The Stabyhoun is a brave, even-tempered, intelligent breed. Originally bred to be multipurpose working dogs, these Dutch pups are now known as national treasures in their native land. And throughout the rest of the world, they're famous for being gentle, loyal family dogs.
The Stabyhoun is one of the rarest dog breeds in the world. Established in the Netherlands in the 1800s, Stabys originated as all-around farm dogs. Because poor farmers in the Friesland forest land couldn't afford more than one dog, they needed a breed capable of doing a variety of jobs. And Stabyhouns rose to the challenge.
Hunting, protecting livestock and property, ridding the farm of pesky vermin—these dogs could do it all. The Stabyhoun's versatility is likely how it got its name. The word Stabyhoun comes from the words sta mij bij or "stand by me," and houn is the Frisian word for dog.
The United States' first litter of Stabyhouns was born in 1994, and the American Kennel Club recorded the breed in its Foundation Stock Service just over a decade later.
The Stabyhoun is a powerfully built pointing dog. Longer than it is tall, the Staby has a balanced, functional body.
Coat and Coloring
Though feathering on the chest, collar, forelegs, trousers, and tail give the impression of a long-haired coat, the Stabyhoun's coat is actually medium-length with a weather-resistant undercoat. The color is a beautiful black or brown and white that sometimes features roaning or ticking (spotting).
Distinctive Physical Traits
Male Stabyhouns have slightly heavier heads compared to the more refined head of females. Both sexes have somewhat rounded eyes that are either dark brown in dogs with black and white coats, or a lighter brown in dogs with brown and white coats.
The Staby's ears are moderately long and shaped like a trowel with a rounded point. The breed's bushy tail is round and covered up to the tip with long, dense hair.
The Stabyhoun is an excellent breed for families wanting a loyal, patient, gentle dog that's good with other pets and kids. These happy, friendly pups can sometimes be energetic, But they make calm housemates when they get enough exercise and attention.
Stabyhouns have always had an independent nature. It's what compelled them to go off on their own to hunt for rabbits and moles on the farm. That independent streak remains today. And it's not uncommon for a Staby to hunt or chase wildlife or dig in the backyard.
One of this breed's many original jobs was to protect livestock and property. For this reason, Stabys are likely to bark if they feel they need to alert their people to something.
Stabyhouns need high-quality food that's appropriate for their life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior) and activity level. To keep your Stabyhoun at an ideal weight, keep an eye on their food intake. And don't forget to include calories from treats. As a guideline, treats should make up no more than 10% of a dog's calories.
The Stabyhoun's coat sheds dirt naturally. So, keeping it clean is an easy job. In fact, Stabys rarely need baths. Weekly brushing is usually enough to keep their coats looking their best. But during seasonal shedding, you may need to brush more frequently.
You should also trim nails regularly to keep them at a short, tidy length. Nails that get too long can cause discomfort or lead to problems walking.
Finally, maintaining good dental hygiene is essential for any dog's long-term health. In addition to scheduling professional dental cleanings, establish an at-home care routine that includes regular (ideally daily) teeth brushing.
Though the Stabyhoun can be calm indoors, they prefer to have plenty of activity. Walks, jogs, or hikes with the family can be fun forms of exercise for Stabys since they love being around people.
Canine sports—such as field trials, agility, tracking, and obedience—are also great ways to provide a physical and mental workout.
Stabyhouns are intelligent, responsive dogs that are eager to please. However, they can be headstrong. Patient and consistent training starting when they're young is key. This breed responds well to gentle, reward-based obedience training using favorite treats and toys.
To help your Stabyhoun grow into a well-mannered adult dog, you should also socialize them early in life.
Stabyhoun Genetic Health Conditions
von Willebrand's Disease, type 1
von Willebrand's Disease (vWD) type 1 is a clotting disorder that usually causes mild bleeding tendencies in affected dogs though some may have more severe signs. The low level of von Willebrand's factor impacts the bloods clotting ability.
Cerebral Dysfunction is a brain disorder that causes affected puppies to show severe mental depression, odd behaviors, and limb weakness.
Knowing if your Stabyhoun is a carrier or at-risk for these conditions can help you and your veterinarian plan for your pup’s lifelong care. With Wisdom Panel™ Premium, you can get results for over 200 genetic health tests.