Frisian Water Dog

Dutch Otterhound, Dutch Water Spaniel, Wetterhoun, Dutch Water Dog

The Frisian Water Dog is an otter hunter, appreciated for various tasks. In countries where otters are protected, he can easily be a hunting, rescue, or guard dog. Even if he is not well known in his own country or elsewhere, those who come into contact with him greatly appreciate his fine qualities and special aptitudes.

Height 50 to 65 cm
Weight 20 to 25 kg
Life expectancy 12 to 15 years

Quick Overview of the Frisian Water Dog


  • Calm
  • Stubborn
  • Sometimes aggressive
  • Gifted at guarding


  • Built in strength
  • Well-proportioned silhouette
  • Curly fur
  • Ears in the shape of a trowel


  • No particular pathology
  • Generally enjoys good health
  • Rarely sick, robust dog

Temperament of the Frisian Water Dog

Calm, stubborn, sometimes aggressive, he has a strong character and temperament. Extremely gifted for guarding, his socialization is not really innate. His education must be firm and uncompromising.

This particular looking specimen is endowed with a strong temperament.

Most of the time, he's reserved with strangers. Sometimes he may bite, and his aggression must be well controlled.

Breed Appearance

Friesian water dog

Strongly built, this well proportioned dog is neither heavy nor coarse. He is rather stocky.

His curly coat gives him a unique look.


Between 50 and 65 cm (19.69 to 25.59 inches) for the male
Between 52 and 60 cm (20.47 to 23.62 inches) for the female


Between 20 and 25 kg (44.09 to 55.12 pounds) for the male
Between 20 and 25 kg (44.09 to 55.12 pounds) for the female


The color of his coat can vary from brown to black, with or without white spots.


The hair of the Frisian Water Dog's coat is composed of thick curls except on the limbs and head.


His head has a slightly domed skull with a light stop. His eyes, of medium size, are oval shaped and a pretty brown color.

His ears in the shape of a trowel are also medium size. His nose can be black or brown, generally in harmony with the coat.

His long curled tail is carried on the side or above the croup.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 8, section 3 and is #221

Tips About this breed

As he is stubborn and dominant, his education must be early, a firm hand on socialization is necessary, and it must be uncompromising in order to allow the master to impose himself as leader of the pack.

The dog must learn the hierarchy at a very young age in order to know his place in the family pack.

The Frisian Water Dog's aggressiveness is natural and should not be exacerbated by his training. It must be controlled by proper socialization.

He doesn't adapt well to the city.

Space and exercise should be part of his daily routine, which is why a house in the country would be ideal for him. He is happy when he can run around freely.

Health of the Frisian Water Dog

He is unaffected by any particular pathology and generally enjoys an excellent constitution.

Rarely sick, this robust dog also enjoys a good life expectancy.


His ears must be regularly monitored and his coat brushed regularly.

His care is easy and requires little time, as no other special maintenance is necessary.

History of this breed

Originally from the Netherlands, more precisely from Friesland, the breed has been known in this part of the world for centuries.

The Dutch Spaniel and the Barbet would be the two common ancestors of the breed. The crossbreeding of these two dogs would also have received otter dog blood later on, to achieve the result we know today.

As an otter hunter, he acquired his letters of nobility in guarding and small game hunting.

Although the breed has been recognized since 1942, he only entered France in 1991. He is not very widespread in his own country and is rather rare outside his borders.

As a retriever, alarm or watchdog, the Frisian Water Dog is mainly used to search for game that has been shot, to deter, warn and prevent the intrusion of malicious people.

He can dissuade with aggressiveness if necessary. He does not really excel in the functions of a companion dog.

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