In January 2014 we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to make the trip to Holland and bring back Mieke v't Hondsdraf (Mieke - pronounced 'Meeka'). She is the 21st Stabyhoun in the UK, and we have big plans for her. Click on her picture to the left to find out a bit more about her and her journey.
The Stabyhoun (pronounced 'Sta-BYE-houn') is a truly remarkable breed. They are in the top 5 rarest breeds in the world, and yet no one who has met Mieke can understand why there aren't more in the world today!
Described as a ‘national treasure’ in its native Netherlands, the Stabij is becoming increasingly popular as a loyal, calm and intelligent family dog. With a total of around 6,000 dogs in the entire world, populations exist in the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, America and most recently in the UK.
The Stabyhoun probably owes its name to its versatility. The word ‘Staby’ could be derived from the Dutch words ‘sta me bij’ (‘stand by me’). Houn is the word for dog in the language of the Friesian region.
A Stabij is truly a dog that enjoys activity; whether that is play, a good walk in the woods, obedience training, agility and even field work. This is not, however, a breed of dog that is as easy to train as, for example, a Labrador or a Golden Retriever. Although the Stabyhoun belongs in FCI Group 7 along with the Pointers and Setters, this is not your typical UK gun dog. It was bred with a particular skill for mole catching which was a lucrative business back in those days. The Stabyhoun is also a good swimmer that handles cold water well.
Since the dog used to be owned by farmers who were in general poor it was very welcome to have an all rounder, because often only one dog could be afforded. The dog also had to be tolerant toward livestock on the farm, friendly with the children and protective about the premises, without being vicious or snappy
This dog is a wonderful pet to have around the house and is just perfect for life in a spot near the beach, lakes, waterways and parks. While it makes a good watchdog it is friendly and amiable. By their nature, the Stabyhoun is obedient, peaceful, kind and patient – deeply fond of their family and eager to please. It does, however, have a stubborn side too!
Overall the Stabyhoun is a very healthy dog because great care is taken to select and breed from strong dogs that are free from hereditary illnesses. To maintain such a good record, inbreeding must be strongly discouraged. Great care is taken by the UK Stabyhoun Associating when importing dogs, they coordinate which dogs may enter the country to ensure that the UK population is built on a variety of healthy genetic backgrounds.
For more information on this wonderful breed, visit the UK Stabyhoun Association website by clicking the button below. They have a wealth of information, as well as how to apply for a Stabyhoun puppy.