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About The Breed

Breed Summary

The Stabyhoun (or Stabijhoun) is a versatile dog. Originally bred to be an all-round hunting dog as well as to keep the yard free of mice and rats. The Stabyhoun will guard the yard and has a good reputation as a mole and polecat catcher. The previously common larger type Stabyhoun pulled the milk carts, while the smaller type made its name as a professional mole catcher. This talent made the Staby popular with the poorer farmers and farmhands. The moleskins were worth a lot of money as linings for the wrists of sleeves and other items. The Stabyhoun was carried in a basket on the bike so that they could cover long distances.

Section 1.2 Continental Pointing Dogs. Spaniel type. With working trial.

Breed History

Originating from Friesland and in particular from the Frisian forest area, the Staby has long been known in these parts, only becoming more famous since the sixties outside Friesland. The ancestors can most likely be traced to the span joel (or spaniel), who had come during the Spanish occupation to the north. There is probably a strong relationship between the Staby, the Small Munsterlander, and the Drentsche Patrijshond. Not a dog of the nobility, but the small farmer, Staby were used for hunting moles, rats and skunks, as a watchdog and as a pest exterminator in the yard and around the house. They were also occasionally trained as a hunting dog for wild hare and upland birds. It is a very versatile dog that is now mainly a companion dog. The breed was recognized by the Dutch Kennel Club in 1942, and has been an AKC-FSS breed since 2006. The Stabyhoun belongs to Group 7, Pointing Dogs within the FCI.

Storm and Bear Teamwork

The name Stabyhoun can be translated into the words “stand by me”, and this refers to their multipurpose. In Dutch, we say stabijhoon, whereas “houn” is the Frisian word for “dog”.  Stabys are independent. Some people call it cockiness, others call it stubbornness or obstinance. But, in fact, it is independence, and that is something that is deliberately bred. The farmers wanted a dog that could work independently. And that property Stabys have retained still today. In case of insufficient and/or inconsistent guidance, a Stabyhoun can develop into a difficult and unstable dog. With proper guidance, you will have in a Staby, an adorable dog and a great friend for life.

Stabys are very inquisitive. A nice feature, but at the same time they can also get into trouble. Generally, they expect the boss to offer a helping hand. So always pay attention to what a Stabyhoun is up to because with their inquisitive nature they also can fairly quickly find themselves in a difficult position.

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The Breed Standard

General Appearance

The general appearance is very important. It briefly says how the Staby should look. Does everything appear balanced; the head with the body, the front with the rear, etc.

Functionally and powerful built pointing dog. The body is slightly longer than its height at the withers. The overall picture is neither too robust nor too fine. The skin should fit tightly. The feathering on chest, collar, forelegs, trousers and tail gives the Stabyhoun the impression of being long-haired, but the coat should not be excessively long. Sex should be unmistakable.

The Stabyhoun should be slightly stretched. This means a little longer then high. About 10% is a good guideline. It means that a dog from 50 cm high, should be approximately 55 cm long. We measure the length from the breastbone to the sit bones. The length of the front legs (from the floor to the elbows) needs to be equal to the length from the elbow to the withers.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The body is slightly longer than high. It is important that the harmony and balance associated with a functional body is in accordance with the size of the dog. Elbow is approximately equidistant from ground to withers.


The Head

The head is a very important part of the breeding standard. Especially in his head, the Staby is differentiated from other (hunting) breeds. The male should have a slightly heavier (but not too heavy) head and the female, a more refined head.

The length of the muzzle should be as long as the length of the skull. In the real world, most of the Stabijs are a bit shorter in muzzle. The muzzle starts at the point of the nose and ends at the transition to the skull, between the eyes. The skull starts where the muzzle ends and continues to the occiput, which you can feel as a knot on the skull. The slope of the stop must be moderate.

The bridge of the nose should be nice and straight. The last part, which is just cartilage, may be drooping a bit. You can lift the nose tip to see if the nose bridge is straight. The last part of the nose is not a bone, so is less important. In this case, when only the tip is low, it is incorrect to say that the nose bridge isn’t straight. When rounding occurs, as we see in a rams-nose (convex) or a dish-faced (concave) nose, it is not at the end of the nose bridge, but along the bridge of the muzzle. The muzzle should be full, but tapering a little bit to the nose.

The Stabij eyes need to be level in the head versus the slight upward angle of the Wetterhoun eyes. In the breeding standard is written a round eye, but it shouldn’t be too round, but more oval. The eyelids need to fit nicely around the eyeball; drooping eyelids are undesirable. You should not be able to see the third eyelid or the haw. The rim of the eye should have good pigmentation and the eye must be well set (neither protruding or deep set).

The Staby ears are set fairly low. Auricle so little developed that ear flaps hang closely, without a fold at the base, along the head. Not admitted are ears with a strongly developed auricle which do not fold directly at the base of the ear, but further down, so that they do not hang flat against the head. The ears are moderately long and have the form of a mason’s trowel. The feathering of the ear is a typical characteristic of the breed: rather long at the base of the ear, decreasing in length gradually, the lowest 1/3 part of the ear covered with short hair. The long coat must be straight; slightly wavy is permitted, but curled is objectionable.

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Independent Worker

Stabys are independent. Some people call it cocky, others call it stubborn or obstinate. In fact, it is an independent nature that was a characteristic deliberately bred. The farmers wanted a dog that could work independently and that property we still see today. In case of insufficient and/or inconsistent guidance, a Stabyhoun can develop into a difficult and unstable dog. With proper guidance, a Staby is a gentle dog and a great friend for life.

Stabys are very inquisitive. A nice feature, but at the same time they can also get into trouble. Generally they expect the boss to offer a helping hand. Always pay attention to what a Stabyhoun is up to, because with their inquisitive nature they also can fairly quickly arrive in trouble.

Watchful and alert

Stabys are really dependent on their boss. This has advantages, but also disadvantages. If you think your Staby will sit quietly if something is going on, you will often be disappointed. Although Stabys make a lot of noise when something is wrong or to alert their boss, they generally expect the boss to further investigate before they will accept that things are normal. Most Stabys will need to verify that there are no “surprises” in store before calming down again.

Got this
Skyler jumping

Soft and smart

A tough approach is useless with the Staby. They will completely block and will then no longer voluntarily perform his duties. That is exactly what makes the voluntary Staby such a nice and good companion! With positive and soft training, the Staby is quick to learn and wants to please. Too much pressure is never a good idea while a good coach is important.

A tough approach is useless with the Staby. They will completely block and will then no longer voluntarily perform his duties. That is exactly what makes the voluntary Staby such a nice and good companion! With positive and soft training, the Staby is quick to learn and wants to please. Too much pressure is never a good idea while a good coach is important.


Although Stabys now are largely held as pets, they still require good exercise. But what is perhaps even more important, is that the Staby has a mental challenge, especially in certain collaborations with his boss. Stabys need to have a function in daily life, and preference should be given to something that offers variety. Agility, hunting, scent training, lure courses can all be productive and stimulating to your Staby. A busy dog is the perfect dog!

Hunting Instinct

The Staby originally was used for independent hunting of moles or rabbits. As the boss, you have to learn to take into account. Therefore you cannot be upset if the dog is looking for prey independently and digs in the garden for example. Stabys mainly tend to do things that they see themselves as useful, and vermin hunting is one of those things, whether in the garden or anywhere else.

Good with Children

Stabys have continued to be categorized as child friendly. This is true, but a Stabyhoun will also indicate its own borders. Precisely because the dogs are really dependent on their own families, they are often slow to warm up to strangers. Always make sure that Stabys are not left in a position in which he can not escape, because even that sweet and tolerant Staby may snarl. Something that obviously applies to all dogs, and hence a Staby: never leave a child alone with the dog.

child and Staby

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Our Goals Are To Increase:

The Ameri-Can Stabyhoun Behavior and Training has been organized into three separate groups to better focus on Membership’s Training Needs: Ain’t Misbehavin’ – behavior problem solving, manners, fears/anxieties, Puppies Ages 2-12 months – Puppy socialization, learning, foundation, and Sports and Performance – Coaching for competition, fun and/or back yard activities.

Gretta pups
Pups feeding

Puppy Training

Jessica Angel, Chair

With Jessica, we have initiated some changes to the Puppy Training and we invite our breeders and new puppy owners to become a part of our new effort. We want to focus on proactive and supportive efforts for our new puppy owners as early as possible – even before Puppy arrives. Key is getting to know the new puppy owners and teaming and working with them as their Stabyhouns grow to adult dogs. We want to work closely with our breeders to help, where needed, with new puppy owners. Particularly, owners new to the Stabyhoun Breed.

Puppy Training Goals:

Puppy Training Materials and Downloads:

Living with Your Staby



Noise Desensitizing – Google Docs

Positive Reinforcement

Potty Training



Sports and Performance Training

The Stabyhoun is an active dog that likes to have something to do. They look forward to a good workout. That can be agility, fieldwork or just a nice long walk with its owner and a tossed tennis ball.  Fun with our Stabys does not need to be competitive. Try nose work or “dock diving” from your own pool or lake dock! They are intelligent, fast, flexible and very eager to please, so be sure to teach your dog all kinds of tricks. 

This is a soft breed that responds well to positive reinforcement such as clicker training and shaping exercises, but that crumbles under pressure and force. Never force your new Dutch companion to do anything he doesn’t want to do. The Stabyhoun needs to figure things out at their own pace – letting their own natural curiosity get the better of them. “These dogs can read you like a book and, once they understand what you want them to do, there is no stopping them.

The Stabyhoun is easy to train. Anyone who has trained their Staby for agility will tell you that these dogs are reliable and very accurate – hardly ever putting a foot wrong. While this is true, training can take twice as long compared with other breeds, and to come armed with buckets of patience.

The Stabyhoun is a strong partner.  They constantly look to you for guidance and keep a strong focus on their handler.  This is a good thing for all activities or sports that include the human and the canine team – be it scenting, fieldwork, obedience, agility or taking a walk.

Take it Slow.  If something doesn’t quite go according to plan, take a step back and take your time to build their confidence before moving on. Most importantly, do not “drill” the same exercise over and over.  It is a quick way to shut this dog down.

Get the Basics Right.  The Stabyhoun is known for requiring less ‘maintenance’ training than other breeds. And the calm, patient demeanor which stems from its mole-catching heritage means your training can focus on what you want him to do without having to try and ‘manage’ unwanted behaviors.

Be Safe!  Be aware of the injuries that can occur due to improper techniques (such as throwing a ball overhead or jumping before bones are fully developed), warm-ups and cool down and stretching muscles.  Remember this is a canine athlete and, just like humans, they are prone to injuries without muscle development, toning, and maintenance.

Skylar Blasting out of tunnel
Tire jump

Meet Our Coaches

Jessica Angel


Mary Meila

Nosework (Scent Work).

Cindy Pfister

Barn Hunt (Scent Work), Canine Good Citizen, and Farm Dog (Manners).

Roger Abbey

Field Work.

Caroline Le Bel

Agility (Speed and Accuracy).

Eva Susanne Layton (Susi)

Obedience (Precision). 

Ari Goerlich

Rally (Precision) and Dock Diving (Water).

Kathy Banks

Tracking (Scent Work), FreeStyle and Tricks (Precision).

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Do you have a health issue to report for your Stabyhoun?

Click here to send us an email. The BAC will get in touch with you for details.

What About The Health of the Stabyhoun?

The Stabyhoun, despite its small population, is fortunately a relatively healthy breed. The ASA and the NVSW do everything possible to keep it that way.  Nevertheless, we see certain diseases more or less occurring regularly. The breeding program of our association, the ASA, is aimed to reduce these occurrences as much as possible.

It is not easy, because the causes are not always clear or strictly hereditary. It would be unwise to exclude too many dogs from our breeding program, because then we would lose genetic material. Too few dogs inevitably results in a higher inbreeding percentage, which can lead to more genetic health problems and eventually extinction. So there is a definite challenge in making smart matches!

For those who own Stabys and would like to help us stay aware of new developments, please take the time to fill in our Health Questionnaire!   It will only take a few moments and your data will be valuable to the future of the breed. 

ASA Health Questionnaire


Hip Dysplasia (HD)

Hip dysplasia is a developmental disorder of the hip joints caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Symptoms include trouble getting up and lameness in the hindquarters. HD can be determined by taking X-rays of the hip joints. Result HD-A (Excellent and Good) is the best rating; HD-E or Severe is the worst.

How common is it? In the overall database for Stabyhoun, about 2% of dogs worldwide have reported radiographic HD D or E (moderate to severe); clinical signs are thereby seldom reported. Lameness, necessitating surgery, has been seen only a very few times. Another 3.3% of all dogs have reported HD C (mild).

In the past 10 years, counting only the Stabys that have been radiographed, about 15.5% have reported HD C, and 4.1% have reported HD D or E. In the entire population for the last 10 years, HD C has been seen about 3.4% of the time, while less than 1% of all Stabys have reported HD D or E. In the USA and Canada, 92% of all radiographed dogs have HD A or B – no Dysplasia. HD C has appeared in 6% and HD D only in 2% of those tested.

The breeding policy of ASA: HD radiographs are required for breeding. The dogs with the results A and B+ can be bred; Dogs with HD B- or C may bred on a case by case basis depending on family history. HD D and E cannot be bred.

Read More on Hip Dysplasia Here

Elbow Dysplasia (ED)

Elbow dysplasia is a collective term for three types of developmental disabilities to elbow joints, caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Sufferers exhibit lameness in the front legs. ED can be determined by x-ray; carriers may not be recognized this way however.

How common is it? Overall, the percentage of ED that has been reported in a Staby is less than 1%. These statistics are not properly reflecting the amount of ED in the population however, as radiographs are not required in The Netherlands.

In the past 10 years, in countries requiring ED radiographs, 1.2% of all Stabys have reported ED grade 2 or higher, however ED grade 1 remains at 2.9%. In the Stabyhoun population that has been radiographed in the past 10 years worldwide, 9.7% have ED grade 1 and 3.3% have grade 2 or 3. In the USA and Canada, 91% of all radiographed dogs have normal results – no Elbow Dysplasia. ED grade 1 has appeared in 6% and ED grade 2 only in 3% of those tested.

The breeding policy of ASA: ED radiographs are mandatory. Proven sufferers and carriers should not be bred (a “proven” carrier is considered to be a dog that has passed the same disease in two different litters). Immediate relatives of a sufferer are not combined with dogs that also have sufferers under their immediate family members.

Read More on Elbow Dysplasia Here

Storm and Bear Teamwork


With epilepsy, there suddenly occurs a disturbance in the brain so that a dog loses control of a part of their body: They fall, get severe cramps, may foam at the mouth and can become incontinent. However, there are also milder forms of expression. Epilepsy can be inherited but can also be caused by environmental factors. The hereditary form is revealed in the Staby usually around three to five years of age.

How common is it? We had in the past 10 years on average 6 reports per year, about 1% of all dogs. Before the breeding program was set up to control this, epilepsy was more common.

The breeding policy of ASA: Preventive examination for determining carriers is not possible. Sufferers and proven carriers should not be bred (a “proven” carrier is considered to be a dog that has passed the same disease in two different litters). Immediate family members of a patient should not be combined with dogs that have sufferers under their direct family members.

Read More on Epilepsy Here

Steroid Responsive Meningitis-Arteritis (SRMA)

SRMA is a systemic inflammatory disease, most commonly found in young dogs. It is also referred to as a vasculitis of the meninges or inflammation of the blood vessels of the meninges.

How common is it? In the past ten years, 35 cases of SRMA have been reported or .5% of all Stabys born.

The breeding policy of ASA: Preventive research on carriers is not possible. Proven sufferers and carriers should not be bred (a proven carrier is a dog who has passed that same condition in 2 different litters).  Immediate family of a sufferer cannot be combined with dogs who also have sufferers in their direct family lineage.

Read More on SRMA Here


Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)

A heart condition also called ductus arteriosus. When the vet inspects the puppies at age 6 to 7 weeks, they will hear a loud engine noise ‘on the left side of the heart if this disease is present. PDA is the failure of a large blood vessel, the ductus arteriosus, to close just after birth. If not treated, the patient dies ultimately of heart failure. By timely intervention surgery, the prognosis is excellent.

How common is it? In the past ten years, PDA has detected in 50 puppies or about 0.7% of the population. Additional research on this is being done, in collaboration with the University of Utrecht, but no marker for this has been found to date. It is likely complex in inheritance pattern.

The breeding policy of ASA: Preventive investigation for possible carriers unfortunately is still not possible. Sufferers and proven carriers should not be bred (a proven carrier is a dog which has passed the same disease in two different litters). Immediate family members of a sufferer not be combined with dogs that also have sufferers under their immediate family members.

Read More on PDA Here

Cerebral Dysfunction (CD)

A relatively new problem that has already been identified with genetic markers, this is a hereditary neurological problem. At around 6 weeks, puppies show deviant and compulsive behavior: repeating the same movement, turning in circles, backwards or walking back and forth. Sufferers have an excessive urge to move, eat poorly, wasting away and death within a few months.

How common is it?  It has so far been detected in six litters in the past four years.

The breeding policy of ASA: Since April 2015, a DNA test is available for CD. The test is mandatory to be able to breed with a dog OR at least one of the mates must be a CD free dog. It is not allowed to combine two carriers of the CD gene.


Von Willebrands Disease, Type I (VWD-I)

VWD is a blood clotting disorder that occurs in three types. In the Staby, it has been identified as Type I, the mildest form. Here is a reduced production of a particular clotting factor which causes dogs to show prolonged blood clotting times. Owners often do not notice this in their dog. Carriers are at little or no risk, but sufferers can be at risk if greater injuries and operations occur.

How common is it? Roughly a quarter of the Staby population is free of VWD, one-quarter are sufferers; the remaining half are carriers. Clinical symptoms are rarely reported, so it is not screened for (too much genetic material would be lost).

The breeding policy of ASA: there is no breeding policy for VWD and the DNA test is not mandatory. The ASA currently does not test for VWD as there has only been one dog in all the world that has actually been documented as suffering from VWD.  It may be that the Elisa test that was developed for the disease in Stabyhouns is not accurate.  So we do not screen for this and thereby eliminate valuable genetic material.

Read More on VWD-I Here

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Breeding Regulations

Our Mission

In an effort to protect the health and breed type, we use similar regulations for breeding to those used in The Netherlands. We also add the importance of checking for elbow dysplasia, as the broad chest in the breed can contribute to higher incidences of ED if not monitored.

View Our Code of Ethics

Why Do We Have Rules?

Within our organization, we have a number of rules that males and females have to meet to be allowed to breed. These rules are there to ensure that the pups are born as healthy as possible and also to maintain genetic variety for the future well-being of the breed. Below, we will first mention the requirements that your dog or bitch must meet, then an explanation is given for these requirements and how to proceed. The Breeding Advisory Committee (BAC) is responsible for the maintenance of these regulations.

Our goal is to protect and advance the current standard of the breed as approved by the Dutch Stabyhoun Association and adopted by the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) as the only standard of excellence by which the Stabyhoun shall be judged. The club will do all possible to safeguard and improve the health of the Stabyhoun.

Opal & Heidi

Overall Regulations

In order to breed, your Staby needs:

  • Passing Hip rating from the OFA or equivalent organization
  •   Passing Elbow rating from the OFA or equivalent organization
  •   Health and Measurement Inventory taken
  •   2 evaluations equivalent to a Very Good or Excellent by two different FCI Judges qualified for Stabys or by the BAC committee
  •   A temperament evaluation
  •   Various other criteria based on age and inbreeding guidelines are included in the full Code of Ethics.

Hip Dysplasia Acceptance

Radiological research on Hip Dysplasia is required for breeding. Dogs may be bred with the HD results A and B (Excellent, Good and Fair) in any combination, whereas HD C (Borderline, Mild) can only be coupled to HD A. Official HD radiographs must be made, preferably by a vet with experience in this field. We recommend that the photographs be taken without sedation or anesthesia if possible, because if natural muscle tone is absent it may affect the evaluation of the connection of the femoral head in the acetabulum.

Elbow Dysplasia Acceptance

Radiological research on Elbow dysplasia is required for breeding. Dogs may be bred with the ED results of Normal and Grade 1 or 2. Studies have shown the inherited traits causing these etiologies are independent of one another. Clinical signs involve lameness which may remain subtle for long periods of time. No one can predict at what age lameness will occur in a dog due to a large number of genetic and environmental factors such as degree of severity of changes, rate of weight gain, amount of exercise, etc. 



In a survey, your dog is measured on all sides: height, body length, the dimensions of the head, the circumference of the chest and leg length. Their weight is quoted (please do this at home just before the survey). In addition, the dog is observed and described: forehead, nose, teeth, eyes, ears, fur, tail, body, legs and gait. You will be asked a number of questions about the health of your dog and whether there have been problems. We inquire about his living habits, training and food. Finally, you describe the nature and behavior of your dog.

The data obtained along with any photographs are entered into our database so that, together with all other known data, a picture of the dog can be formed. The data is also interesting for those wishing to breed. Your dog (or the lineage behind him) gives a more complete picture of how the pups may inherit certain characteristics.

Show Qualifications

A dog that is bred should meet the desired breed characteristics. To ensure this, your Stabyhoun needs to be evaluated twice and receive a review of Very Good or Excellent under two different qualified judges. One of these qualifications must be achieved after the age of 15 months. Many people are intimidated by shows, but in the relaxed atmosphere of our clubmatches and specialties, it is easy and fun to do.

If it is not possible to attend the shows due to distance, the BAC committee can do an evaluation through a visit, photos, and video. A majority of the committee must agree on the evaluation and nothing above a VG will be given without a judge confirmation.

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