Illustration of Kooikerhondje

This is a Dutch breed which works with hunters as a decoy to attract ducks by waving its white plumed tail and lures them along streams where they are eventually trapped in nets. The orange/red of its parti-coloured coat is thought by some to be associated with the Royal House of Orange and Dutch historians tell of the ‘Kooiker’ which saved Prince William of Orange by barking loudly when intruders entered the royal chambers.

When the breed was first recognised in the UK it was placed in the Gundog Group, but since the Kooikerhondje does not work alongside hunters with guns, it was felt appropriate to transfer it to the Utility Group.


Breed Group
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
More than once a week
Supposedly sheds? *
Town or Country
Type of home
Small House
Minimum Garden Size
Over 12 Years

* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on the Kennel Club website.

The Utility Breed Group

This group consists of miscellaneous breeds of dog mainly of a non-sporting origin, including the Bulldog, Dalmatian, Akita and Poodle.

The name ‘Utility’ essentially means fitness for a purpose and this group consists of an extremely mixed and varied bunch, most breeds having been selectively bred to perform a specific function not included in the sporting and working categories. Some of the breeds listed in the group are the oldest documented breeds of dog in the world.

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