Drentsche Partridge Dog

Other names: Drentse Patrijshond, Drent, Dutch Partridge Dog

Drentsche Partridge Dog
Drentsche Partridge Dog

The Dutch Partridge Dog is a versatile hunting breed. It bears a close resemblance to the spaniel and English setter breeds. Happiest when they're working or exercising, these dogs are best suited to the rural lifestyle and may struggle to adapt to urban environments. The Dutch Partridge Dog has a loyal and sweet-natured disposition. They form exceptionally strong bonds with their owners and are really good around small children.


Key facts about the Drentsche Partridge Dog

  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 14 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate, Playful, Hunter
  • Size : Medium
  • Type of coat : Long

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 7 - Pointing Dogs


Section 1 : Continental Pointing Dogs

Physical characteristics of the Drentsche Partridge Dog

Adult size

Female dog Between 22 and 24 in
Male dog Between 23 and 25 in


Female dog Between 55 and 68 lb
Male dog Between 66 and 77 lb

Coat colour

Brown and white, tri-colour, with or without flecks or spots.

Type of coat

Short, dense, waterproof coat. Feathery around the tail, ears, and legs.

Eye colour

Dark brown, amber.


This is a well-proportioned dog with a strong, muscular frame that allows her to reach the speed necessary for a hunting dog. She has a dense white coat with large brown markings, and a deep chest with a long, well-developed rib cage. She has a wedge-shaped head, short muzzle and long, hanging ears, and her wide-set eyes give her an intelligent expression. These dogs can easily be mistaken for a Springer Spaniel or English Setter.



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This friendly, loyal dog is very affectionate towards her owner. She becomes soft and playful around small children.


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The Dutch Partridge dog is a very playful breed. She enjoys games that stimulate her physical and mental abilities


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When she’s working or exercising, this dog is driven, determined and will run and explore for hours. But when the working day is done, she becomes very calm and docile.


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Like most working spaniel breeds, the Drentse Patrijshond is an intelligent dog. She picks things up quickly and has a real willingness to follow her owner's commands. 


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This dog is a natural tracker with a very high prey drive. She was the dog of choice for many Dutch hunters and specialised in tracking and retrieving birds, rabbits, and foxes. 

Fearful / wary of strangers

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This dog is never afraid of strangers.


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The Dutch Partridge Dog was bred to co-exist with humans. She tends to be autonomous when hunting, but at other times stays close to her favourite people and looks to them for guidance and companionship. 

Behaviour of the Drentsche Partridge Dog

Tolerates solitude

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She can bear brief absences from her master, but only if her needs have been met and she has plenty to keep herself occupied with.

Easy to train / obedience

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This smart dog is a real pleasure to train. The vast majority of owners have no problems handling these naturally obedient dogs. 


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The Dutch Partridge Dog is a quiet dog that will only bark when she needs to. 

Tendency to run away

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She is a hunting dog who runs away if her environment is not secure. Despite her attachment to her master, the call of a possible prey is always stronger.


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A healthy and well developed Dutch Partridge dog should never become destructive. Any destructive behaviour will be linked to behavioural or mental health issues, such as separation anxiety and boredom.

Greedy / Gluttony

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She certainly has an appetite! It is important to stick to recommended portions to help her maintain her weight.

Guard dog

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The Drentse Patrijshond makes an excellent watchdog. They’re alert, loyal, and quick to raise the alarm.

First dog

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They have many traits of the ideal starter dog. This breed needs over two hours of intense exercise every day and shouldn’t be left on her own, so a sporty owner is prefered.


Drentsche Partridge Dog in a flat

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This energetic working dog should never be kept in a flat or a small house. She was designed to live in the countryside and is likely to struggle in built-up modern environments.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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At the very least, a Dutch Partridge Dog requires two hours of exercise each day. A short walk is enough to start the day but it must be followed by a longer, and more intense, period of exercise. 

Travelling / easy to transport

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This dog is a fairly good travel companion, although she may struggle on long car journeys. Take regular breaks and give your pooch plenty of chances to stretch her legs, and she can accompany you most places.


Drentsche Partridge Dog and cats

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The  Drentse Patrijshond can coexist with a cat if she is used to his presence from an early age.

Drentsche Partridge Dog and dogs

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The Dutch Partridge makes a great addition to families who already have dogs. However, if you're thinking of adopting a new dog, it’s always best to introduce them to family pets before making a final decision.

Drentsche Partridge Dog and children

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This dog has a real soft spot for children of all ages. She can also be very protective over small children and toddlers.

Drentsche Partridge Dog and the elderly

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She would make an excellent pet for the active elderly dog owner. 


We do not have enough data to set an average price. Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £70 to £100 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.


Despite having a thick coat, the Dutch Partridge Dog doesn’t require much grooming. A weekly brush will keep her fur clean and healthy.


This dog sheds moderately during spring and autumn.

Nutrition of the Drentsche Partridge Dog

Two or three cups of high-quality dog food depending on age and activity levels. Daily rations must be carefully monitored to prevent weight gain.

Health of the Drentsche Partridge Dog

Life expectancy

This is a very healthy dog, with an average life expectancy of 13 years.

Strong / robust

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This is a tough, robust animal that was bred to thrive in rugged environments. She’s well-balanced, muscular, and durable. 

Withstand heat

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This dog sheds heavily in preparation for the warmer months of the year. She has no problems getting through the average British summer, but should be steered towards water in heat waves.

Withstand cold

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Her dense coat keep the Drentse Patrijshond warm during the winter. 

Tendency to put on weight

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As she gets older, a Partridge dog becomes noticeably less active. This can lead to unwanted weight gain unless you reduce her food intake. 

Common illnesses

Good to know

This dog needs lots of high-energy exercise. This need can’t be overstated. Without enough physical stimulation, a Partridge Dog will become a very unhappy dog. 

She is still very much a working dog in her native Netherlands. So think carefully before adopting one. The Drentse Patrijshond is nowhere near as domesticated as some other breeds. 

One of the peculiarities of this breed lies in the fact that, during the search, her tail is agitated by a rotary movement, more and more rapidly as she approaches her prey.

Origins and history

The Partridge dog was developed in the Drenthe region of the Netherlands during the sixteenth century. Although she was primarily used as a hunting and retrieving dog, she often did extra work as a guard dog. 

The Drentse Patrijshond is also much stronger than she looks and many farmers and merchants used this breed to pull carts loaded with goods. 

Today, there are an estimated 5,000 Partridge Dogs registered in the Netherlands. It remains relatively unknown throughout the rest of the world and wasn't recognised by American Kennel clubs until 2010.


Vincent, Guss, Ani, Mina

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