If you are a breeder thinking about selling a puppy to England, we have tried to answer some of the most common questions you might have. If you want to speak to other breeders who have previously exported a Stabij to the UK, we will be happy to put you in touch with several who can share their experiences.

At the UK Stabyhoun Association we work hard to match the right puppy to the right family. It is not a quick process but one that helps ensure that these wonderful dogs enjoy a long, active and happy life in the UK. We promote responsible dog ownership, positive training methods and careful breeding. And we promise to take responsibility for every single dog, imported or bred here, for the rest of its life.

Q: How long do I have to keep the puppy for?

Before any dog is allowed to enter the UK, it must have had a Rabies vaccination and then wait 21 days (the day of the vaccination is day 0). It is not safe to vaccinate puppies younger than the age of 12 weeks/3 months (ask your vet which they prefer) so the puppy must stay with you until it is 15-16 weeks old. We do not recommend that puppies are given this vaccination until your vet agrees that it is safe, and in accordance with the guidelines. Most Dutch vets give the Rabies vaccination at 3 months. In Germany and Denmark, the Rabies vaccination is given at 12 weeks.

Q: How soon do I need to decide if I wish to sell a puppy to the UK?

We usually ask breeders if they are interested in selling a puppy to the UK before the litter is born. This gives everyone time to think about it and ask any questions you might have about the process, and the people on our waiting list. But there is no rush in deciding whether you want to sell a puppy to the UK – even after the litter is born. Some breeders tell us straight away if there is a male or female for England. Others like to wait a few days or even weeks. We never rush breeders to make a decision so feel free to take your time in making the decision.

Q: How much will I get paid for the puppy?

Ultimately, it is your decision. The UKSA does not buy or sell puppies – we just make the introduction between breeder and families and we understand that it is a lot of extra work to keep a puppy for longer. The important thing is that you decide and inform the future owner from the beginning what your puppy will cost including: the standard puppy price, all vaccinations (including Rabies), puppy worming treatments including a final tapeworm treatment 1-5 days before travel, microchipping, passport and food for the full time of the stay. Puppy classes are also charged as extra if you want to do this. You can ask the new owner to pay some of it when the puppy is 8 weeks old and the rest when they collect it, or to just pay all of it when they collect it (or a few days before). This is a contract between you and them and we suggest that you agree these terms early on.

Flinn Doug Kwibus Fan It Klaverlân is the perfect family dog

Flinn Doug Kwibus Fan It Klaverlân is the perfect family dog

Q: How does the UKSA help me export a puppy?

As soon as the litter is born and you have confirmed that there is a puppy for the UK, we will prepare a detailed Export Brief which includes the full details of the future owner, dates for all the necessary treatments and the date the puppy will be allowed to travel to the UK. We provide advice to both you and the future owner about how to travel with the puppy and anything else along the way. So far, all imported puppies have arrived here safely.

Q: Can I ask someone else to foster the puppy from 8-16weeks?

Yes, if you are not able to keep the puppy for the full 15-16 weeks but still want to export one to the UK, this is an option. It is important that the breeder and future owner agree, and that the foster home already knows the breed. The foster home must be happy to do all the necessary socialisation and make sure it receives the relevant vaccinations and worming treatments on time. Puppies that have been in foster home like this before arriving in the UK have all turned out great. But it is important that everyone is happy with this arrangement beforehand.

Q: How much do I have to teach and train the puppy?

The age from 8-16 weeks is a crucial stage of a puppy’s development and therefore, breeders selling a puppy to the UK must be prepared to carry out the necessary socialisation as if the puppy was their own. You are not, however, expected to do any additional training with the puppy unless you want to and have agreed it with the future owner. Puppy classes, for example, would be an additional effort but not a requirement.

Q: How will my puppy travel to the UK?

We ask all families who buy a Stabij from the Netherlands to collect it themselves, by car. They will travel via the Eurotunnel from France to England, and to their home from there. This is the least stressful method of travel for the puppy – they are safe and relaxed in the car for the whole journey.

Q: Will my puppy come to the Breeders Day/Fokkersdag?

The UKSA considers the evaluation of litters to be very important and we encourage everyone who buys a puppy from the Netherlands to attend the Fokkersdag the following year. So far, most have done so. For those who are not able, we do our best to make sure that their puppy is assessed by a qualified judge at our annual event, and for a copy of the result to be sent to the breeder along with pictures. All results are included in ZooEasy.

Minke v.'t hondsdraf was imported and had a litter in the UK in 2015

Minke v.’t hondsdraf was imported and had a litter in the UK in 2015

Q: Is it likely that my puppy will breed in the UK?

We are building a new population of dogs and genetic diversity is very important. This is why we are importing puppies each year, and why we encourage everyone to consider letting their dog have a litter of puppies. So it is certainly likely that your puppy will be considered for future breeding. We do, however, also import puppies that will simply be much loved family pets and we do not facilitate the import of puppies for large breeding kennels in the UK. The Stabij is first and foremost a companion and family dog.

Q: Why do you want one of my puppies?

This is a question we get asked a lot. Why me? When looking for puppies to import into the UK we consider a range of factors including whether the combination might offer valuable, new genes. But we also ask for puppies from parents we know have a great temperament, or where we know the breeder makes a special effort to raise happy and healthy puppies. If we are looking for a puppy for a family with young children, we might try and find a breeder who does too. And for someone who wants to work with their dog, we might ask for a puppy from someone who also works their dogs. We might already have a puppy that is related to yours, but where we see the value in getting another. All in all, we do our best to make a great match between breeders and UK families on every single occasion.

Q: How do you find a home for my puppy?

We currently have a long and growing waiting list for both male and female puppies including families who want to work and breed from their dogs. That means that we can say ‘yes’ to a puppy when offered to us pretty much straight away.

Our application process is long and thorough. We ask anyone who is interested in the breed to complete a detailed application form which tells us about their family, work, experience with dogs, plans for the future and more. All applications are reviewed by all three members of the UKSA board. Applicants are interviewed over the phone and, if necessary, we will carry out a home visit on your behalf.

The UKSA arranges for puppy buyers to meet with at least one Stabij in the UK (unless they are already familiar with the breed) to make sure they understand this dog’s nature and temperament. Only when we are satisfied that future buyers are sensible, responsible and enthusiastic about this breed do we put them forward for a puppy.

We work hard to make the best match between breeders and buyers. We don’t simply ‘give you’ the next person on the list but consider exactly which future home might be the best for exactly your puppy. If you are not happy, then we will usually be able to suggest several other potential buyers. The buyer will only be informed and introduced to you once you, the breeder, confirms that you want to sell them a puppy.

Winske Lieke fan 'e Sudewyn was imported to train as a gun dog

Winske Lieke fan ‘e Sudewyn was imported to train as a gun dog

Q: What happens if the puppy becomes ill or injured between the age of 8 and 16 weeks?

Luckily this has never happened. However, from the age of 8 weeks old, the puppy becomes the responsibility of the UK owner. They are liable to pay for any extra vet bills or treatment that might become necessary.

Q: I want my puppies to be fed a high quality diet for the first year.

The UKSA promotes the benefits of a high quality diet to all its members and future owners. Many feed their dogs on a BARF (raw meat and vegetable) diet, and all UK litters so far have been weaned on it. If you wish for your puppy to continue on a specific diet, then we will work with the owners to help them find it here.

Q: Does the puppy need to have the standard vaccinations?

Between the Netherlands and the UK, there are some differences regarding when and how many times puppies are vaccinated. In the UK, vets usually recommend a dose of two vaccinations around the age of 8 and 12 weeks. Some people, however, prefer to wait until the puppy is a little older (10, 12 or 14 weeks) and then only give it a single dose of vaccination. Some even titer test their puppies. We advise that you discuss your and the future owner’s preferences in this regard once the puppy is born. What you do in this regard does not have any influence on the import rules.

Q: Does the puppy need to have flea treatment?

Although some vets recommend it as standard, many breeders and owners prefer only to treat puppies (and indeed adult dogs) if there is an actual problem. It is not a requirement for puppies that are going to be imported into the UK to have been flea treated.

Q: Will future litters born from my exported puppy be registered with an official pedigree?

Yes! In 2014, the Dutch Kennel Club agreed to formally register UK-born Stabyhoun with full, official pedigrees. Since then, the procedure of registering puppies born abroad has been tested and official pedigree certificates have been issued to several litters. That means that should your puppy be approved for breeding in the UK, their puppies will be registered by the Raad van Beheer according to the same rules and procedures as if they were born in the Netherlands. So you can rest assured that your puppy and their future litters will be counted as fully recognised members of the global Stabyhoun population.

Q: When do I get to meet the new owners?

This is up to you, and to them to arrange. Some breeders ask that future owners come and visit the puppy before it is 15-16 weeks old, and indeed some owners want to meet both mum and pups earlier. Others are happy with the vetting and references provided by the UKSA, and to simply have regular contact with the future owners by email, phone and Facebook.

Q: Does the UK ever export puppies or do you only import?

As it happens, we have already exported one of the best female puppies from a litter born in 2015 to America. We recognise that ‘sharing’ puppies is very important for the future of this breed. Where there is interest abroad and when there is genetic merit for exporting a particular puppy, then we will consider it (only to homes that have been vetted and approved by the local breed association, and who are themselves interested in breeding). If a Dutch family with an interest in breeding ever asked to be added to our waiting list for a puppy, then we would absolutely consider it. ‘Giving back’ is something we hope to do more once our population becomes more established.

Q: Will my puppy be part of my private allocation or the NVSW?  

If you decide to sell a puppy to the UK are you are a member of the NVSW, it will be counted as one of those puppies that you can sell privately. It will not be from the half of the litter that has to be sold to people on the NVSW waiting list. If you have any questions to the NVSW about the UK Stabyhoun Association, we suggest that you speak to our official representative, Peter van Esch.

Q: Do the UK owners understand that the breeder decides which puppy they get?

Absolutely! We explain to everyone on our waiting list that it is the decision of the breeder which puppy they will get. They know their puppies best and can make the right match depending on what everyone on their waiting list wants to do with the puppy, and their temperaments. It is important that puppies sold to the UK have been assessed as being of good quality if the plan is for them to breed in the future.

Q: What happens if the UK owner can’t keep the dog?

The UKSA promises to take responsibility for all Stabij imported through us for the lifetime of that dog. If it becomes necessary to find the dog a new home, we will inform the breeder and together decide what is best for the dog. If, for whatever reason, the breeder wishes for the dog to be returned, we will expect them to collect the dog in the same way as the buyers did when it was a puppy. If the agreement is that the dog should be rehomed in the UK, the UKSA will find it a great new home and make sure the breeder has the details of the new owner. Any new owner will be vetted in the same way as anyone else on our waiting list.

Q: Is it hard to say goodbye?

Yes! It is always hard when the puppy you have raised for 16 weeks leaves with their new family. But rest assured that it will have a loving and dedicated new home in the UK – and they might just help build our population for the future. Many breeders tell us that they have more contact with families they have sold a puppy to in England than some of those that live around the corner in the Netherlands. Maybe that is true. We certainly do our best to keep in touch with them all, take lots of pictures when we can and let the breeders know how their pup is getting on.

Q: Can my puppy be shown in the UK?

Yes and no. Making sure all dogs both imported and bred in the UK are assessed at least once by a breed-qualified judge is one of our main priorities. This is made possible once a year at our annual Stabyhoun event. In addition, we encourage all owners of imported puppies to bring them back for the Breeders Day, and indeed to attend other shows such as the Clubmatch. However, the breed is not currently recognised by the UK Kennel Club and can therefore not enter official KC shows in England, Wales or Scotland. There are currently no plans to apply for Kennel Club recognition. Instead, we are focusing our efforts on establishing a genetically diverse and healthy breed by working with the real experts in this breed; the Dutch breed club and the Raad van Beheer. As a bonus, we are in talks with Dutch judges who are regularly invited to judge other breeds in the UK to assess our Stabyhoun while they are in the country.

Any other questions? 

If you have any questions that have not been answered above, please don’t hesitate to contact Christina Savage.

Experience from a Dutch Stabijhoun breeder

In the beginning of 2013 we were contacted by Christina Savage, from the English Stabyhoun Association – asking us if we were willing to send a pup of our coming litter to England. Enthusiastic, she explained all about their plans to get the Staby introduced and recognised in the UK. For the Kennel Club to officially accept this new dog breed, there must be 20 Friese Stabij in the UK. That’s a lot more challenging then it sounds!

We were curious from the beginning, but to be sure, we spoke to other breeders who had already sold a puppy to England. They were equally enthusiastic about it, so for us that was good news. We like it when some of our pups find homes across Europe and Scandinavia. With a pup in Germany, a few pups in Belgium and a puppy in Austria we decided that it was time to send a pup to England! Knowing that there is a keen and experienced group of people, the UKSA, looking after the Stabyhoun for us was very reassuring.

The UK Stabyhoun Association has a strict and thorough application process and they found a lovely family for us in Oxford. They wanted to have a male dog, and we selected the perfect puppy from our litter for them. His name is Jaeger, and we kept him in our family for 16 weeks. We wouldn’t have missed this time with Jaeger! It wasn’t easy to say goodbye, but we get regular updates now from his new owners. Our oldest daughter is even getting friends with their oldest daughter, via Facebook and Skype. She adores it, and it’s really good for her education and to give her a better knowledge of another part of the world. Bottom line: we are really glad that we decided to send a pup to the UK, and we are really hoping that in time, the Stabyhoun will become an established breed across the channel. Then, we will have played our part in this and that’s a good feeling. Now that we have sold a puppy to England once, would we do it again? Absolutely! Good luck to everyone in England!

– Monique and Leon Hermsen, Stabijhoun Kennel fan it Klaverlân