The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is a fascinating breed with deep roots: It has been easily dated back to the 17th century. Our interest in the breed for this post, however, focuses on its color and an interesting “factoid” that may or may not be true. Our romantic side hopes that it is.
The present day AKC breed standard indicates that distinct patches of clear orange-red on pure white are ideal in this breed. Oh, a few small spots on the legs or muzzle are acceptable, but the majority of the dog’s chest, belly, legs and tail should be white. Furthermore, an orange red color should predominate on the dog’s head and torso, and this may be present as a mantle or blanket. Some black hair intermingling with the orange-red color, and a slight form of ticking are okay, but desirable? Not so much. As for the head, there should be coloring on the cheeks ideally ending at the corner of the Kooiker’s mouth, oh, and around the eyes, too.
Occasionally, a tri colored puppy will be born in a litter, and the breed standard goes on to indicate that a Kooiker that is black and white or tri-colored should be disqualified from consideration in a show ring. Why is this interesting?
Because according to modern legend, the Dutch (and this is a Dutch breed) decided to disqualify the tri-color during WWII to irritate the Germans by making orange and white color the acceptable color, why? Because orange was, and is, the national color of the Netherlands.
True or not, we’re partial to hearing that a country of origin had the last word (and the last laugh) about their own breed.