhoun and children

            This friendly breed is playful yet gentle with children, making it the perfect family companion.

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            Stabijhoun and the elderly

            In most cases, the Stabijhoun will be too active for an elderly owner.



            This dog is hard to come across. We do not have enough data to set an average price. However, looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £90 to £120 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.


            The Stabijhoun is relatively easy to groom. This intelligent breed is good at keeping its coat clean and will only require a weekly brush as a helping hand. While you’ll likely need to bathe your Stabijhoun occasionally, it’s best to do it as little as possible, as over bathing can lead to dry and irritated skin.


            This breed is a moderate seasonal shedder.

            Nutrition of the Stabijhoun

            Feed the Stabijhoun a high-quality, complete and balanced dog food which is formulated for active dog breeds.

            Health of the Stabijhoun

            Life expectancy

            Overall, a healthy breed which, like most pure breeds, is prone to a few genetic health disorders. The average life expectancy of this breed is 13 years.

            Strong / robust

            This dog is generally believed to be a healthy, strong and resilient breed.

            Withstand heat

            The Stabijhoun shouldn’t be over-exerted during times of heat wave.

            Withstand cold

            The cold and wet does not scare this dog, but it still prefers to stay warm with its family, especially on winter nights.

            Tendency to put on weight

            The Stabijhoun is prone to pilling on the pounds if under-exercised and/or over-fed. Make sure to measure out food portions daily and avoid feeding table scraps.

            Common illnesses

            • Hip dysplasia
            • Elbow dysplasia
            • Epilepsy
            • Radius curvus
            • Ductus botalli
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