Het Nederlandse KOOIKERHONDJE:
The Dutch "Kooikerhondje" is an important dog in The Netherlands (Holland), its country of origin. This dog is known to have saved the life of Prince William of Orange from an assassination plot. The dog barked at the assassins, awakened and alerted the Prince who was then able to escape.
The "Kooikerhondje" is a working dog in the Netherlands. It is a spaniel type of dog and also goes by the name of Kooiker Hound, Kooiker Dog, Small Dutch Waterfowl Dog, and Dutch Decoy Dog. During the sixteenth century the Dutch had an ingenious way of hunting waterfowl. A trap they call a "kooi" was built on ponds that are frequented by waterfowl. The name "Kooikerhondje" was taken from the name of the trap. It also means “decoy dog” and “dog of the decoy boss”. The decoy boss is named "Kooiker" and dog is "Hond", small dog is "Hondje". Since most of the birds caught were ducks (eend) the trap's name became "Eendenkooi".
Upon the hunter’s hand signals, the "Kooikerhondje" would start working in getting the birds attention. "Kooikerhondjes" are very intelligent dogs who used their white heavily flagged tail to entice and lure the ducks to follow. The dog would wave in and out of blinds and or tall grasses and reeds and the curious ducks would follow them further and further into the trap. By the time the ducks would lose interest and return to the mouth of the trap, the hunter is already there to block the way with nets. This is a very efficient method of duck hunting, one that can easily capture a whole flock of ducks at the time.
To be able to stimulate the interest of the ducks without barking or making a sound, the dog has to be cunning and self confident. This is a daunting task as the ducks are being lured and not chased by the "Kooikerhondje". This is the reason why the dog is most valued by the people in Nederland. Outside the duck hunting season "Kooikerhondjes" have proven their worth by helping their masters destroy vermin. To be able to hunt rats, weasels and other small animals that destroy crops and properties, a dog has to be agile, ferocious and have the perseverance to finish the task at hand. The "Kooikerhondjes" have all these admirable qualities.
"Kooikerhondjes" are magnificent looking dogs with their white with red patches make the dogs very attractive. The unique coat will take two years to mature fully. A very distinct feature of the dog is the earrings. These are wispy long black tips on the dog’s ears. Years ago breeders used dogs with a lot of black fur hoping that the resulting pups would have earrings. This resulted to black and white and tricolored Kooikers. Although beautiful, these dogs did not meet the standard thus they were disqualified from competing in conformations. Normally "Kooikerhondje" pups would have black hairs that will largely disappear with the first shedding. Puppies that do not have black hairs will most likely not develop earrings.