Sports Training

Sports and Performance with Our Stabyhouns

Your Sporting Companion!

The Stabyhoun is an active dog that likes to have something to do.  They look forward to a good workout.  That can be agility, fieldwork or just a nice long walk with its owner and a tossed tennis ball.  Fun with our Stabys does not need to be competitive.  Try nose work or “dock diving” from your own pool or lake dock!  Teach your dog all kinds of tricks.  They do flyball, they love to retrieve tennis balls, and they show off at obedience class.  They are intelligent, fast, flexible and very eager to please.

This is a soft breed that responds well to positive reinforcement such as clicker training and shaping exercises, but that crumbles under pressure and force. Never force your new Dutch companion to do anything he doesn’t want to do. According to Patty Janssen from the American Stabyhoun Association, the Stabyhoun needs to figure things out at their own pace – letting their own natural curiosity get the better of them. “These dogs can read you like a book and, once they understand what you want them to do, there is no stopping them.

The Stabyhoun is easy to train.  But, as an example talk to anyone who has trained their Stabyhoun for agility and they will tell you that these dogs are reliable and very accurate – hardly ever putting a foot wrong. Wonderful, you might think? They then tell you to allocate at least twice as long time to training one compared with other breeds, and to come armed with buckets of patience.

The Stabyhoun is a strong partner.  He constantly looks to you for guidance and keeps a strong focus on his handler.  This is a good thing for all activities or sports that include the human and the canine team – be it scenting, fieldwork, obedience, agility or taking a walk.

Take it Slow.  If something doesn’t quite go according to plan, take a step back and take your time to build their confidence before moving on. Like an elephant that doesn’t forget, a bad experience can easily leave a lasting impression so find a trainer who understands how to work with more sensitive and pensive breeds.  Most importantly, do not “drill” the same exercise over and over.  It is a quick way to shut this dog down.

Get the Basics Right.  The Stabyhoun is known for requiring less ‘maintenance’ training than other breeds. And the calm, patient demeanor which stems from its mole-catching heritage means your training can focus on what you want him to do without having to try and ‘manage’ unwanted behaviors.

Be Safe!  Be aware of the injuries that can occur due to improper techniques (such as throwing a ball overhead or jumping before bones are fully developed), warm-ups and cool down and stretching muscles.  Remember this is a canine athlete and, just like humans, they are prone to injuries without muscle development, toning, and maintenance.

Sport and Performance Committee Coaches

The ASA has grouped sports and activities into clusters.  Each sport or activity has (or will have) ASA Member Coaches who are volunteering their time and experience to help Staby owners who would like to explore that activity.  They can also help answer questions regarding the sport or support with resources.  A Facebook page has been started that is linked to the ASA Brag Page.  This is a place where interest in activities, as well as canine fitness, can be shared. Everyone is welcome to participate from seasoned competitors to the very beginner!


  1. Raise the Staby Owner’s awareness and interest of Canine Sports and Activities.

  2. Increase the Staby’s participation in community events and therefore increase the Stabyhoun’s exposure to the Canine Community.