The first thing you will notice about Keeshonds is definitely their dense fluffy coat. It consists of wooly undercoat and long outercoat. Keeshonds are famous for the lion like mane around their neck and for their massive plumed tail. You can find this breed in grey, black and cream color.
Keeshonds are famous for the markings around their eyes, which resemble eyeglasses. Overall they have typical Spitz like appearance with erect triangular ears that are set high on the wedge shaped head. Keeshonds have alert and smiling expression.
This is medium sized dog with compact body and average height between 40-48 cm, which is 16-19 inches and weight between 15-20 kg, which is 33-44 pounds.
Keeshonds are amazing playful companions. They are lively, eager to please and always ready for any kind of an adventure. Sometimes they can be little bit mischevious, but on the other hand, this is very intelligent dog breed and they do great at training. In fact, some of the Keeshonds were succesfully trained as guide dogs for blind people. But they are little bit small for this job, which is why they are not used for it more often.
Keeshonds look like they have smile on their face and they will definitely make you smile with their contagious happy nature. They are often times super excited and they start spinning in circles or jumping very high. Keeshonds love all the people, including kids and they typically have no problems with other dogs in the family as well.
Keeshonds are known for their loud barking. Dont worry, they are not nuisance barkers, but due to they alert personality, they will most likely bark when someone is approaching your home or when they hear something suspicious. This makes them amazing watchdogs.
Thanks to their dense double coat, Keeshonds actually love spending time outdoors when it is colder outside. But they are social animals and they want to spend as much time with their family as possible, which is why they will prefer to live indoors. Actually, this breed was bred to live on a small barges where he sail on Netharland rivers and canals. That is a reason, why they can happily live even in small apartments, or boats. Of course, you still must exercise them on daily basis.
Do you know how the Keeshond got its name? Well, they are named after a Dutch patriot, and i am sorry if i will not pronounce his name correctly, Mr. Kees de Gyselaar, who loved this breed and he was also the leader of the rebellion against the House of Orange. The word hund can be translated as a dog, so the breeds name Keeshond can be translated as Kees dog, or dog of the Kees.
We can not be sure about the certain origin of Keeshonds, because it is a very old dog breed, but it is believed that they are descendants of the same artic dogs as Norwegian Elkhound and Samoyed. And you can definitely see a lot of similarities between these breeds.
As i already mentioned in the video, Keeshond is named after a leader of Dutch rebel political party. This was a time before the French Revolution. When the rebel party was overthrown, Keeshonds became, lets say, unwanted dogs and they lost all their popularity and they almost dissapeared.
Some of the breeds remain on Dutch farms where they served as alarm dogs and vermin hunters. In the beggining of the 20th century, the breed was discovered by miss Wingfield Digby, who brought two puppies to England, where they became the foundation stock for the breed's introduction outside of Netherlands.
And of course, i must mention, that Keeshond was used a so called barge dog. They were used for a long time as a watchdog on barges and riverboats in Holland canals and rivers.
Health and grooming
Just look at the coat, that must be a high maintenance dog right? Well, not exactly. Of course, they do need regular brushing to prevent matting and to remove the dead hair and minimize the shedding.. But that is quite it. Keeshond is very clean dog, they do not need to bath very often, only when it is really necessary. Just like with all breeds, you should regularly check their ears, eyes and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
The Keeshond is lively and active dog, but they are not hyperactive. Daily longer walks are enough to satisfy the breeds exercise needs. They are very intelligent, so you should exercise their mind as well. Regular training sessions or task oriented playtimes are great way ho to achieve that.
Keeshond has a great lifespan between 13-15 years, but just like all the dogs, they do suffer from some health issues, most commonly from hip dysplasia, addisons disease, progressive retinal atrophy, patellar luxation and cataracts.