21 May, 2016
Kooikerhondjes have very unique coats that take up to 2 years to fully mature. The one distinguishing feature of the breed is the long black tips on its ears. The length and amount of these “earrings” are determined by genetics. Years ago, when the breed was being developed, dogs with a lot of black fur were introduced into the lines in order to develop the earrings. As a result of these breedings, some black and white and tricolored Kooikerhondjes have been born. These variations, while beautiful, do not meet the standard and cannot compete in conformation. Kooikerhondjes normally have some black hairs on their body when they born. These hairs fall out in the first shedding (3-4 months). If a puppy doesn’t have any black hairs when he’s born, he will not develop earrings. It is normal and acceptable in the adult Kooikerhondje for the tail to have a small ring of black fur between orange and white. Color restrictions in the breed standard make breeding Kooikerhondjes difficult.
Tricolored (black/white/orange), black and white only, missing white blaze on head, white in the ear(s), black body hair, fully orange-colored tail (missing the white tip).
Between the ages of 4 and 6 months, baby teeth begin to fall out and are replaced with adult teeth. You will be able to recognize bite problems in your puppy by the age of 7-8 months when all the adult teeth are in. Scissor and pincer bites are standard for the breed. Your dog should be finished growing and its basic structure will be complete by the time the dog reaches one year old. Any developmental problems will be visible by now. The breed standard is very specific about the structure of the Kooikerhondje.
When selecting a puppy, it is a good idea to examine the parents and compare them to the standard. Most breeders also show their dogs in conformation shows. It is helpful to know how well the parents measure up in front of an experienced eye. The Dutch Kennel Club has established specific breeding guidelines. An overview has been included in the Breeding section of this document. The following information speaks generally about the Kooikerhondje’s reproductive development. Females usually come into their first heat (estrum) between the ages 6 and 12 months, but can be as late as 18 months. Male dogs are sexually capable by 9 months. If you are not planning to breed your dog, the responsible thing is to have your dog neutered or spayed. The male’s sexual prime is between the age of 2 and 4 years, when his sperm count is the highest.
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