7-year old Gracie with female Stabyhoun Jelske

7-year old Gracie with female Stabyhoun Jelske

You have probably landed on this page because you are looking for the perfect family dog. If you have young children, other animals such as cats or rabbits, then making the right choice is even more important.

Some people will say that any dog breed has the potential to make a great family pet. That it depends on how well bred, raised and socialised it has been. I don’t agree entirely. Most dog breeds have been selectively bred over centuries and generations for a very specific purpose such as flushing birds, rounding up sheep, protecting livestock and catching rats. Those genes are still hard-coded into their behavioural make-up and are not easily extinguished simply because they now live a comfortable life at the heart of the family.

Which dog breed to choose

Before you start looking at pictures of cute puppies, write down a lost of  characteristics that would would want in a dog. For example, how much exercise are you be able to give it each day, do you prefer a dog with long or short hair, which size can your home (and car) accommodate and do you want a breed that will play ball for hours on end or one which thrives on being more independent? There are a number of dog breed websites that conveniently list a large selection of dogs so take your time, do your research and read, read, read.

Health matters

The perfect family dog isn’t just one that gets on with the children, that you can take everywhere and that doesn’t chew the furniture. It is also a dog that is healthy and doesn’t suffer from many of the hereditary illnesses that have come from decades of breeding focused on looks rather than health. Of course, just like with people, there are never any guarantees that a puppy, regardless of breed, will be perfectly healthy. But do your research so that you know which questions to ask of your breeder. For example, some breeds suffer from devastating instances of Hip Dysplasia so making sure both parents have outstanding hip scores is absolutely essential (click here to download some of the latest dog breed hip dysplasia statistics). In the Stabyhoun, strict breeding rules have contributed to a breed that is healthier than many of its cousins and close monitoring of a few hereditary conditions along with absolute transparency continues to benefit the breed and owners.

The Stabyhoun as a family dog

You probably haven’t head about the Stabyhoun before. Also known as the Frisian Pointer, this is a rare breed which originates from the Netherlands. Originally an all-round farm dog with a knack for catching moles, the Stabyhoun’s gentle temperament and ability to live in wonderful harmony with children and other animals makes it, for some, the perfect family dog. Despite sporting a medium length, soft, silky coat and long brushy tail, it requires very little grooming and, as an added bonus, doesn’t have that doggy smell.¬†They adore children and are never aggressive.

The Stabyhoun is a sociable creature that thrives at the heart of the family. They do not cope well with life in an outside kennel or with being left alone for many hours each day. So if your family has a busy schedule, this might not be the breed for you.

Don’t rush into getting a puppy

Once you have decided which breed you feel is the perfect family dog for your home, the temptation to rush out and get one as soon as possible can be hard to resit. But the sale of puppies online has led to widespread suffering for the parent dogs, and a staggering number of unwanted dogs being handed over to animal shelters or put to sleep each year. Many dogs live for 12-14 years so waiting 3-6 months for the right puppy really isn’t long in comparison. By supporting responsible breeders you are playing your part in improving the lives of parent dogs and puppies.

The Stabyhoun is a rare breed and puppies are often sold before they are even born. The first step is registering your interest by contacting a member of the UK Stabyhoun Association and filling in our application form. If the conclusion is that this is indeed your perfect family dog, then we will go to great length to find you the perfect puppy. You may have to wait a few months but ultimately it will be worth it.