Description: Bred as vermin destroyers, watchdogs, companion and a dog of all jobs on Dutch barges, Keeshonds are alert, boisterous, extremely vigilant, not easily led astray by bribes, intelligent, eager to learn and loyal to their family/owners/handlers. These dogs are sensitive, affectionate, friendly, outgoing, lively and full of personality. Keeshonds are the national dog of Holland.
Keeshonds thrive on being part of the family or being close to their owners/handlers. These dogs will bark and warn of approaching strangers. Because of the close bond, they develop with their family/owners/handlers, these dogs can become serious worriers, especially over young children.
When a Keeshond is alert to something, donít whisper "What is it?" That will encourage barking to communicate with you and get your attention. Inquiring too often as to what the dog senses will compromise its incredible watchdog abilities because it will start alerting its family/owners/handlers just to get attention.
Other Names: Wolf Spitz
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: Independent, affectionate
With Children: Yes, he adores children.
With Pets: Yes
Special Skills: Vermin destroyer, watchdog, and family pet.
Watch-dog: Very High, especially good hearing.
Care and Training: Weekly brushing of his long coat is required with a stiff bristle brush. Take special care as ticks are hard to locate in his dense undercoat. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. Extra care is required during shedding which takes place in the spring and fall. Will adapt to any exercise regimen whether it is demanding or easy, but he 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: Does well in an urban setting if he is exercised on a regular basis. Should not be locked away from his family. A six foot fence should be around his 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, he was developed from the northern sleigh dogs of the Artic. Great Britain did the most for the breed with imports from Holland but his name came from Kees de Gyselaer the leader of Dutch patriots against the monarch.
First Registered by the AKC: 1930
AKC Group: Non-Sporting