Description: The Keeshond (plural is Keeshunden) is a natural, handsome dog who resembles the spitz of the northern breeds with their richly plumed tail that curls over their back and their thick coat. Their sharp, clear bark make them good watch dogs, but they don't have a mean bone in their body and are affectionate and loving companions. In Holland, they were called the "smiling Dutchman" for their perpetual good-natured grin.
Other Names: Wolf Spitz
Type: Northern Breeds
Height: 17 -19 inches
Weight: 35 - 40 lbs.
Colors: Mixture of gray, black, and cream; undercoat pale.
Coat: Long and straight with the hairs standing out; a dense ruff over the neck.
Temperament: Keeshonds are independent, affectionate
With Children: Yes, they adore children.
With Pets: Yes
Special Skills: Vermin destroyer, watchdog, and family pet.
Watch-dog: Very High, especially good hearing.
Care and Training: Keeshonds require weekly brushing of their long coat with a stiff bristle brush. Take special care as ticks are hard to locate in their dense undercoat. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. Extra care is required during shedding which takes place in the spring and fall. The Keeshond will adapt to any exercise regimen whether it is demanding or easy, but they will keep fitter with regular activity.
Learning Rate: Medium to High, they are thinking dogs and require guidance, motivation and patience. Does well in obedience training.
Activity: Low to Moderate
Living Environment: Keeshonds does well in an urban setting if they are exercised on a regular basis. They should not be locked away from their family. A six foot fence should be around the property to prevent escaping.
Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, heart defects and genetic eye diseases.
Life Span: 13 -15 years
Litter Size: 3 - 8
Country of Origin: Netherlands
History: Also known as the Dutch barge dog, the Keeshond was developed from the northern sleigh dogs of the Artic. Great Britain did the most for the breed with imports from Holland but their name came from Kees de Gyselaer the leader of Dutch patriots against the monarch.
First Registered by the AKC: 1930
AKC Group: Non-Sporting
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 5), KC (GB), UKC