Breed standard of the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje

 General Appearance: The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is a harmoniously built orange-red parti-colored small sporting dog of almost square body proportions. He moves with his head held high; in action the well-feathered waving tail is carried level with, or above the topline. The ears have black hair at the tip, the so-called earrings. The dog is presented with a natural, untrimmed coat.

Size Proportion, Substance: Proportion -

The length of the body from the point of the shoulder (at the scapula/humerus) to the point of the buttocks may be slightly longer than the height at the withers. Skull and muzzle are of about equal length. Size - Ideal height at the withers: Males 16 inches, Females 15 inches. Tolerance: 1 inch over or 1 inch under the ideal heights are permitted.


The head is of moderate length, fitting in with the general appearance, clean-cut, with flowing lines. Eyes - Almond-shaped, dark brown with a friendly, alert expression. Ears - Moderately large, set on just above the line from the point of the nose to the corner of the eye. The ears are carried close to the cheeks without a fold. Well feathered; black hair tips ("earrings") are highly desirable. Skull - Sufficiently broad, moderately rounded. Stop - Seen in profile clearly visible but not too deep. Muzzle - Seen from the side not too deep and slightly wedge-shaped; seen from above not tapering too much and well-filled under the eyes. Nose - Black and well developed. Lips - Preferably well-pigmented, close-fitting and not overhanging. Jaws/Teeth - Scissor bite; complete dentition is desirable. Pincer bite is accepted but less desirable.

Neck, Topline, Body:


- Strongly muscled, of sufficient length and clean-cut. Topline - Smooth line from the withers to the tail. Chest - Reaching to the elbows with sufficient spring of ribs. Sufficiently developed forechest. Underline and belly - Slight tuck-up towards the loin. Back - Strong and straight, rather short. Loin - Of sufficient length and width, strongly muscled. Croup - Slightly sloping and sufficiently broad; the length of the croup should be 1½ times the width. Tail - Set on so as to follow the topline of the body, carried level with the topline and then with a moderate upward curve, never circling over the back of the dog. Well-feathered with a white plume. The last vertebra should reach the hock joint.


Shoulder - Shoulder sufficiently sloping in order to create a flowing line from neck to back. Upper arm - Well-angulated towards shoulder blade that is of equal length. Elbow - Close to the body. Forearm - Straight and parallel, strong bone of sufficient density and length. Metacarpus (Pastern) - Strong and slightly oblique. Forefeet - Small, slightly oval, compact with well-knit toes pointing forward.


Well angulated, straight and parallel seen from the rear. Strong bone. Thigh - Well muscled. Lower thigh - Length equal to thigh. Hock joint - Well let down. Hind feet - As forefeet.


Hair - Of medium length, slightly wavy or straight and close lying. Soft hair. Well-developed undercoat. Front legs should have moderate feathering reaching to the pastern joints. Hind legs should have fairly long feathered breeches; no feathering below the hock joints. The coat on the head, the front part of the legs and the feet should be short. Sufficiently feathered on the underside of the tail. Longer hair on throat and forechest. Earrings (long feathered black hairtips) are highly desirable.


Distinct patches of clear orange-red color on pure white although a few small spots on the legs are accepted. The orange-red color should be predominant. Some black hair intermingling with the orange-red color and a slight form of ticking are accepted but less desirable. Coloring on the head: A clearly visible blaze running down to the nose. There should be coloring on the cheeks and around the eyes. A blaze that is too narrow or too wide or only partly colored cheeks is less desirable. A black tail ring where the color changes from orange-red to white is permitted.

Disqualification - Color that is black and white or tri-color.


Should be flowing and springy, well extended, with good drive. Limbs parallel.


Lively and agile, self-confident and with sufficient perseverance and stamina, good natured and alert, however not noisy. The breed is faithful, easygoing and friendly. Outside the hunting season the dog is expected to find and kill vermin, hence he needs to be keen, swift and tough. He is a true sporting dog, being attentive and energetic and having a zest for working and with a cheerful character.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and the functional health and welfare of the dog and on its ability to perform its traditional work.

Ears too small. Ears half-erect, "flying ears". Tail that is curled. Hackney gait. Curly or silky hair. Color that is heavily interspersed with black hairs in the orange-red patches. Too much ticking. Over maximum size or under minimum size.

Severe Faults:

Anxious behavior. Distinctly low on legs, out of proportion. Walleye, an eye with a whitish iris; a blue eye, fisheye, pearl eye. Undershot or overshot bite. Tail too short, not reaching hock-joint. White color on ears, partly or completely. White hair around eyes, one or both.


Color that is black and white or tri-color.