The Dutch Smoushond: Everything You Need to Know

If looking for an affectionate and loyal dog, the Dutch Smoushond is perfect. The breed has a friendly personality, high intelligence, and an adorable scruffy appearance.

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about the Dutch Smoushond dog breed, from its history and origins to its temperament and potential health issues.

History of the Dutch Smoushond

The Dutch Smoushond is a small to medium-sized dog breed that originated in the Netherlands. The breed has a long and fascinating history that dates back to the late 19th century.

Origins of the Breed

The Dutch Smoushond breed was developed in the Dutch city of Amsterdam to serve as a skilled rat catcher and a loyal companion. The breed was created by crossing various terrier breeds, including the Schnauzer and the Scottish Terrier.

Smous is the Dutch word for “ratty” or “shaggy”, which reflects the breed’s scruffy appearance. These dogs were popular in Amsterdam as they were great at catching rats that infested the city’s streets.

The Breed’s Revival in the 20th Century

By the early 20th century, the Dutch Smoushond breed almost disappeared due to the rising popularity of other dogs. However, a few dedicated breeders decided to revive the breed and bring it back to its former glory.

In the 1970s, they began a breeding program to revive the Dutch Smoushond. They carefully selected dogs that had the physical traits and temperament of the original breed, and slowly but surely, the breed began to make a comeback.

The Dutch Smoushond was recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 2001 and then by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 2006, which contributed to the breed’s popularity. 

Physical Characteristics

The Dutch Smoushond is a charming, small to medium-sized with a compact and muscular build and shaggy, coarse coat that provides excellent protection against harsh weather conditions.

Size and Weight

The Dutch Smoushond typically stands between 14 and 17 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 20 and 22 pounds. Despite their small size, they have a sturdy and robust build that makes them excellent companions for outdoor activities.

Coat and Color

The Dutch Smoushond has a unique and striking appearance due to its shaggy coat and bushy eyebrows. The breed’s coat is typically cream in color, with variations ranging from pale beige to dark gold.

The fur is thick and wavy, with a woolly undercoat that helps keep the dog warm in colder climates. The shaggy coat requires regular grooming to stay healthy and free from mats and tangles. 

Distinctive Features

The Dutch Smoushond has a distinctive head shape, with a broad skull and a slightly curved nose. The round, dark brown eyes convey a sense of intelligence and alertness, and the curled tail adds to the quirky personality.

Personality and Temperament

The Dutch Smoushond is a small but mighty breed with a friendly and loyal personality. It is often described as being the perfect family dog due to its affectionate nature and love of spending time with its owners.

While generally good with children and other pets, it is important to socialize the breed properly to ensure it does not become anxious or nervous. This can be achieved through regular exposure to new people, places, and experiences.

One of the most endearing qualities of the Dutch Smoushond is their love of attention and cuddles. Breed members thrive on human interaction and enjoy being a part of the family. 

Training and Exercising 

As highly trainable and intelligent dogs, the Dutch Smoushond responds well to positive reinforcement techniques. They enjoy learning new tricks and skills and are always eager to please their owners.

They also make great companions for people of all ages, from young children to seniors. However, it is important to note that they can become bored or anxious if left alone for long periods of time.

The Dutch Smoushind requires daily exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. This can be achieved through activities such as walks, playtime, and training sessions.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

The Dutch Smoushond is generally a healthy breed, but like all dogs, it is prone to certain health issues:  

  • Orthopedic Issues: Breed members are frequently diagnosed with orthopedic problems such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and luxating patella 
  • Eye Conditions: The breed is at higher-than-average risk of developing eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and glaucoma 

Lifespan and Aging

The Dutch Smoushond has an average lifespan of between 13 and 15 years. With proper care and regular veterinary check-ups, many Dutch Smoushonds age gracefully and continue to be active and engaged in their twilight years. 

Tips for Maintaining Good Health

To help your Dutch Smoushond stay healthy and happy, it’s important to provide them with a high-quality & balanced diet, regular exercise, and plenty of mental stimulation. You should also keep up with their veterinary care, including regular check-ups and vaccinations.


The Dutch Smoushond is the perfect choice for you if looking for a small, easily adaptable, friendly, and protective dog. The breed is suitable for different living situations and people of all ages. 

Research the Dutch Smoushond breed and ensure you find a reputable breeder. Also, keep in mind that the breed is rare, and be patient since the dog is rare, and it may take a while until there are available puppies. 

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