Dog Breed Group: Gun Dog
Life Span: 12-14 years
Weight: Male: 10-13, Female: 9-11
Height: Male: 15-17, Female: 14-16
Origin of Name: The Kooikerhondje is a small spaniel-type breed of dog of Dutch ancestry that was originally used as a working dog.
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The Koikerhondje of the Netherlands is a very old breed, which appears in the Middle Ages with paintings by Dutch masters. The breed ""Adenkeoi"", which began before the invention of gunpowder, used man-made duck-trapping pond systems. These ""Duck Decoys"" - as they were called in English - are not to be confused with carved wooden faux ducklings, but instead the size of hand-dug ponds ranged from 3 to 10 acres. The breed was also associated with the prince William of Orange, the founder of the Dutch monarchy, whose ""kuiker"" Kuntaj was credited with saving the life of the prince when he sought to kill the assassins.
The breed began to decline after World War I because better guns meant that hunters could shoot ducks more easily. Duck decoys were not as profitable, attempting to keep them less desirable and their disappearance, as well as the decline of the small orange-red and white dogs that lured the ducks.
In late 1939, as part of his silent resistance to the occupation of the Netherlands, the Baroness von Hardenbroek van Emmerstol determined to preserve the breed. He sent peddlers who stayed at his property with a black-and-white photograph of the breed and a snippet of fur. When the peddler saw a dog that matched the Baroness's requirements, he took it on his bicycle to see the dog. In this way he found Tommy, a bitch from the farthest northern province of the Netherlands that had become the foundation. The Baroness banned 52 liters from 1942 to 1976 under the name Valhalla. The Dutch Parents Club was organized in 1967, and the breed was officially recognized in 1971 by Raid van Beehr (the Dutch equivalent of AKC).