Aafke the Wetterhoun

Aafke was born in February 2020 in the Netherlands. Her name is Dutch and means "greetings"- she was the first puppy born to her lovely mum Tyske.   When we heard from the Stabyhoun Club that this special girl  could come to England, we jumped at this opportunity.  We looked forward to travelling to meet her, but Covid rules limited us to regular WhatsApp conversations, pictures and videos.  Aafke travelled to UK by courier, the first to be placed by the UK Stabyhoun Association.  She instantly settled as a little sister for our Stabyhoun called Bottas. 

What does Aafke eat?  Currently she is enjoying Millies Wolfheart, either their tinned food or their high quality kibble that is not subject to intense heat .  We also give fish, fish oil, raw eggs and other goodies to give variety and interest.  Wetterhouns will thrive on any good quality food, including an appropriate raw diet.  As with all dogs it is important to select a varied diet that provides for their nutritional needs.

Where does Aafke sleep?  She has her own safe area with a raised bed and water available.  We helped her to enjoy this space by "feeding the bed" - placing kibble on the bed to give it a high value.  She adores a nice bed - in fact her agility training includes going over obstacles to reach a bed to lie on.

How much exercise does Aafke need?  She loves to run around in our secure garden, and she enjoys a walk of any distance.  She loves to stop and sniff and investigate long grass where mice might hide.  She is also happy to have fun indoors, playing sniff games like hunt the cheese, or problem solving games. 

Does Aafke attend any dog classes?  We have had lots of great times at different training activities.  Wetterhouns thrive with positive training methods and love to work out what they need to do for a reward.  Aafke has enjoyed classes to learn about loose lead walking, showing polite behaviour,  scentwork, tracking, Hoopers and Agility as well as standard "obedience". 

Does Aafke like swimming?  No, not at all.  Despite being "water dogs", Wetterhouns do not necessarily adore to be in every stream, river or muddy puddle spontaneously.

What's the naughtiest thing that Aafke has done?  She once chewed a compact camera - luckily all she did was take a photo of her teeth and to be fair it was lying on the floor.  But she does not steal food or chew the furniture.  Inside the house she is very polite (we don't have a no-dogs-on-sofas policy).  In the garden she can be rather robust.  She knows to wee on the gravel, but she will rampage through the newly planted flowers or dig a big hole if there might be a mouse.

Does Aafke bark a lot?  She is a quiet dog, unless those pesky squirrels are in the garden - then she will bark at the window.  She also complains if we leave the light on in her bedroom, or if she needs an extra wee.  She also has a very sweet singing voice, if she is feeling a little lonely or if we take Bottas for a walk without her.  Or if she hears her Wetterhoun family in Netherlands in a Whatsapp video.

How does Aafke get on with other dogs?  Wetterhouns have a very special way to play - it is rough and noisy but no harm is meant by it.  We often have a visiting Working Cocker - Dotty will scream and roll over in the games, but instantly be back for more.  Of course Aafke grew up with seven brothers so maybe that is why she is not always ladylike.

How does Aafke get on with new humans?  Aafke loves to meet people - she likes people more than dogs.  She is afraid if a person pushes their hands over her head.  But if you approach her with a lower hand to touch her shoulder, this is fine.  She has lovely human friends and remembers them well.  We do not have many children nearby, but she is always gentle if a strange child wishes to stroke her.  Wetterhouns are known for their kind nature with children which makes them wonderful family pets.

Can you leave Aafke alone?  We built up the time for separation gradually.  Aafke is happy in her own space and can be left for several hours, with or without Bottas.  However Wetterhouns are very keen to be with their human family and are best suited to a family or individuals who are nearby and should not be left home alone on a regular basis.

Has motherhood changed Aafke?  Aafke's puppies arrived in April 2023 - check out the Puppy pages.  Aafke herself took it all in her stride, a lovely and natural mother.  Now she seems even more loving and cuddly since the experience of bringing up 8 puppies.  We meet up with the pups from time to time - they are all doing wonderfully well in their new homes and we have 8 new families for freindship.