Santa Barbara, California
Ohio, United States
Monroeville, New Jersey
Las Vegas, Nevada
California, United States
Florida, United States
Washington, United States
Washington, United States
Breed group: Non-Sporting Group dogs
Other name(s): Kees; Keeshonden;
Dutch Barge Dog; Smiling Dutchman; Chien Loup; German Spitz; Deutscher Wolfsspitz
Country / place of origin: Netherlands
History: The Keeshond is a type of German Spitz. In European countries under the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) rules, the German Spitz family consists of five breeds: the Pomeranian; the Klein Spitz (Small Spitz); the Mittel Spitz (Standard Spitz); the Grosse Spitz (Giant Spitz); and the Keeshond (Wolf Spitz). The American Kennel Club (AKC) lists the “German Spitz” in the Foundation Stock Service (FSS). The Keeshond originated in the Netherlands, though the breed was primarily developed in England. In the eighteenth century, Keeshond were used as watchdogs on riverboats, farms and barges. Around 1920, Baroness van Hardenbroek began the active breeding of the few specimens that were still kept by captains of riverboats, farmers, and truckmen. Keeshonden made their first appearance in England in the late 1800s under such names as "Fox-dogs," "overweight Pomeranians" and "Dutch Barge Dogs." In 1926, a breed club was formed to promote the breed. The name "Keeshond" was adopted as the official breed name. The American Kennel Club registered the first Keeshond in 1930 under "Keeshonden," in the Non-Sporting Group. In 1935, the Keeshond Club of America was formed in 1935.
Details: The Keeshond is a medium-sized, square dog with a fox-like appearance. The dark brown, almond-shaped eyes are of medium size. The triangular ears are small, mounted on high, and carried erect. Unique markings and shadings surround the eyes giving the impression of intelligence and alertness. The wedge-shaped head exhibits a definite stop. The neck is covered with a mane. The tail is moderately long and well feathered.
Average height and weight (mature size and weight): 16-19 inches, 25-30 pounds
Color / coat variations: The Keeshonden coat is abundantly long and covered with straight, harsh hair. The undercoat is thick. The color of the Keeshond is a mixture of gray, black, and cream.
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Litter size: 4-7 puppies
Grooming and shedding: Regular weekly brushing is necessary to keep the coat in good shape. Keeshonden are average shedders though they shed heavily twice a year.
Food habits: Food can really motivate these dogs. Keeshonden require good quality dog food or a nutritious diet consisting of raw or homemade ingredients. Some Keeshonden may like fish.
Climate and environment: They may not do well in hot weather. They do not make good kennel dogs and require human company.
Behavioral aspects: Keeshonden love to be with their owners. They love to greet people they know by displaying an expression that may appear to be grinning. When left alone for too long, some Keeshonden may indulge in destructive behavior such as excessive barking, digging, chewing, or escaping. Some Keeshonden love snow. They express themselves through "talking", and tend to bark often. They rarely bite.
With children: They are generally tolerant with children. However, the owner may need to supervise all interactions between the dog and children.
With other dogs and animals: They are good with other dogs and animals.
Training and learning rate: Training a Keeshond may be a challenge. Patient, firm, and kind training along with early socialization are necessary for this otherwise intelligent breed.
Agility: They do well in agility.
Affinity to water: They love water. A small childrens' pool that allows them to wade through is an excellent way to keep them busy and cool them in summer.
How noisy are they: Some Keeshonden bark a lot.
Exercise: They do not require too much exercise though a daily walk is necessary to keep them healthy and happy.
Health issues: Hip dysplasia (abnormal hip formation that can cause lameness) is common in Keeshonden. Luxating patella, or dislocation of the kneecaps, may occur in some dogs. Some dogs may develop thyroid and eye problems.
|Barks a lot||3.3|
|With adult family members||4.9|
|With children below eight||4.7|
|With children above eight||4.8|
|With strange dogs||4.1|
|Watch dog ability||4.6|
|Guard dog ability||2.4|
|Low cost to own||2.5|
|Easy to groom||1.2|