The Wetterhoun is a breed traditionally used for hunting small mammals and waterfowl in the province of Fryslan in the Netherlands. The name of the dog comes from the West Frisian Wetterhûn meaning “water dog.”

The Wetterhoun was developed at least 400 years ago in the Dutch province of Fryslan. The origins of the Wetterhoun are conjectured to be from Gypsy dogs, crossed with an indigenous Frisian dog – perhaps the Old Water Dog, a type which is now extinct. Dogs of this type were kept for the difficult and dangerous hunting of Fitch – a European polecat – and Otter in the water. The dogs were also used for retrieving waterfowl and as watch dogs. Although the dogs almost disappeared during World War II, fanciers were able to bring the breed back through careful breeding, and it is gaining in popularity.

The Wetterhoun is a medium-sized dog measuring between 55 to 59 centimeters (21.6-23 inches) at the withers. They weigh around 25 to 35 kilos (55 to 77 pounds)

Their coat is thick and curly apart from the head, ears and legs, where the coat is smoother; the water repellent coat is described as having a greasy feel. The curly, somewhat greasy coat protects the dog from all outdoor conditions. A Wetterhoun is a dog that can stand harsh weather and it copes with thick reedy borders, dense undergrowth and even bramble bushes with ease.

Coat colour comes in solid black or brown, or black with white, or brown with white, they can be with or without white ticking or roan marks. The ears are low set and hang flat to the head, and the tail curls tightly over the back.

They are in Group 8 Retrievers and Waterdogs.

They are excellent gundogs, both on land and in water.

They are not pointing dogs but are good retrievers and in particular excellent and very dedicated trackers.

These dogs work closely with their owner, always trying to stay in contact in order to know what is wanted from them.

They have a strong will but not stubborn, maybe perseverance is a better word, as they have to finish what they have started! They have natural watchdog abilities, and are very intelligent so need consistent and structured trained from an early age. They are not aggressive and make excellent family dogs. They are much more confident than their cousin the Stabyhoun, far more stable and steady natured. They also need lots of space as they love to be outside, so large gardens or outside space are ideal for them. Wetterhoun are watchful, but certainly not barky dogs. If they bark, there is usually a good reason. They can be reserved towards strangers, but not at all nervous. Once they welcome you into their family, you have a friend for life!

A Wetterhoun thrives best when it gets enough exercise: a few long walks a day and the possibility of a swim now and then are ideal. Due to its great attachment to its owner, the Wetterhoun is usually an easy dog to walk with. A Wetterhoun hardly ever feels the need to leave its owner’s side.

The inclination to go off wandering is low. The Wetterhoun is an ideal pet, they prefer their owner to be around; not a suitable kennel dog.

They have a calm and reliable nature and definitely have a sense of humour! They never give up on what they do, regardless the circumstances. The Wetterhoun is a dog with great character and an excellent companion.

There are approximately 1000 dogs worldwide.






If you are interested in applying for one of these dogs please contact who will put you in touch with our Wetterhoun co-ordinator or fill in the Enquiry Form