The Keeshond dog breed has typical spitz features: a foxy face, small prick ears, a thick stand-off coat and a well-plumed tail that curls over the back. Medium-sized, adult males stand at approximately 46cm and females at 43cm and adults weigh about 16-18kg. The coat is a combination of black and grey, and the soft, thick undercoat is cream or pale grey.
- Category size: Medium
- Grooming requirements: Daily
- Shedding: Heavy
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Vocal
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Utility
- Alone: Less than 1 hour
- Other pets: Medium
- Stability as a guard: High
Closely related to the Pomeranian and other spitz breeds from northern Europe, the Keeshond dog breed takes his name from Kees de Gyselaer, the leader of the 18th century Dutch Patriots Party. A dog kept by ordinary, working people, he is also known as the Dutch Barge Dog, as he was lived and worked on the barges, as a guard and a companion.
Ever alert, the Keeshond dog makes a natural watchdog, alerting his family to anything he considers untoward. A friendly dog, he is companionable, he is a happy, affectionate dog – often called the Smiling Dutchman.
The Keeshond is generally a healthy breed. There are a couple of known inherited conditions that affect the breed; epilepsy and a hormonal problem (primary hyperparathyroidism). Genetic tests are available for both of these conditions and should be carried out in all breeding dogs
Keeshond dogs need about an hour's daily exercise, and this busy dog will also enjoy his self-appointed role as watch dog, patrolling his house and garden. Do make sure his barking doesn't cause a problem with neighbours, as he can be tempted to alert you of anything that he hears when outside!
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
The thick, stand-off, harsh coat is profuse and can be time-consuming to keep in good order. Daily brushing will keep on top of any tangles and prevent the coat becoming unmanageable and a huge chore.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information