The breeds’s history and development
Stabyhoun (also known as Frisian Pointer) is an active all-round breed that originates from the Friesian forest area, east and southeast of Friesland north of the Netherlands. The breed is placed in group 7, under section 1.2 Continental Pointing Dogs, Spaniel type. It is related to two other pointing breeds, Drentsche Patrijshound and Kleiner Münsterländer. Historically it has been used to hunt different types of small game such as hare, fox and bird, and had a good reputation as a mole -and rat catcher. Because of its versatility, the Stabyhoun was a welcome contribution for poor farmers. The dog could help to get food by hunting, as well as helping keep the farm free of pests. In addition, one could make good money selling skins from the moles they caught. Stabyhoun was also a farm dog who was supposed to guard the farm and announce that there were strangers visiting. They like to bark but are not aggressive and welcome guests friendly. Stabyhoun is an easy-learning, curious and intelligent breed that can be used for many activities. Today, the breed is used in many different activities, including obedience, agility, nosework, tracking and hunting. The hunting characteristics within the breed are not homogeneous, it varies in the individuals. Some also like pulling, and they are also good for carrying.
The breed is an excellent family dog, with its mild temperament, sweet nature and tolerance to children. But you should not be fooled by its relaxed behavior, they need a lot of exercise and should also be mentally activated. Every Stabyhoun has great pleasure in getting some meaningful tasks for putting their abilities and energy to use. In the old days, Stabyhoun would be an independent hunting dog who had to think himself and solve the tasks on his own. The breeds’s history as an independent «thinker» can now be seen in the breed as difficult to motivate and it can sometimes be very stubborn. However, having found the right motivational factor, they are incredibly easy learners and very keen to satisfy their owner. Stabyhoun has a wery good nose, and in Norway a few are trained as a search dog for wounded game. The breed can be an excellent tracking dog working at a steady pace and it is very accurate. Many handle the changing weather conditions in the track very well and they have good endurance. Some have also started to excel on tracking tests. They like to do different types of tracking exercises. It has even been tried to use the breed for tracking and finding mushrooms, with good results.
It is not widely used as a pointing bird dog, but there are some hunters in Norway, Sweden, England, the Netherlands and the United States that use the breed as a pointing dog. The breed can be a very good game tracker who uses the wind very sensibly, and those who are able to point have a very accurate point. It has a somewhat tighter search radius than the more popular bird dogs, and is perhaps seen as best suited for hunting in forests. In other words, it is not a breed you can expect to claim prizes with on high mountain hunting tests. But on hunting tests for continental bird dogs in Sweden, the breed has begun to excel. This has a lot to do with the fact that in the Swedish hunting test system breed standards are taken into account when evaluated. They are skilled retrievers who have a soft grip and very many of them are pontaneous retrievers. From ancient times, they were used to retrieve many different types of game like hare, fox and bird. That is why the Stabyhoun has a strong neck, it must be able to retrieve game that is relatively heavy in relation to its own body weight. So do not be surprised if the dog is carrying something that is big and heavy. They are very strong despite the fact that it is a small breed. Many of them like water and they are very skilled swimmers. They have swimming skin between their toes, and in water they work calmly and methodically when retrieving. The thick coat protects against low temperatures both on land and in water.