Keeshond Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- The Keeshond is a medium sized breed of dog with fox like characteristics, a curled tail and a ruff around the neck. They also have a double coat and a sturdy build. Keeshonds have a plush, abundant double coat. The outer coat is long, straight, and harsh, the under coat is soft and downy in texture. The coat is extremely thick around the neck, shoulders, and chest. The hair on the head is short, smooth, and soft. The Keeshond has markings around the eyes that resemble spectacles. Their coat is longer on the legs and is lighter in color. They are short, sturdy dogs, and have been referred to as the "Overweight Pomeranian" in Victorian England. They are quite furry, with profuse hair and short prick ears. They are the most popular large spitz type breed in England and North America.
- Other Names:German Wolf Spitz, Foxdog,Smiling Dutchman, Overweight Pomeranian
- Country Of Origin:Netherlands
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Utility
- Keeshonds have a very specific coat that is a mixture of black and grey.
- Friendly and playful with an ability to learn quickly. They are intelligent and are generally good with children and other animals. The Keeshond is highly intelligent and affectionate and are friendly to other people and dogs. They adore children and are excellent family pets. They thrive on human companionship. They are empathic and intuitive, and are frequently used as therapy dogs. They have a loud distinctive bark and make good watchdogs. The Keeshond is loyal and full of personality, they are neither timid nor aggressive.
- Brisk and straight.
- Care and training:
- The Keeshond requires thorough daily brushing. It is important to never clip this breed for the summer as the outer coat provides insulation from the heat and sun. Keeshonds are very clean breeds that will generally groom themselves. Bathing should only be done when necessary.
Dry shampoo as needed.
The Keeshond can be quite a challenge in the area of training. They have a mischievous streak and enjoy making up their own routine. They are extremely adept in obedience and agility. They do best with consistency, fairness, and structure. They become bored with repetitive training.
They are thinking dogs and require guidance, motivation and patience. The Keeshond does well in obedience training.
- Overall Exercise:
- The Keeshond is happiest when they are participating in family activities. They do not require a great deal of exercise and make excellent
apartment dwellers. They enjoy a daily walk, playing ball, or Frisbee. Keeshonds benefit from a small, securely fenced yard.
If they are left alone outside for too long they may become bored and dig.
- Feeding Requirements:
- The Keeshond is not very fussy eaters but always becareful not to over feed as they can gain weight easily.
- Personal Protection:Medium
- Suitability As Guard Dog:Medium
- Level of Aggression:Medium
- Compatibility With Other Animals:Medium
- Suitability for Children:High
- Often Docked?No
- Average Litter Size:3-8
- Life Expectancy (yrs):13
- Health issues:
- Hip dysplasia, heart defects (cardiac disease), and genetic eye diseases. Other heath concerns include epilepsy and hypothyroidism.
- Also known as the Dutch Barge Dog, the Keeshond was developed from the northern sleigh dogs of the Artic. These spitz type dogs have been around in Holland for hundreds of years. They are believed to have come from Vikings. A different legend tells of a Viking ship which sank, with only the chieftain's son surviving. He was rescued by a Christian fisherman of northern Holland and his dog. The fisherman, the rescuee and the dog all landed on a foreign land and built a chapel to St. Olaf out of gratefulness for finding land. From here a village was built near the Amstel River, which later led to a dam being built. This dam led to the name of the town becoming Amstelredam, which is now currently Amsterdam. Today, the seal of the city shows a ship with a spitz type dog looking over the side of it. Because of this story and other legends, taking a dog on board a ship became good luck. The breed then served as dogs accompanying people to sea on boats and barges, and became known as the Dutch Barge Dog in England. The name of the current Keeshond came from a man named Cornelius de Gyselaer, the leader of Dutch patriots against the monarch. His nickname was Kees (pronounced "kays"), and his dog soon represented the Dutch middle class Patriot Party, of which he was affiliated. His party went south, however, and popularity declined greatly for the breed because of its reputation with Kees. Upper class people did not want to be affiliated with it, therefore disregarding the breed.