Owning a Stabyhoun 

2016 Fall ASA Stabyfest gathering in New England

"Stand By Me" Dog 

The Stabyhoun is often compared to its likely original ancestor, the Spaniel and is categorized as a Spaniel-type-Pointer by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.   They are soft-mouthed retrievers and generally love water retrieves, too.  They are very loyal and attentive to their family, do well with children and livestock, and are versatile - they are currently used for upland game hunting, retrieving, agility, obediance, and dock diving, and barn hunt, among other sports.  Sportsmen should note, that they are very different to train than a pointer or retriever, however.    

Also read:  8 Reasons NOT to get a Stabyhoun (ASA)

Sensitive, Intelligent Dogs

Some folks describe the Stabij as "stubborn", but I think their cautious nature and intelligence are really the reason they have this label.  I've found most of the Stabijs I've met are food-motivated, which aids training considerably!  They really shine with positive reinforcement training. 

 

Take care to socialize your pup and understand CER (conditioned emotional response) and counterconditioning as you train.  Take advantage of the critical periods of puppy development.  Merely exposing your dog to new things (and potentially freaking him out!) is not the idea - keep your dog under the threshold of anxiety and reinforce or condition with praise, treats, etc.   Associate GOOD THINGS with that scarry sound, person, place, and soon enough it'll be a breeze for your pup.  This is called conditioning an emotional response. 

Find out more about CER and counterconditioning here

and here (instructive video). You can earn about dog body language here and at  https://www.petprofessionalguild.com/DogBodylanguage

Excercise & Training

Stabyhouns need mental AND physical stimulation, but they definitely have an "off" switch in the house if they're provided with these.  A 45 minute walk is adequate on most days, especially if it's supplemented with puzzle toys, a bone, or training.  

 

Of course, they enjoy lots of exercise and mental stimulation, so hiking, on or off-lead sniff walks, dog sports and training make for a happy dog!  Find a safe off-leash location for the ultimate dog enjoyment, once you have a solid recall.  We have found that Inske loves retrieving SO MUCH that if we carry her ball and thrower with us, we have a guaranteed recall.  We moved beyond that to leaving the thrower and ball at home and she still associates "HERE!" with only good things - treats, play, praise.  We reinforce this at home in the fenced back yard by rewarding her coming when called with a treat (at first all the time, now only sporadically).

Remember to be patient; the big things like recall and loose leash walking, and settling down with visitors doesn't happen overnight - it happens with consistency and positive rewards. 

Grooming & Feeding

Stabyhouns smell good and shed dirt easily; they generally NEVER need a bath, unless they have been skunked or have fleas!

Weekly brushing, perhaps more often when they are shedding, is sufficient. 

Ears should be plucked, not trimmed, to keep them tidy.  (Shape of ear should be clearly evident without long strands of top hair obscuring it.)

Feet can be trimmed, and should be to minimize salt and snowballs gathering and irritating them.    See more on grooming here

Stabyhouns smell good and shed dirt easily; they generally NEVER need a bath, unless they have been skunked or have fleas!

Weekly brushing, perhaps more often when they are shedding, is sufficient. 

Ears should be plucked, not trimmed, to keep them tidy.  (Shape of ear should be clearly evident without long strands of top hair obscuring it.)

Feet can be trimmed, and should be to minimize salt and snowballs gathering and irritating them.    See more on grooming here

Join the ASA

Along with owning one of the world's top ten rarest breeds, comes a responsibility to contributing to the breed.  It also gives you entree into an exclusive club!  Stabyhoun owners are varied, smart, dog-loving, funny and devoted to dogs and this breed.  As a member of the Ameri-Can Stabhoun Association, you receive information, support and commraderie with fellow Stabyhoun owners.  Hear the latest on genetic testing, participate in fun activities, or take the leap into breeding to help assure the genetic variation this small population needs to ensure a healthy future. 

All of our new puppy owners will receive a 3 year membership to the club. 

Check it out!

Intske & Beckett are two of many who earned their CGC (Canine Good Citizen) title at the 2016 ASA Specialty 

Stabys really want to be close to their people and thrive with  work-at-home, retired, or owners who get outdoors a lot with them or participate in dog sports.  They are quiet in the house, generally, if they have enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Intske's brother Mees, swimming for the first time in Kinderdijk, Netherlands.  Stabyhouns generally LOVE to swim!

The 2015 Stabyfest New England held by the ASA