Let's talk Stabijhouns

The Stabijhoun, part of the pointer group of dogs, was initially bred to help hunters and farmers in their tasks. And they are still content to help out their owners. Quite inquisitive by nature, Stabijhoun dogs will be extra vocal when faced with anything out of the ordinary. However, that will be more to inspire you to go and have a look-see (and reassure them) than guarding the homestead. This sensitivity is among the breed’s many attributes. Once trained, Stabijhouns make for gentle, affectionate family dogs. Just know that if your walks lead you near water, they might not be able to resist!

Official name: Stabijhoun

Other names: Frisian Spaniel, Frisian Pointer, Friese Stabij

Origins: Netherlands

Close-up of Stabyhoun in black and white
Drooling tendencies Low Warm weather? Medium
Shedding level Medium Suited to apartment living? High
*Energy Level Moderate *Friendly pet? Very high
Compatibility with other pets Medium *Can stay alone? Low

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

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Illustration of Stabyhoun
50 - 53 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
22 - 27 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
48 - 50 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
18 - 23 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2-12 months old
 Adult age  1-7 years old
 Mature age  7-10 years old
 Senior age  From 10 years

Stabyhoun with mouth open


Get to know the Stabijhoun

All you need to know about the breed

With a name that translates quite literally to “stand by me”, a Stabijhoun is definitely a devoted companion dog. They are known to be calm, highly intelligent and, as such, easy to train as a breed. They are also huge snugglers. Stabijhouns enjoy nothing more than time spent outside rollicking about, followed up by time spent in their humans’ company.

A powerfully built little dog, Stabijhouns were originally bred to assist hunters track their prey and farmers doing all manner of jobs on the homestead, many of these tasks performed independently. The only thing they aren’t great at is guard dog duties. Watchdog, yes: sensitive by character and rather docile, a Stabijhoun will definitely warn you – read bark wildly – to let you know if anything unusual is afoot, but they won’t be the ones venturing out to investigate what it is. That would be your job.

Known for their intelligence, Stabijhouns are equally known for their devotion to and affection for their human families, adults and kids alike (once trained of course). They’ll want to please you. The only caveats are their propensity for digging, and smaller household pets. They have a strong prey drive, and as such it is not recommended that they cohabit with hamsters, rabbits and other critters. There is one other downside. As a rare and treasured breed, the waitlist can be long for a Stabijhoun puppy.

Two Stabyhouns sitting in dried grass


2 facts about Stabijhouns

1. Stand by me…

Not just the title of a well-known song, “Stand By Me” is the actual meaning of the Stabijhoun name in Dutch, or rather, in Frisian, the breed’s local tongue (well, that of the locals who live there). The translation pretty much sums up the character of these devoted dogs.

2. Spaniel? Pointer? Hound?

2 out of 3! The Stabijhoun is categorised as a Spaniel-type-Pointer by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. The ‘houn’ at the end of their name is simply the Dutch word for dog, it doesn’t designate them as a hound-type breed.


History of the breed

One of the rarest dog breeds in the world, the Stabijhoun is thought to have descended from dogs brought over to the Netherlands during the Spanish occupation in the 15th and 16th centuries. They show up in the early 19th century literature of Frisian writers.

Stabijhouns hail from the Dutch province of Friesland, a heavily forested area where this hardy, outdoorsy breed was historically used for hunting small game. They used to be found exclusively on farms, and not those of noblemen and women; this was the breed of choice for owners with limited means who needed an all-round dog with many talents. Working dog, watchdog, and hunter as well as being a devoted, easy-going companion.

Beloved in their native country, the Stabijhoun is considered a Dutch national treasure. They have been recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and the Dutch Kennel Club. And while still rare as a breed, Stabijhouns are increasing in numbers slowly but surely in other countries.

Stabyhoun sitting facing camera in black and white


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Stabijhouns

1. Coat

Long, smooth coat on the torso, sometimes wavy on the croup, short on head.

2. Body

Powerful body, chest broad when viewed from front.

3. Tail

Tail set rather low yet long.

Stabyhoun sitting on river bank in yellow flowers


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Stabijhoun
Stabyhoun sitting in dried leaves


Caring for your Stabijhoun

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The Stabijhoun is one low-maintenance dog grooming-wise. Their medium-length coat self-cleans – dirt will fall off by itself once your dog is dry. All that’s needed is a quick brush through to get any last bits of the outdoors. The exception? Your dog might lose their undercoat a bit seasonally, needing more of your attention. And a vacuum. Trim nails and clean teeth regularly (daily if you can) to keep oral hygiene-linked diseases at bay. Bathe or visit the groomer only as needed (i.e. if they’ve got into something particularly odorous). And of course, dry ears thoroughly to prevent ear infections. While they can go and go and go, the Stabijhoun’s daily exercise needs are rather moderate –between one and three hours or so per day will suffice. Think mental stimulation as well – this is a dog that needs their impressive brain power challenged for overall good health. Training your Stabijhoun should be equally straightforward. Fast learners, they were bred to get on with their tasks independently. Even so, positive and gentle go far with this sensitive breed. It’s the only way to bypass a slight stubborn streak. Once they are onboard, you are good to go.


All about Stabijhouns

Yes and no. They don’t usually shed too much – their smooth double coats are quite easy to keep looking lustrous. However, they might shed their undercoat more heavily as seasons change, necessitating more brushing and grooming, and a bit more vacuum time if you’ve got carpets.

Stabijhouns are very rare dogs. Even in their native Netherlands. While the breed is getting to be better known in the rest of the world, there are only a few thousand Stabijhouns out there. If you have your heart set on one of these exceptional dogs, get ready for a waiting list. Or serendipity!



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/