Weather' means 'water' in Frisian. The Wetterhoun is also called 'Frisian Water Dog'. This old and rare dog breed belongs to the FCI group 8, which are retrieving dogs, retrieving dogs and water dogs. The Wetterhoun is not an easy dog. But he is loyal and affectionate and really interesting.
The Wetterhoun reaches a shoulder height of 59 cm (male) or 55 cm (female). His physique is square. He is strongly built. His skull is broad. The jaw is strong. The chest is broader than deep. Therefore, the front legs stand relatively far apart. His long tail is curled. He carries it over his back. The ears lie close to the head. The eyes are slightly slanted.
The coat is striking. The hair is rather coarse and of medium length. The coat is curly. Only at the lower third of the ears and at the legs it is smooth. It looks a bit like a Persian coat. It feels slightly oily. Mostly it is black and white or brown and white. But there are many more colors.
The Wetterhoun is reserved towards strangers. Towards his own people he is friendly and reliable. He is very eager to work. He gets bored quickly. He is strongly related to his reference person. In education he needs consistency and sensitivity.
The right food
When it comes to nutrition, the Wetterhoun is uncomplicated. If you provide him with a complete food, you are on the safe side. Make sure that he always has enough water available! The Wetterhoun has a high need for exercise. Partly he is also used for hunting muskrats.
If you load him accordingly, he will need more energy. But don't just give him more food. This is not good for his stomach. It is best to feed him a special food for active dogs. After eating, the Wetterhoun should take a break for an hour and only then work again.
The Wetterhoun is a robust dog. Therefore, he does not need much care. Of course, you should check the paws and the ears regularly. You should brush the coat regularly. In the shedding season it needs to be brushed daily.
Teeth, like all dogs, need special attention. Give your Wetterhoun chews to eat and clean the teeth with a dog toothbrush if necessary.
The Wetterhoun needs physical and mental challenges. He likes to learn and likes to be kept busy. Therefore he is easy to train. But he gets bored quickly.
You should spend a lot of time with him and not leave him alone for too long. Give him tasks as he likes them. He loves hunting, guarding, fetching, sniffing. He is persistent and powerful and should get the necessary employment and exercise.
The Wetterhoun is undemanding when it comes to equipment. Like any dog, he needs a food bowl and a water bowl. You will need a leash and a collar or harness for him. A drag leash may be useful for training.
You'll definitely need a good dog brush suitable for your Weatherhound's coarse, curly coat. An address tag, blanket, and tick pliers may also be useful. You may also need a dog toothbrush.
Origin & History
The Wetterhoun already existed in the Middle Ages. At that time he was used for hunting otters and as a guard dog. Probably he is related to even older water dog breeds.
The Wetterhoun therefore retrieves in the water and on land. Its coat is ideal for working in the water.
In the past, the Wetterhoun was also used to pull carts.probably at that time it was larger than today.
The Wetterhoun is a rare breed of dog. In 1950 he was almost extinct. A woman who had had a Wetterhoun as a child was looking for a Wetterhoun by newspaper ad. A few farmers still had mixed breeds. From those, the entire current population was bred back.
Today there are about 800 dogs worldwide, most of them in the Netherlands. Most of them are house dogs or guard dogs. But there are also weatherhouns that are used for hunting. They hunt muskrats to keep the dikes intact.
You should get a Wetterhoun only if you have enough time for this faithful comrade and if you can handle an agile and intelligent hunting dog. The Wetterhoun is still not a dog for beginners.