AKC Group: Non Sporting
Keeshonds descended from the Arctic or the Netherlands. They were bred from the Samoyed, Chow Chow, Elkhound and Pomeranian. They were first introduced into the United Kingdom. In the U.S., they first appeared in the 1920s. Originally bred to guard canal boats, they were known as the Dutch Barge dog. In Victorian England, they were called the Overweight Pomeranian.
Size: 15 to 20 inches tall; 35 to 45 pounds
Color: Mix of black, grey and cream.
Life span: 12 to 15 years
Health problems: Diabetes, thyroid problems, autoimmune disorders, cataracts, luxating patella, hip dysplasia, heart disease, seizures, von Willebrand’s Disease.
The Keeshond is an affectionate, loving, good natured dog that loves to be around his family. They thrive on your love and attention. Without enough of it, they can become bored. Your Keeshond should be friendly to just about everyone, though he will bark to sound the alarm. (They’re too friendly to be an effective watchdog though.) A Keeshond earns his nickname as the “Smiling Dutchman,” they bare their teeth in a cheerful, grinning fashion. They can be wilful and independent. Just remember to use positive training methods. Intelligent; they are quick to learn obedience. They get along fine with children, other pets and even strangers. Early socialization is recommended. When training, be mindful that a Keeshond gets bored with repetitive tasks. He will excel at obedience matters. He needs to know that you mean what you say. Consistency is key! Start training at a young age. Discourage barking and destructive chewing. They are always ager to learn new tricks. This will also ensure they aren’t bored. You do not want a bored Keeshond on your hands. Training is also a great way to bond.
A medium sized dog, a Keeshond has a distinctive appearance and sturdy build. The double coat is dense, straight and long. They have a dense ruff around their neck. His small ears sit erect on his head. They have a luxurious plumed tail that cascades over their back. His coat requires one or two hour brushing sessions each week to avoid matting and allow air to reach their skin to avoid becoming infected. Only clip when necessary, such as for surgery. Keeshonds are prone to a condition called “post-clipping alopecia.” The clipped area becomes bald after the hair falls out. They are seasonal and (generally) heavy shedders.