Pet Advisor Blog

Wetterhoun – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Medium
Weight: 33 to 44 pounds
Height: 21 to 23 inches
Longevity: 13
Bark Tendency: Low to Medium
Aggression: Medium
Compatibility to other pets: Medium


Native to The Netherlands, the Wetterhoun dog breed one of the prides of the Friesland Province for being prized all-purpose and all-weather gun dogs. This dog breed is also among the oldest gun dog breeds still in use today!
Watterhoun dogs are usually very quiet and can be stubborn.

Official Name



Date – At Least 400 years
Country – The Netherlands
Family / Group – Gun Dog, Sporting, Spaniel

Recognized By:

Continental Kennel Club
Fédération Cynologique Internationale
National Kennel Club
American Pet Registry, Inc.
American Canine Registry
Dog Registry of America, Inc.


The Wetterhoun dog breed is a gun dog that originates in The Netherland’s Friesland Province and believed to have been in existence for at least 400 years. The breed was originally developed by Dutch fishermen and bred to be specialized hunters and killers of otters. The Dutch fishermen sea otters as their competitors when it comes to fishing.

Later on, this dog breed evolved to be hunting dogs used for a small land game such as polecats. The Wetterhoun dogs were also used as guard dogs on farms. The Wetterhound got its name from the Dutch word Wetterhoun which translates to “Water Dog” in English. Dog historians believe that the Stabyhoun and the Waterhound were developed about the same time and considered to be the descendants of the ancient and now extinct Old Water Dog breed that is the recognized ancestors to various European spaniel breeds.


The Wetterhoun is The Netherlands’ all-weather and all-purpose gun dog famous for being versatile hunters capable of flushing and retrieving on both water and land. This is a fearless hunting dog that is game enough to hunt big cats such as wildcats and polecats. In addition, they are rugged and well-balanced spaniels that can also be farm workers and serve as companion pets. These dogs are known to be intelligent, but independent and also sensitive. Also, they are dogs that are brave out on the field, reliable at home and will be watchful of its family and property.

Bred For

The Wetterhoun was developed to be The Netherlands’ all-purpose and all-weather gun dog breed that can flush and retrieve in both land and water. They are also kept as guard dogs, watchdogs as well as companion pets.


The Wetterhoun is a gun dog breed that will not be good to keep as apartment pets. They should not be kept as pets in urban areas. Therefore, these dogs need to live in kennels and can live a happy life in places with cold climates.


The Wetterhoun is a spaniel-type dog that demands very little grooming. Occasional combing and brushing of their coat is the only requirement. In other words, brushing them once or twice a week will keep their coat healthy and shiny.


Wetterhoun are dogs that will learn quickly. They can be independently-minded but an assertive and calm training method will make these dogs learn faster.


The Wetterhoun is usually a healthy dog breed. However, there are certain minor problems they are prone to. For instance, infections, hip dysplasia, and patellar luxation.


As already mentioned, the Wetterhoun is a gun dog and like most dogs in this group, it requires plenty of exercise. Therefore, taking these dogs on long and brisks walks every day is a requirement. It is also advisable to give these dogs ample time to run freely on wide-open spaces. Wetterhoun is a natural water dog and like most spaniel dogs, it should have time to play and frolic in the water.