The Frisian Water Dog, also known as Wetterhoun, was grown in the Netherlands, mainly for hunting otters, to find and suffocates them. Today, this breed has lost this capacity of hunting and primarily pursue small game. The breed originates from the probably extinct water dogs. Like the Stabyhoun, Dutch Water dog is formed from crosses between several breeds. This breed was first presented at an exhibition in Amsterdam in 1942 and in the same year was officially recognized. In 1947 the Club of this breed was formed in the Netherlands. It is believed that the word comes from "Wetter", which means water and thus is associated with the love of this dog to swim and hunting. Outside their homeland, these dogs are little known and rarely used.
The Frisian Water dog has a strong and rough body, covered with a waterproof coat. Its appearance gives the impression of homeliness, but at the same time shows endurance and respect. The coat is smooth and soft, thick, curly and evenly covers his whole body, head and limbs. His head is big and powerful, the body is slightly wider with a square format. The color is black or brown in combination with white spots and dots. The height at the withers is about 53-59cm and weight – 15 - 20 kg. The strong and proportioned body of the Dutch Water Dog in combination with its versatile capabilities, makes it a unique dog.
Character and behavior
This is a universal dog who is not afraid of bad weather. It is very popular in the Netherlands as a good friend and helper for the farmers. It is not only a great friend and a reliable guard, but an ideal family pet as well. Because of its powerful physics, strength and endurance, in the past it was used like a draft animal. Can behave suspiciously with strangers, but overall, its character is rather quiet. Sometimes these dogs can be stubborn and obstinate. This breed definitely likes to bark a lot.
Training and education
To have success in training the Wetterhoun, first you mus his confidence. You must have patience in dressage and educating your pet. Haste and excessive persistence will lead to negative results. This animal is influenced by your treatment and will long remember any negative attitude.
Overall, the Dutch Water Dog has a good health, who suffering from rare diseases typical of this breed. Unfortunately, nowadays more and more common become the epilepsy and the hip dysplasia. In recent years, many attempts have been made to improve the genetics of this breed, and respectfully – the health of the dogs. Some representatives of the breed suffer from hair loss, but such a disease is easily treated with vitamins. The average lifespan of this breed is around 12 - 13 years.
Grooming and care
The breed is definitely not suitable for growing in urban environments. This dog loves the water and you will make it very happy if you have a house with a big yard and pond nearby. It is better to assure long and entertaining walks. The fur must be combed 2-3 times a week. A bathing can be done only when necessary. Apart from the typical vaccines for each dog, you should bring your pet to the vet checkups to avoid infections.
Children and other pets
The Wetterhoun gets on well with other pets, as long as it is raised alongside them. Otherwise, it can dominate quite often. These dogs are very kind with children and loves to play with them.
The Frisian Water Dog is recognized by both the FCI and the UKC. In the past puppies for sale could be found only in the native province of Friesland, but today, there are breeders in other parts of the Netherlands and other countries. Nevertheless, the breed is still considered as a rare one.