55-77 lbs
Frisian Water Dog, Dutch Spaniel, Otterhoun

The Wetterhoun is a medium-sized gun dog with a curly coat that originated in the Netherlands and is skilled in retrieving game birds both on land and in the water, as well as smaller game animals like rabbits and otters. Also known as Frisian Water Dogs, Dutch Spaniels, and the Otterhoun (not to be confused with the Otterhound, a British breed) these canines are an intelligent and persistent breed with an extremely high prey drive that tends to bond very closely to their owners and families but can be wary when it comes to strangers. While they have a rather serious expression and can be very resolute when working, they also tend to be fairly comical and sometimes clumsy when playing at home. 

purpose Purpose
Hunting dog, Guard dog
history Date of Origin
Ancient Times
ancestry Ancestry
Water Spaniels, Spitz-type Dogs, Gypsy Dogs

Wetterhoun Health

Average Size
Male Wetterhoun size stats
Height: 21-23 inches Weight: 55-77 lbs
Female Wetterhoun size stats
Height: 21-23 inches Weight: 55-77 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (Chd)
Minor Concerns
  • Epilepsy
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Alopecia
Occasional Tests
  • Blood And Urine Analysis
  • X-rays or other radiographic imaging
  • Skin and Hair Exams

Wetterhoun Breed History

This breed was developed in a northern region of the Netherlands known as Friesland over four centuries ago. The Wetterhoun breed is considered to be a landrace dog breed, which means that they were developed without a formal registry, often in a way that adapts to the environment that they are in. As these dogs were originally developed without any official records, there is no way to know for sure which dog breeds contributed to the Wetterhoun although the most likely contributors include water spaniels such as the Old Water Dog, spitz-type farm dogs from the local area, and gypsy dogs. One of the earliest functions of these dogs were as hunters of otter, a predator deemed to be a threat to the area’s fishing industry, but they also proved to be adept at hunting other small animals and at locating and retrieving game birds, both in and out of the water. The population of the Wetterhoun, like many of the canine breeds in Europe, was decimated during World War II, and without the efforts of fanciers of the breed, most notably Jan Bos, the breed may have vanished. While these dogs are not yet officially recognized by the American Kennel Club, they have been recognized under the name of Frisian Water Dog by the Federation Cynologique Internationale under the heading of retrievers and flushing water dogs since December of 1959, and the United Kennel Club officially recognized them under the classification of Gun Dog in 2006, also listing the official name as the Frisian Water Dog. 

Wetterhoun Breed Appearance

The Wetterhoun is typically a well-balanced dog of medium size that averages just under a foot at the shoulder and has a slightly thicker build than average; they have heads that are rather broad with well-developed noses at the end of powerfully built, straight muzzles with tight-fitting lips. Their oval-shaped eyes slant just slightly, giving them a serious, almost grim expression, and their moderately long ears are set just above the eye line, lay flat against the sides of the head, and are said to have the form of a mason’s trowel. This breed is characterized by a dense, curly coat of medium-length fur that is coarse in texture and can come in solid black, solid brown, or either black or brown with extensive white markings which are often ticked with the dog’s overall color and they have long, well-furnished tails that either curl up over the back or to the side. 

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Wetterhoun eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Wetterhoun nose
brown Wetterhoun nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Wetterhoun coat
brown Wetterhoun coat
pied Wetterhoun coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Wetterhoun curly coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Wetterhoun Breed Maintenance

While the dense, curly coat of this breed may look like it is a lot of work, it is generally a pretty simple coat to keep clean and healthy. The fur has a coarse, slightly greasy feel due to the oils that are required to make this coat somewhat water resistant and this canine should only be washed a few times a year as frequent bathing can strip the coat of these oils and cause it to become woolly and brittle. The coat isn’t particularly prone to tangling and sheds only moderately, so brushing is only really needed once or twice a week, although it is important to check on a regular basis to ensure that their ears are clean, dry, and free of infection. The teeth should be brushed a few times a week; start this routine early so that your dog does not balk at the procedure.

Brushes for Wetterhoun
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Wetterhoun requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Wetterhoun Temperament

While this canine may have the alert and wary nature of a good watchdog and an appropriately dour appearance to encourage would-be intruders to go on about their way, they are also very gentle and sensitive animals when it comes to their families. While all interactions between canines and children should be supervised, this dog is known to be stable and reliable around both adults and children. These dogs are known for their perseverance in all things and whatever task you set them to, they are likely to be unswayed from doing it until it is complete. They are intelligent and can be easily trained as long as their persistent nature is taken into account and they are allowed to complete one activity before going on to the next. They can be socialized to get along with other canines, particularly if socialization takes place at an early age, but their prey drive may be difficult to suppress when it comes to cats and other small animals. 

Wetterhoun Activity Requirements

The Wetterhoun is typically a very active animal that requires a great deal of exercise, and as far as this canine is concerned, that exercise should involve you. These dogs love being outdoors but are generally not happy being left outside on their own. They are, however, well-suited to many endeavors that you can enjoy alongside them. Along with their prowess as a retrieving dog, these dogs excel at swimming and at tracking and may enjoy activities that involve these components. Due to their high prey drive, this dog breed should be kept on a leash or should be supervised in a securely fenced yard at all times. 

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes
activity minutes

Wetterhoun Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Wetterhoun Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Wetterhoun size stats at six months
Height: 19.0 inches Weight: 46.5 lbs
Female Wetterhoun size stats at six months
Height: 19.0 inches Weight: 46.5 lbs
12 Months
Male Wetterhoun size stats at 12 months
Height: 21.0 inches Weight: 59.5 lbs
Female Wetterhoun size stats at 12 months
Height: 21.0 inches Weight: 59.5 lbs
18 Months
Male Wetterhoun size stats at 18 months
Height: 22.0 inches Weight: 66.0 lbs
Female Wetterhoun size stats at 18 months
Height: 22.0 inches Weight: 66.0 lbs

Wetterhoun Owner Experiences

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