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Kooikerhondje. Sounds rather obscene, doesn't it?

Sorry. It's a breed of dog. A very rare breed, in fact, not recognized by the AKC or the CKC. The Kooikerhondje, also known as the Kooiker Dog, Dutch Waterfowl Dog, and the Dutch Decoy Spaniel, is a small spaniel originally bred to hunt ducks. It has a shiny, well-feathered coat with distinct orange patches on a white background. Its fur is medium to long and wavy, and easy to care for. However, the coat takes up to two years to become fully mature. The head is broad, with a black nose, almond eyes and medium ears with long black tips. The body, ideally, is strong, springy and well-muscled. It moves smoothly and agilely.

The Kooikerhondje is a friendly, loving dog that makes an excellent companion, though it is best known as a show and hunting dog. It is quiet by nature, but loyal enough to be a watchdog with some training. However, it is not suited for homes with children because generally the Kooikerhondje does not enjoy handling. To be trained sucessfully, it must go slowly and not be frightened because it will easily become timid. Housetraining is occasionally difficult for the Kooikerhondje. It also has a slight tendency to chew.

According to the Kooikerhondje Club of Canada (http://www3.sympatico.ca/dianelumsden/Kooiker/Home.html), the dogs are best suited to:

The Kooikerhondje is prone to several hereditary diseases: Von Willebrandt Disease (VWD, a hereditary bleeding disorder), Cataracts, Patella luxation (abnormal movement of the kneecap), Epilepsy, and Hereditary Necrotizing Myelopathy (degenerative spinal disease). Animals with these conditions should not be bred.

It is by far most common in the Netherlands, where there are estimated to be about 5000 of the animals, about 75% of the world population.

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