top of page

Breed Standard

Below is the official AKC breed standard for the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje.
illustrated standard.PNG
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 may have black hair at the tips, the so-called earrings. The dog is presented with a natural, untrimmed coat. Visible scissoring or grooming, except for neatening the feet, is to be severely penalized.

Size, Proportion, Substance:
Size - Ideal height at the withers: Males 16 inches, Females 15 inches.
Disqualification - 1½ inches under the ideal height after 1 year of age or 1½ inches above the ideal height at any age.
Proportion - Skull and muzzle are of about equal length.
The length of the body from the point of the shoulder (at the scapula/humerus) to the point of the
buttocks should be slightly longer than the height at the withers. Length of forelegs from
ground to elbow should be equal to depth of body from elbow to withers.
Substance - strong bone, but not heavy.

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 - Medium size, set above eye level but always lower than the top of the skull. The ears are carried
close to the cheeks without a fold. Ear leather should easily reach the inner corner of the eye.
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 - Should be a blunt wedge seen from above or in profile, not too deep, nor tapering too much. Well filled under the eye, creating a smooth transition from muzzle to skull.
Planes (Muzzle & Skull) - Straight muzzle, almost parallel planes.
Nose - Black and well developed.
Lips - Preferably well pigmented, close fitting and not pendulous.
Bite - Scissors bite. Complete dentition preferable. Level bite acceptable, but less desirable.

Neck, Topline, Body:
Neck - Medium length to balance body, clean-cut and strongly muscled.
Topline - Smooth level line from the withers to hipbones with a slightly rounded croup.
Chest - Reaching to the elbows with moderate spring of ribs.
Underline - Slight tuck-up towards the loin.
Back - Strong and straight, rather short.
Loin - Short and broad, strongly muscled.
Tail - Set on so as to follow the topline of the body. Well-feathered with a white plume. The last vertebra should reach the hock joint. When gaiting, carried level with the topline, with an upward curve or almost straight up.
Not curling with a ring or circling over the back. When standing, the tailmay be held downward.
Shoulders - Shoulder moderately angled in order to create a flowing line from neck to back.
Upper Arm - Moderately angled to match layback of shoulder blade, which is of equal length.
Forechest - Prosternum - Point of forechest should be slightly protruding beyond the point of the shoulder.
Elbow - Close to the body.
Legs - Straight and parallel, strong bone of sufficient density and length.
Pasterns - Strong and slightly oblique.
Forefeet - Small, slightly oval, compact, toes pointing forward.

Angulation - Moderately angulated, to match forequarters. Seen from the rear, straight and parallel.
Legs - Strong bone.
Upper Thigh - well muscled.
Second Thigh - length equal to upper thigh.
Hock Joint - well let down.
Hind Feet - Small, oval, compact, toes pointing forward.

Hair - Of medium length, close lying. May be slightly wavy or straight, but never curly or open. Soft, but with enough texture to be weather resistant. Functional 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 hair tips) are highly desirable.
Distinct patches of clear orange-red on pure white are ideal. A few small spots on the legs or muzzle are acceptable. Chest, belly, and the majority of the legs and tail should be white. Orange red color should predominate on the head and torso and may be present as a mantle or blanket, but is less desirable than distinct patches. Some black hair intermingling with the orange-red color and a slight form of ticking are acceptable, but less desirable. A black tail ring where the color changes from orange-red to white on the tail is permitted.
Coloring on the head: A clearly visible white blaze running down to the nose. There should be coloring on the cheeks, ideally ending at the comers of the mouth, and around the eyes. A blaze that is too narrow or too wide or only partly colored cheeks is less desirable. Color should be a consideration only when all else between two dogs is equal.
Disqualification - Color that is black and white or tri-color.

Should be flowing and light-footed, with moderate reach and 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 to his owners and can be a bit reserved with strangers. When not luring ducks into elaborate man-made traps, the dog is expected to find and kill vermin, and to alert his family to strangers on the property. 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 too curled. Hackney gait. Curly or silky hair. Open coat.
Color that is heavily interspersed with black hairs in the orange-red patches. Too much ticking.

Severe Faults:
Anxious behavior. Distinctly low on legs, out of proportion. Blue or yellow eye(s). Undershot or overshot bite.
Tail too short, vertebrae not reaching hock- joint. White color on ears, partly or completely. White hair around eyes, one or both.
1½ inches under the ideal height after 1 year of age or 1½ inches above the
ideal height at any age. Color that is black and white or tri-color.
Approved February 10, 2017
Effective April 1, 2017
bottom of page