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Group Gun Dogs (KC)

Origin / History The Kooikerhondje is an unusually named dog breed which originated from the Netherlands. Since the original name is quite difficult to pronounce, it earned the monikers Kooiker, Kooker Dog and Dutch Decoy Dog. This dog breed traces its origins back to the 1500's where a small breed of a decoy dog was portrayed in a Dutch painting. During the 1600's, this breed of dog was used as a means to trap ducks.

This canine variety has encountered some difficulties when it became almost extinct during the 1930's. Fortunately enough, the Kooiker dog was re-bred and eventually got its name in 1966.

Appearance The Kooikerhondje is a member of the spaniel family, which has a rectangular body. The thing that sets it apart from other breeds of spaniels is the black ear tips which are also called "earrings". These are part of the animal's hanging ears which are set close to the head.

An adult Kooiker can weigh as much as 24 pounds and measure up to 16 inches or 40 centimeters in height. As for the coat, they can grow either straight or naturally wavy. Pet owners would love the fact that this canine variety has waterproof coat which makes it easier to groom.

Colours This dog breed's color is predominantly white with chestnut-colored parts on the head and back.

Temperament Since they are originally bred to chase ducks, this breed of dog is at home in the water. When mingling with other dog breeds or strangers, they tend to be wary and cautious. However, once they are exposed to domestic situations, the Kooikerhondje will provide humans with the companionship that they need. When properly trained, they can be good company to young children. They are a happy, good-natured and domesticated breed of animals. These dogs also dislike being handled roughly, so they are not recommended as companions to smaller kids.

Height and Weight They are 36 - 41 in height and 11 - 16 Kg in weight.

Common Health Problems The most common health problem for this dog breed is von Willebrand's disease, which involves excessive bleeding and blood clotting. The Kooikerhondje can also be prone to other physical conditions like the Patellar Luxation, epilepsy and Myelopathy. Vision-related problems like cataracts may occur, so it is best to have a prospective pet checked for tests first before medicine of any kind can be provided.

Living Conditions The Kookier is best housed in a residential unit which has a small yard where they can freely roam around. For pet owners who live in an apartment complex, this breed will do fine but they would need to be taken out for regular exercise.

Exercise Requirements The nature of this dog variety is to hunt and roam freely. Due to its physically active nature, the Kookier needs to be jogged, walked and exercised on a daily basis. Be careful when doing any of these, though, since these dogs tend to roam if not monitored properly.

Training Requirements Rather than using a loud voice or applying strict discipline for this dog's obedience training, patience and gentleness is more suited. Just like with any other breed of dogs, the Kooiker is best trained while it is still a puppy instead of starting when they are already adult dogs. Obedience training can be performed when the puppy is about five weeks old to two months. They would respond positively to doggie treats and verbal praises while training.

Life Expectancy These dogs can live a long life of about 12 to 14 years.

Grooming The first time that this dog breed usually shed their coats is from three to four months of age. During the shedding period, part of the grooming process should be regular brushing. All in all, the Kooiker requires very little in terms of grooming and maintenance.

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