Dutch Partridge Dog (Drentsche Patrijshond) Temperament +3 The Pillars

The Dutch Partridge Dog temperament is best described as delightful. She is versatile and multi-talented.



This dog is also known as the Drentsche Patrijshond (or by its nickname, Drent).

The Drent’s native breed club describes three pillars that make up the perfect Dutch Partridge Dog temperament.

They are:

Its hunting prowess.

Its utility as a farm and watchdog.

The gentle nature makes it an ideal family dog.

Dutch Partridge Dog Temperament

1. Intelligent

Like all hunting breeds, the Dutch Partridge Dog is smart and learns quickly.

2. Obedient

She is eager to please, both on and off the field.

3. Stubborn

That doesn’t mean she will obey blindly, though. Occasional stubbornness is also part of the Dutch Partridge Dog temperament.

This doesn’t always come across as disobedience. Sometimes she just feels playful and doesn’t want to settle down to learn. Other times, her sharp mind is bored with training.

4. Cheerful

She has a bright, fun personality that is a joy to be around.

5. Loyal

The Drent forms strong attachments to her human family.

6. Gentle

One of the defining traits of the Dutch Partridge Dog temperament is her gentleness with children.

7. Sensitive

Sensitivity is also a component of the Dutch Partridge Dog temperament. Her feelings are easily hurt. Harsh training methods or punishment would not work with this breed.

8. Enthusiastic

She has a very lively nature at play and at work.

9. Alert

The Dutch Partridge Dog temperament is vigilant. One of her traditional jobs has been to watch the farm at night. She still makes a good watchdog.

10. Social

This breed gets along with nearly everyone, including other dogs. Dog aggression is rarely an issue for the Drent.

11. High Prey Drive

She may not do well with other household animals, though, especially birds. She may be okay with a cat if they are brought up together.

12. Energetic

As a hunting breed, the Drentsche Patrijshond has a fairly high exercise need.

13. Versatile

She is a great all-around working dog and hunting partner.

Dutch Partridge Dog History

The Drentsche Patrijshond’s history goes back at least 400years. The breed originated in Spain from Spanish pointing dogs and was broughtto the Netherlands in the 16th century.

In various parts of Europe, the Dutch Partridge Dog wascrossed with other breeds. Historians think she is related to the German SmallMusterlander and to the French Epagneul Français (French Spaniel).

However, in the region of Drenthe in the eastern part of theHolland, they were only bred with each other. Today, the Dutch Partridge Dog fromthis region is still very like its early ancestors.

A Working Man’s Dog

The Drentsche Patrijshond was created by farmers. Huntingwas then a right that only the elite could enjoy. The farmers were moreinterested in a dog they could use for various tasks around the farm.

Their goal was to create one dog that could do everythingthey needed. They were bred to track and retrieve water fowl and upland game,and to hunt and kill vermin. They were expected to watch the farm at night andto haul carts to market.

Drents were also expected to play nicely with the childrenand to be calm and relaxed indoor family dogs.

Today the Drent is still aversatile breed. She can do all of these things and more. She is the mostpopular gundog in the Netherlands.

She also competes in agility,dog sledding, and skijoring (or “ski driving”) there. This is a competitive sportwhere dogs (or horses) are used to pull people on skis.

The Dutch Kennel Club recognizedthe breed in 1943, and the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI)did so in 1960.

The Drent In North America

Servicemen returning home from Europe in 1960 imported thefirst known Drents to North America. Their numbers have increased since then.They are still fairly rare there, and most of them are used as working dogs.

But word is spreading that the Drent makes a wonderfulfamily pet. The UnitedKennel Club (UKC) recognized the breed in 1996.

The AKC admitted the Drentsche Patrijshond to its FoundationStock Service in 2010. They do not yet fully recognize the breed.

Dutch Partridge Dog Training

Because of her eagerness to please, the Drentsche Patrijshond is easy to train in the right hands. She is attentive and learns easily, but she is not a pushover.

You need to earn her respect first to get her full obedience.

She will also become bored very easily with repetitious activity. She needs a patient trainer, preferably one with a sense of humor.

Making the process even more complicated, she has a very sensitive nature. It’s critical to use gentle training methods with her.

This can be a tough balance to find for an inexperienced trainer.

The Drent’s breed standard states that she is naturally obedient. But it takes skill, time, and effort to get her to the point where it’s automatic.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your Dutch Partridge Dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

Dutch Partridge Dog Appearance

General Appearance

This is a medium-sized dog with a compact and powerful build. Her body is rectangular-shaped (meaning it’s longer than it is tall).

The skull is slightly rounded. She has high-set drop ears that are brown and covered with long hair.

Her eyes are oval-shaped, wide-set, and amber. Her expression is kind and intelligent. The nose is brown.

She has a wedge-shaped muzzle and a scissors bite. Her neck is powerful and medium in length. She is deep-chested.

Her coat is dense, and hair is straight. Her body is covered with hair of different lengths. The legs are feathered.

Her tail is set high and is also feathered. She carries it horizontally and curved upward when she’s moving.

The Dutch Partridge Dog color is white with orange or brown patches. She can have a brown mantle or tan markings.

Dutch Partridge Dog Size

Average Dutch Partridge Dog weight is 48 to 73 pounds. The Dutch Partridge Dog height averages 21 to 25 inches.

Dutch Partridge Dog Must-Knows

Dutch Partridge Dog Lifespan

The life expectancy of this breed is 11 to 14 years.

Other Names

  • Dutch Setter.
  • Drentsche Partridge Dog.
  • Drentsche Patrijshond.
  • Drent – nickname.

Hunting with the Dutch Partridge Dog

Many hunters consider the Drentsche Patrijshond to be the ideal gundog. She is energetic and enthusiastic and loves what she does.

The Drent is a versatile hunter. She tracks, points, and retrieves all types of game, on land or in water.

She always stays within range of the gun and in touch with the hunter. When she catches a scent, she will circle her tail around in the air. This signals to her hunter that she’s found game.

Her point is rock-solid, and she will patiently wait for the hunter to get to her. She needs very little training. She seems to do all of this instinctively.

Dutch Partridge Dog Health Issues

Overall, individual Drents are healthy dogs. However, there are a number of health conditions that can affect this breed.

Major Concern

Epilepsy. This is usually idiopathic, meaning the exact cause is not known.

Less Common Concerns

  • Von Willebrand’s disease type I. The Drent can be a carrier of this condition, but they rarely show symptoms themselves.
  • Eye diseases: Distichiasis, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), ectropion and entropion, retinal dysplasia, and persistent pupillary membranes (PPM).
  • Hemophilia. A blood clotting disorder that affects muscles and joints and can eventually be fatal.
  • Hypothyroidism. An underactive thyroid. This is easily controlled with daily medication.
  • Cryptorchidism. Undescended testicle(s). If both testicles are involved, the dog will be sterile.
  • Hyperuricosuria. Too much uric acid in the urine. This can lead to bladder or kidney stones.
  • Allergic reactions to insect bites and stings.

Like many working breeds, the Dutch Partridge Dog may also be susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia and should be screened for this before breeding.

Helpful Dog Health Resource:

Note: Don't let the many issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely dog from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expectancy.

Caring for the Dutch Partridge Dog

Dutch Partridge Dog Grooming

This dog’s gorgeous coat is fairly high-maintenance. Because of her “half-long” body hair (short in some areas, long and feathered in others), she needs brushing once or twice a week.

Her single coat sheds heavily twice a year and needs more frequent brushing then. This can be a lengthy process with several steps.

She should not be bathed unless absolutely necessary. Her ears should be cleaned regularly, though.

Otherwise, like all dogs, she needs her nails clipped and teeth brushed regularly.

Dutch Partridge Dog Diet

The Drent has no specific dietary needs. She should do well on any high-quality commercial food.

Some Drents can be free-fed and will eat only what they need. Others need scheduled meals.

Dutch Partridge Dog Exercise

Like most hunting dogs, the Drentsche Patrijshond needs plenty of exercise. If she can’t be hunting, you should substitute another action sport such as agility, canicross or other “joring” (pulling) sport.

She also loves hiking, and some like to swim.

Because of her high intelligence, the Dutch Partridge Dog also needs mental stimulation. Training and participating in these sports would also meet this need.

Finding a Dutch Partridge Dog

Buying a Dutch Partridge Dog from a Breeder

If you’re looking for a Dutch Partridge Dog for sale, expect to be put on a waiting list. This is one of the rarest pointer breeds in North America.

A good place to start your search for a Dutch Partridge Dog puppy would be the Drentsche Patrijshond Club of North America (DPCNA).

They maintain a list of kennels in the US and Canada that meet their high standards for health testing. They also announce new and upcoming litters on this site.

The AKC Marketplace Puppy Finder is another good source for breeder information for the breeds they recognize.

If you are not a hunter, it may be harder to find a Drent puppy. Some breeders will give priority to hunters. Some won’t sell to non-hunters at all.

The best estimate we could find of Dutch Partridge Dog price is from $500 to $700.

Vetting Breeders

If you purchase your Dutch Partridge Dog from an AKC- or DPCNA-approved kennel, you can trust that you are purchasing a healthy, well-cared for dog.

If you decide to go with an online breeder who may have Dutch Partridge Dog puppies with no waiting list, be very careful. You will want to get trustworthy recommendations before making a purchase.

There are some excellent breeders selling puppies online, but there are also a lot of puppy mills. Do some homework, or you may end up with an unhealthy and/or poorly adjusted puppy.

Puppy mill dogs are usually bred with no concern for their health or the genetic soundness of the breed. Some are even inbred, creating still more potential health issues.

A reputable breeder will only breed healthy dogs who have been tested for genetic conditions. They will guarantee the health of their puppies.

You will get no guarantees with a puppy mill dog.

You may also get a dog who is not typical for the breed. It may not have the Dutch Partridge Dog traits or behaviors you’re looking for.

Responsible breeders take this “trueness to type” into consideration when they select dogs to breed. Puppy mill breeders do not.

Dutch Partridge Dog Rescue/Adoption

If you would prefer to find a Dutch Partridge Dog for adoption, the DPCNA is also the place to start for rescue information.

There a lot of advantages to adopting an adult dog. You will have the satisfaction of giving a loving home to a Dutch Partridge Dog that needs one. You will also be getting a dog that has already been neutered or spayed.

It will probably also have been housebroken. It may have at least basic obedience training.

Best of all, adopting a dog costs much less than purchasing a puppy. Getting a dog from a rescue or shelter usually costs anywhere from $75 to $300.

Is the Dutch Partridge Dog the Right Breed for You?

The Dutch Partridge Dog is a delightful mixture of fun personality and hard-working hunter. Training can be challenging for an inexperienced dog owner. But if you win her respect, she will be obedient and learn very quickly.

If you are a hunter needing a partner who is also a wonderful family pet, the Dutch Partridge Dog temperament could be exactly what you’re looking for.