Princeton the Drent


Rainshadow’s Old Nassau, “Princeton”

Princeton aka Rainshadow’s Old Nassau, is the newest addition to our family. He is a Drentsche Patrijshond and will hopefully fill Daphne’s shoes and take over as my service dog. He was born January 15, 2014 and was bred by Rainshadow Drents.

What the heck is a Drentsche Patrijshond?

The Drentsche Patrijshond, or “Drent”, is a type of large-breed gun dog, originally bred in The Netherlands. The word “Drentsche” means “from Drenthe”, which is a Dutch province. “Patrijshond” means “partridge dog” and the breed is named so because they were primarily used to hunt partridges.

Although the Drent appears to look like a spaniel, it is not one. Nor is it a setter or a retriever. While the origins of the breed trace back to Spanish spaniels imported to The Netherlands, the breed has not been mixed with any foreign breeds since the 16th century. The FCI and AKC categorize the Drent as a “pointer” but it actually possesses the instincts of all of the gun dogs. Drents can track, flush, retrieve, and point game.

The Drent is also a fantastic companion dog. During the middle ages and renaissance, the province of Drenthe allowed local landowners to hunt, which was an uncommon practice at the time (generally only noblemen had hunting rights). This meant that the common people (farmers, small land owners, and local politicians) had the need for a hunting dog. They developed one that could do it all. Not only is the Drent athletic and extremely versatile in the field, it is also a fantastic companion in the home if it is given moderate exercise. The breed was developed this way so that hunters could go out in the field, come home, and have a dog that settled down and played well with their children.

This painting, "The Hunter's Gift" by Gabriel Metsu, was painted in 1658-60 and depicts a loyal Drent accompanying his master into the home.

This painting, “The Hunter’s Gift” by Gabriel Metsu, was painted in 1658-60 and depicts a loyal Drent accompanying his master into the home.

Drents have a moderate work and prey drive. They are soft-tempered and crave human companionship. Since they were bred to be a family dog, they should not be an outdoor-only dog. A Drent should have a balanced temperament and should not be aggressive or fearful. Drents should be sweet with people, especially children. They are known to sound an “alert” bark when strangers come into their territory, but should meet strangers with a friendly disposition.

Drents can be tricky to train. They are soft-tempered (meaning they’re emotionally sensitive), but strong-willed and possess a moderately-high intelligence. Trainers know them to be master manipulators and tricksters. However, harsh corrections should not be used often because the dog is so sensitive and could shut down emotionally. Thus, a trainer needs to learn how to stay one step ahead of the dog, intellectually.

The Drent's strong food-drive gives trainers the upper hand.

The Drent’s strong food-drive gives trainers the upper hand.

Physically, the Drent is between 22 and 26 inches tall at the withers (height is dependent on sex). The dog should have a strong breast and a retriever-like head, but should be slim (even the tallest dogs should not exceed 75 lbs). The coat is medium to long with feathering on the tail and abdomen. Drents should be more than 50% white with brown markings. At the very least, the dog should have brown markings that cover its ears and eyes and a brown “cap” on his hindquarters that leads into the tail.

The Drent is a rare breed. Only 5,000 are registered in the Netherlands, its native country, and only several hundred, if that, exist in the United States. They are used primarily for hunting and tracking and as beloved pets.


Rainshadow’s Old Nassau, “Princeton”

Princeton is named after my alma mater. It is also where I met my fiance Stefan (he was a professor at the University at the time). “Old Nassau” is a nickname used for Princeton University. “Nassau” is also the family name of the Dutch royal family, so we figured it suited him.

Princeton was born in Sequim, Washington, USA, but his parents are both imports from The Netherlands. His dam is Brookelyn v.’t Wijdseland NA I and his sire is Esp. Ch. Joksan Nabar the Gloucester CGC.

Right now, Princeton has a delightful disposition. He absolutely loves people and will play nicely with other dogs. Although we hope that he will come into his own as a working dog, right now we are just attending basic obedience classes and letting him be a puppy.

You can follow Princeton’s progress on facebook by liking his page. Click here to visit Princeton’s Facebook page!