Wetterhoun | The Dutch Water Dog


The Wetterhoun also known as the Frisian Water Dog, is a unique and versatile breed from the Netherlands’ Friesland region. This exceptional canine companion is celebrated for its proficiency on land and water. This comprehensive article will delve into Wetterhoun’s history, characteristics, temperament, and care, providing valuable insights for dog lovers and potential owners. Our goal is to offer a well-rounded guide that celebrates this remarkable breed and ranks high on Google’s search pages for those seeking information about Wetterhouns.

Breed Information

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Name Wetterhoun
Other names Frisian Water Dog, Dutch Spaniel, Otterhoun
Origin  Netherlands
Breed Group Working

Gun Dog (UKC)

Size Medium
Type Purebred
Life span 12-14 years
Temperament Quiet



Height 21.5-23 inches (55-59 cm)
Weight 55-77 pounds (25-35 kg)
Colors Black

Black & White


Liver & White


Litter Size 3-7 puppies

History of the Wetterhoun

The Wetterhoun’s history is deeply intertwined with the Netherlands’ waterlogged landscapes. Their name, “Wetterhoun,” literally translates to “water dog” in Frisian. This breed was developed to assist Dutch farmers and hunters, making them well-suited for a life in and around the water.

Key Characteristics of the Wetterhoun

  1. Appearance: Wetterhouns are medium-sized dogs with a sturdy build. They have a curly, water-resistant coat that can come in shades of black, brown, and a combination of these colors.
  2. Webbed Feet: Their distinctive webbed feet make them excellent swimmers, allowing them to navigate the water quickly.
  3. Unique Coat Texture: The Wetterhoun’s curly, textured coat protects from the elements and gives them a striking appearance.
  4. Expressive Eyes: These dogs are known for their soulful, expressive eyes, which convey their intelligence and affectionate nature.

Temperament and Behavior

The Wetterhoun is renowned for its friendly and intelligent temperament. Here are some key traits that characterize their behavior:

  1. Loyal Companions: Wetterhouns are known for their loyalty to their families and are often described as affectionate and devoted.
  2. Highly Intelligent: Their intelligence makes them quick learners, and they excel in obedience training.
  3. Alert and Protective: Wetterhouns are naturally alert and often act as protective watchdogs for their homes and loved ones.
  4. Energetic and Playful: These dogs have a playful and energetic nature. Regular exercise and interactive playtime are essential to keep them happy and healthy.

Caring for Your Wetterhoun

Proper care is vital for the well-being of your Wetterhoun. Here are some essential aspects to consider:

  1. Exercise Needs: Wetterhouns require daily exercise to expend energy and stimulate them physically and mentally.
  2. Grooming: Their curly coat needs regular grooming to prevent matting and maintain its water-resistant qualities.
  3. Socialization: Early socialization is crucial to ensure they get along well with other pets and people.
  4. Healthcare: Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor their health and address breed-specific concerns.

Wetterhouns in Action

Wetterhouns are known for their versatility. They excel in various activities, including:

  1. Water Sports: Their strong swimming abilities make them exceptional at water sports like dock diving and retrieving games.
  2. Hunting: Historically, they were used for hunting waterfowl, showcasing their keen hunting instincts.
  3. Agility: Their intelligence and skill make them great candidates for dog sports and obedience competitions.

The Wetterhoun Today

While the need for traditional waterfowl hunting has diminished in modern society, the Wetterhoun has found new roles and continues to be a cherished family pet in the Netherlands and beyond.

  1. Family Dogs: Wetterhouns are known for their gentle nature and strong bond with their families. They are excellent family pets and are often good with children.
  2. Search and Rescue: Some Wetterhouns have been trained for search and rescue missions. Their agility and sense of smell make them valuable in this role.
  3. Therapy Dogs: Their friendly disposition and calm demeanor make Wetterhouns excellent candidates for therapy dog programs, where they provide comfort and companionship to those in need.
  4. Competitive Canine Sports: Many Wetterhoun owners participate in canine sports like agility, obedience trials, and dog shows, showcasing the breed’s versatility and intelligence.

Wetterhoun Popularity and Preservation

The Wetterhoun remains a relatively rare breed outside of the Netherlands, and breed enthusiasts are actively working to preserve and promote its unique qualities.

  1. Breed Clubs: Breed-specific clubs and organizations are dedicated to preserving and promoting the Wetterhoun. These clubs often provide resources and guidance to owners and breeders.
  2. Conservation of Heritage: Efforts are underway to maintain the breed’s genetic diversity and purity while addressing health concerns.
  3. International Recognition: The Wetterhoun has gained recognition from various kennel clubs, which helps raise awareness about the breed on a global scale.



The Wetterhoun, with its rich history and remarkable traits, is a captivating breed that excels on land and water. This article offers a comprehensive guide for dog enthusiasts and potential Wetterhoun owners. Whether you’re captivated by their unique appearance, affectionate temperament, or versatility in various activities, the Wetterhoun is a breed that deserves recognition and appreciation.

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