Choosing a Wetterhoun

The wetterhoun is an uncommon breed that was developed in the Netherlands initially to rid the area of otters. With a name meaning "water dog," this breed is also used to hunt water fowl.

History and Origin

The wetterhoun is a descendent from the extinct old water dog, which has contributed to several of the modern day spaniel-type breeds. In the Dutch province of Friesland, dog breeders were looking to develop a breed of dog that could hunt and kill otters. These otters were creating a problem for fisherman, reducing the amount of their daily catch.

Over time, the wetterhoun was developed. This dog was very effective in controlling the otter population. When his duties as the fisherman's friend were no longer needed, the wetterhoun was then used as a guard dog and to hunt small critters. This is a rare breed and seldom seen outside of their native Holland.

Appearance and Size

The wetterhoun has a narrow head, medium-sized brown eyes and round wavy ears. The tail is usually curled over the back. The hair coat is thick and curly and often oily. The hair on the head and legs is short. The wetterhaun's coloration includes liver and white, black and white, or solid liver or black. The wetterhoun stands 21 to 23 from the shoulder and weighs 35 to 45 pounds.


The wetterhoun is intelligent and active but can be aggressive at times. They are excellent hunters and guard dogs.

Home and Family Relations

The wetterhoun requires lots of exercise or they may become unmanageable. They love to run, swim, and protect their property. The wetterhoun adapts to any kind of environment or hunting for the sportsman. They will tolerate children of the family if raised with them at a young age, but need supervision around young children and strangers. They tolerate other family pets but will chase them if not supervised.


The wetterhoun is an intelligent breed that learns very quickly, but is also independent-minded enough to refuse commands. They need to be trained at an early age for basic obedience and fieldwork.


The wetterhoun needs little grooming. Brushing every other day will keep the coat free of burrs.

Special Care

The wetterhoun needs lots of exercise and is very uncomfortable in apartments and small houses. They love the open space of country living.

Common Diseases and Disorders

This is an uncommon breed and little is known of genetic or common diseases.

The life span of the wetterhoun is 12 to 13 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.