by Catherine Marien-de Luca, Dogbreedsoftheworld.org
External links:
Nederlandse Markiesjes Vereniging
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The Markiesje is an alert, small-boned, black-colored Spioen of Dutch origin. The Spioen is an ancient bird dog used for hunting with hawks and nets. Although descending from Spaniel-like hunting dogs, the Markiesje is used exclusively as a companion dog.


The Markiesje is an authentic Dutch toy Spaniel that can be seen depicted on ancient paintings. According to the Nederlandse Markiesjes Vereniging (Dutch Markiesje Association) its origin can be traced back to the Middle Ages.

The Dutch Spioen has contributed to the development of several Dutch dog breeds among which the Drentsch Partridge Dog and the Frisian Hunting Dogs (Wetterhoun and Friese Stabyhoun), the Kooikerhondje and the Markiesje.

The small Markiesje shows no signs of miniaturization. It is well-balanced in built, small-boned and well-muscled. The body is slightly longer than high with a long tail and neck and a noble bearing. The gait is fluid and springy.

The height at the withers is about 35 cm. The medium-long coat is black and shiny with feathers at the ears, tail and legs.

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Character and Temperament

The Markiesje is an ideal companion dog: alert and playfull, capable of staying a couple of hours alone at home, but also an easy dog to take along.
Photo by Dondersteen