The Stabyhoun is found in historic literature from Joost Halbertsma, Waling Dijkstra and Nynke fan Hichtum dating back to the early 1800s. In earlier days it was used for hunting foxes, small game, and birds. While on farms, Stabyhouns exhibited fine skills as a mole-catcher. During the hunting season, it was used as an all-round gundog.
Today, the Stabyhoun remains a competent hunter, although British and German breeds are more popular. Renowned for its peaceful disposition, the Stabij is a soft-mouthed retriever, a fine pointer, excellent tracker, and a good watchdog. It has also been used by dairy farmers as a dog-carts.
Historically, these dogs were nearly exclusively owned by farmers, whose limited financial means dictated the need for a single farm dog capable as an all-around working, hunting, guard and gentle house breed.
The breed's appearance and purpose have not changed. In order to optimize the working traits of the working farm dog in earlier days the Stabyhoun was often mixed with another old and rare Friesian breed, the Wetterhoun.
Two rare Frisian breeds mixed, a Wetterhoun/Stabyhoun
However, in 1942 Stabij owners organized for official breed recognition and crossbreeding between the Stabyhoun and Wetterhoun was halted in an effort to prevent the extinction of the increasingly rare breeds.
Today the Stabyhoun enjoys a small but thoroughly devoted following among Dutch sportsmen and homeowners. Its numbers are increasing slowly but steadily. This breed has caught the attention of dog lovers in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and North America.
The working Stabyhoun
Historically, the Stabyhoun was an all-around working dog for a farmer that might be only able to afford and support a single dog that was required to be an all-around able worker that shared the home. Apart from hunting, these dogs were used to guard property and to catch rats, moles, and bunzing. This versatility is still reflected in the breed today. It is also this lack of a working specialization, the Stabij's generalization an all-rounder but not an expert at any particular skill that caused the breed to not be as sought-after traditionally.
The Stabyhoun is both a soft-mouthed retriever and a pointer with a strong tracking nose. It works very well on water, enduring the coldest rivers and lakes, and is easily controlled over greater distances. It brings in any game alive and undamaged. Although of medium build and size, it is a powerful and sturdy dog, and larger Stabyhouns of the past were occasionally used as draught animals to pull dog-carts .
The Stabyhoun is now used in almost all types of dog trials and activities: dog agility, obedience, hunting, triathlon, endurance, frisbee, and others.
Mole Catcher with dog; Courtesy of http://www.zijpermuseum.nl
Friesland Flag; those are red Pompeblêd, the stylized leaf of a water lily, used as a charge in heraldry. The Pompeblêd are a reference to the Frisian "sea countries" in the Middle Ages.
https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/nl/collectie/SK-C-200 Peasant party indoors, Adriaen van Ostade, 1661
An early ancestor of our dog Intske; born 73 years ago - ALE FEN'T HOUNEHIEM. Many Stabijs can claim relation to this dog and his sire Albert.