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 has long been known in these parts, but has only become more famous since the sixties outside Friesland. Already in the nineteenth century in various texts (eg Joost Halbertsma, Waling Dijkstra and Nynke fan Hichtum) reported «Bijke» which was described as a «long-haired piebald», including «a child’s friend» and a «good hunting dog». The Stabyhoun probably owes its name to its versatility. The word Stabyhoun is derived from the words ‘sta mij bij’ or ‘stand by me’, while Houn is the Frisian word for dog and is pronounced «hoon». 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 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 hunters in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, England, the Netherlands and the United States that use the breed as a pointing dog. The breed is a very good game tracker who can use the wind very sensibly, and they are known to have a very accurate point. The breed was widely used for poaching by poor farmers who could not afford to pay for hunting licenses. They were completely dependent on having a dog that kept good contact and did not go out of hand, because then they could risk being caught. This has probably contributed to the breed’s somewhat narrower search than what is seen in the more popular bird dog breeds, so Stabyhoun is perhaps best suited for hunting in forests and lowlands. But the breed is very adaptable and teachable, so with early imprinting in open mountain terrain, it can work well even on high mountain hunting. Stabijhoun has not been awarded on hunting trials in Norway yet, but on hunting trials for continental bird dogs in Sweden, the breed has begun to make a name for itself.. This has a lot to do with the fact that in the Swedish hunting test system breed standards are taken into account when evaluated. Since the population is so small, it is difficult to breed solely on hunting traits in the breed. One will therefore experience that the degree of hunting characteristics varies.
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, excellent properties for eg duck hunting. The thick coat protects against low temperatures both on land and in water.
Source: Nederlandse Vereniging voor Stabij- en Wetterhounen