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The 2019 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will include two new breeds: the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje (or “Kooiker”), a member of the Sporting group, and the Grand Basset Griffon Vend(GBGV), a member of the Hound group.

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is agile and tough on the field but easy-going and loyal in the home. You’ll recognize this Spaniel-type dog by his floppy, black-tipped ears. Keep reading to learn more about one of the newest breeds to the Westminster Dog Show.

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje’s History

The Kooiker’s Dutch ancestry dates back to the 16th century. Popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, these canines even appeared in several Rembrandt paintings. Though the breed almost went extinct in the 1940s, it was preserved thanks to Baroness Van Hardenbroek van Ammerstol.

In the Netherlands, the Kooiker’s job was to lure ducks into a cage. Hunters fetched the ducks and brought them to market. Today, the breed still lures ducks, but now it’s so researchers can band and release them.

The first recorded litter of Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes in the U.S. was in 1999. They’re more popular in Northeastern U.S., but there are breeders nationwide. Kooikers are still considered a rare breed in the U.S., though. Their registry numbers hover around 500.

Kooiker Temperament

The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje’s temperament is friendly and easy-going. He’s loyal to his people and loves spending as much time with them as possible. He needs plenty of socializing and training to understand boundaries, though.

His energy makes him perfectly suited to join his people on hikes, swims, kayaks and other outdoor activities. They’re also happy to relax at home.

The Kooiker enjoys working and is a true sporting dog outdoors. He’s agile and attentive, energetic and tough. He’ll blend well into a multi-dog family as a puppy, and males are usually mellower than females.

Kooikers are smart and easy to train, although they don’t care for repetition. They only need to repeat a task a couple times to remember it.

Other Facts about this New Dog Breed

This sporting dog breed is loyal and easy-going in the home, but an energetic worker outdoors. Here are some additional facts about the Kooiker:

  • Size: Males are 15 to 17 inches tall, females are 14 to 16 inches tall.
  • Weight: Males weigh 24 to 30 pounds, females weigh 20 to 26 pounds.
  • Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
  • Color and Appearance: Kooikers have a silky white coat with red patches. Their large, floppy ears have black-tipped “earrings” and they have a feathered tail. They resemble other Spaniel-type dogs.
  • Care: Their coat is all-weather, making grooming easy. The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is a moderate shedder. Brush his coat often to remove loose hair. Keep his nails and the hair around his toes and between his paw pads trimmed. His coat repels dirt, so frequent baths are unnecessary.

Put Your Dog Breed Knowledge to the Test

See the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje in action at the 143rd Westminster Dog Show on February 11 and 12, 2019. Put your dog breed knowledge to the test by filling out a dog show bracket. Choose the seven Group Winners and the Best in Show champion. If your selections match the actual winners, you could win $1 million!* Make your picks!

*$1 Million prize will be split evenly among verified winners.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.), 18 YEARS AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Promotion consists of a Contest and a Sweepstakes; enter both by 2/11/19 at 5:00pm ET. For Official Rules, Sweepstakes odds disclosures, prize descriptions and all details, visit Sponsor: Nestlé Purina® PetCare Company, 1 Checkerboard Square, St. Louis, MO 63164.