Stabyhoun (Staby): Dog Breed Characteristics & Care

History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

stabyhoun dog standing against a white background

@Hans Surfer / Getty Images

The stabyhoun is a medium-size sporting dog breed from the Netherlands with a medium-length, silky coat that typically comes in black and white and features feathering around the chest, belly, legs, and tail. Overall, the dog has a well-balanced build that’s a happy medium between slender and muscular. Its head is slightly longer than it is wide, and its drop ears are fairly long with some feathering. The breed’s name roughly translates to “stand by me,” a nod to how devoted these dogs can be. They were bred to be all-purpose working dogs, as well as gentle and affectionate family companions. 

Breed Overview

Group: Sporting

Height: 19 to 21 inches

Weight: 40 to 60 pounds

Coat: Medium-length, smooth double coat

Coat Color: Black and white, brown and white, or orange and white with/without ticked, spotted, and/or roan markings

Life Span: 13 to 15 years

Temperament: Affectionate, companionable, energetic

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: Netherlands

Characteristics of the Stabyhoun

Stabyhouns generally have a friendly and loving temperament with their family. And they are intelligent and eager to please. A high energy level also helps to shape their personality, and they prefer to keep mentally and physically active with some sort of job every day.

Affection Level  High
Friendliness  High
Kid-Friendly  High
Pet-Friendly  High
Exercise Needs  High
Playfulness  Medium
Energy Level  High
Trainability High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark  Medium
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Stabyhoun

The stabyhoun can trace its ancestors back to the 17th century in the Netherlands. Dogs that looked similar to the modern breed are depicted in centuries-old Dutch artwork. These dogs were used for hunting, as well as a variety of farm chores. They also were loving companions.

Until the 20th century, the stabyhoun was often mixed with another Dutch breed, the Wetterhoun. But breeders began to set individual standards for both breeds starting in the mid-1900s. 

In 1994, the first recorded stabyhouns were born in the United States. But the breed still remains rare today, with only several thousand around the world. It’s part of the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service, which helps to monitor breeding problems, but it’s not yet an officially recognized breed.

Stabyhoun Care

Plan to spend ample time exercising your stabyhoun every day. Fortunately, grooming is fairly straightforward. And the breed is typically very trainable.

Exercise

At least an hour of exercise is essential for a stabyhoun every day. Walks, jogging, hikes, and even swimming are good ways to expend some of the dog’s energy. Adequate mental stimulation is just as important for this intelligent breed. A bored stabyhoun might begin to engage in problem behaviors, such as unwanted chewing or digging. Offering puzzle toys can keep your dog happy throughout the day. Dog sports are another great way to exercise your dog both mentally and physically.

Grooming

The stabyhoun’s coat stays relatively clean on its own. Plan to brush weekly to remove loose fur. But expect periods of higher shedding typically twice a year, often in the spring and fall, during which you’ll have to brush more frequently. Pay special attention to the areas of the coat with feathering, as they can get tangled more easily. 

Plan on a bath only when your dog gets dirty. But check its ears at least weekly to see whether they need cleaning. Also, see whether its nails need trimming roughly once a month. And brush its teeth ideally every day with a canine toothpaste.

Training

Aim to begin training and socialization when your dog is a puppy to instill good manners and prevent bad habits from forming. Stabyhouns generally respond well to positive-reinforcement training, such as treats and praise. If you’re too harsh, it might cause them to shut down and refuse to learn. 

Furthermore, aim to expose your stabyhoun to different people, other dogs, and various locations starting when it’s young. Having positive experiences will help to boost its comfort around strangers. This breed generally does well around other dogs and even kids, though it does display a moderate amount of caution around strangers. 

Stabyhoun running through water
@Hans Surfer / Getty Images
Two stabyhoun puppies
GlobalIP/ Getty Images
stabyhoun dog up close
Wicher Bros / Getty Images

Common Health Problems

Stabyhouns are generally a healthy breed. But they are still prone to some hereditary health issues, including: 

Diet and Nutrition

Make sure fresh water is available for your dog at all times. And provide a nutritionally balanced canine diet, typically via two measured meals per day. Always discuss the type of food and the amount with your vet. Some dogs need specialized diets based on factors including age, activity level, and more. Also, monitor treats and other extra food to prevent your dog from overeating and gaining excess weight. 

Where to Adopt or Buy a Stabyhoun

The stabyhoun is a very rare dog breed. So it’s not common that you’d come across one available for adoption at an animal shelter or rescue group. Still, it’s worth checking your local rescue organizations and getting your name on a breed wait list if possible. Likewise, breeders are hard to come by. You might have to wait a while for a dog and travel a great distance or even import a dog from another country, depending on where you live. For a puppy from a reputable breeder, expect to pay around $2,000 on average.

For further information to help you find a stabyhoun, check out:

Stabyhoun Overview

Pros
  • Intelligent and trainable

  • Affectionate and often good with children and other dogs

  • Low-maintenance grooming

Cons
  • Requires lots of exercise

  • Needs daily mental challenges

  • Can be independent and willful at times

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

Do thorough research before bringing home a stabyhoun to make sure it’s right for your lifestyle. Talk to breed owners, rescue groups, responsible breeders, and veterinary professionals. Spend some time around stabyhouns too if possible. 

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential dog breeds out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

FAQ
  • Are stabyhouns good family dogs?

    Well-trained and socialized stabyhouns are typically tolerant of and gentle with kids. But dogs should always be monitored around young children. 

  • Are stabyhouns aggressive?

    As long as they’ve had proper training and socialization, it’s not common for stabyhouns to display aggression. They are generally a friendly and gentle breed.

  • Are stabyhouns rare?

    Stabyhouns are very rare around the world, with only roughly 7,000 as of 2017. But the breed’s popularity is growing outside of the Netherlands.

Article Sources
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  1. Stabyhoun. American Kennel Club.

  2. About the Breed. UK Stabyhoun Association.

  3. Stabyhoun. American Kennel Club.