One rare dog breed (with only 3500 dogs remaining in the breed) is the Stabyhoun dog(pronounced “Sta-bij-hoon”) also called a Stabij, a Staby, or a Frisian Pointing Dog.
This canine is found almost exclusively in the Netherlands (although they’ve been spread out a bit throughout the world in recent years) and originates from the Netherlands province Friesland. Stabyhouns are sold fairly inexpensively in their home country, as many breeder in the Netherlands consider the animal to be a national treasure and breed it for the love of the dog rather than profit or any other motivation. This was especially helpful for the primary buyer of the animal—poor farmers who could only afford a single dog despite preferring to have several around the farm to aid in various tasks.
Stabyhoun Pictures by Mjk23.
The All Purpose Stabyhoun Dog
While in recent years this rare breed of dog has become predominantly a household pet, it’s very well used (as it has been since as early as 1800) as a hunting dog. The Stabyhoun dog has excellent retrieving skills as well as making for a great pointer (tracking animals and literally pointing out the prey’s direction by straightening its body from nose to tail like the arrow of a compass). It is soft of mouth and can bring back recently killed or even still living animals in its mouth without causing any damage, and is also quite skilled and hunting for moles by killing them via a broken neck without damaging the fur. They’re also very much at home in the water, even rivers and lakes that are extremely cold in the winter.
Stabyhouns have also been used as watchdogs for their loyalty to their owning family and their intelligence, as well as having the larger dogs in the breed be used for pulling sleds in the winter.
A Great Family Pet
Along with being an excellent work hound, the Stabyhoun is ideal for households looking for a loving pet that’s especially good with children. Being of only medium size (19 to 21 inches tall and weighting 40 to 55 pounds), it’s unlikely that the dog will accidentally cause much damage to a small child like a large animal would. They are extremely gentle and loving, and are quite fond of cuddling.
Their retrieving nature gives these dogs a plethora of energy that needs to be worked off with plenty of exercise. They do well outside where they can run around and play with vigor, but they can also be quite calm when indoors (provided of course they are exercised with frequency, they are not ideal for a lazy owner that doesn’t want to take the animal outdoors for daily walks).
The animal also doesn’t need much care in the grooming department. It’s hair naturally loses dirt quickly making the need for baths minimal (it’s even discouraged to bathe this beast for fear of ruining it’s naturally shiny coat), and you really only need to brush its hair to prevent clumping (or to aid in it’s twice yearly shedding). With 3500 in the world, the most likely place to find this breed is it’s home country of the Netherlands. In the united states, there are only 155 Stabyhouns around and only about 10 in Canada.