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Dogs 101 – KEESHOND – Top Dog Facts About the KEESHOND

The Keeshond is a medium-sized dog breed, native to the Netherlands. Although its origins are undocumented, it is considered a part of the German Spitz family, and believed to share its origins with such dogs as the Pomeranian and the American Eskimo Dog. The breed has been popular in Holland as a watchdog and as a companion at least since the 18thcentury, and also became commonly used as a ‘barge dog’ on the vessels plying the Rhine. It gets its name from Kees de Gyselaer, the leader of the rebellion against the royal House of Orange in the 1780s. This association with the rebels led to a sharp decrease in its numbers when the royalty was restored to power and the Dutch disposed of their dogs. With the increase in the size of the river barges, the breed’s utility as a barge dog also came down. The breed had a low profile for the next few decades, till it saw a revival in interest in the 1920s, and soon came to England and the US.

Time for some Ruff Trivia:
– What is the plural of the word ‘Keeshond’?
o A: Keeshonds
o B: Keeshond
o C: Keeshonden
What do you think, give it your best guess in the comments below before we get to the answer! Hang on tight and we’ll get back to this Ruff Trivia Question toward the end of the video.

The adult male Keeshond has height between 17 and 19 inches, and weight around 45 pounds. The female is slightly smaller with height between 16 to 18 inches, and weight around 35 pounds. It is a sturdily built, square-proportioned dog with a clean, bold and brisk gait. Its wedge-shaped head, medium-length muzzle and small pointed triangular ears impart it a typical Spitz appearance. The coat is dense and double-layered, with a profuse ruff around the neck. A thick, downy undercoat is covered with long, straight, harsh hair standing well out. Parts of the head and the legs are covered with smooth and short hair. The tail forms a rich plume, tightly curled on the back. The color is a mix of grey and black, with some white, and cream on the legs and feet. A thin dark line that forms a ‘spectacle’ about the eyes gives the breed its distinct expressive look.

Grooming:Brushing two to three times in a week, and more frequently when shedding, with an occasional bath, keeps the coat clean. The male sheds once a year and the female twice. The coat should never be clipped. Brushing of teeth, trimming of nails and cleaning of ears has to be regular.

Temperament:The Keeshond is a typically energetic, loving and very friendly dog that needs to be close to its human family as much as possible. It loves children, and is excellent as a family dog. It is also friendly with other dogs. Used for long as a watchdog, it retains its alertness and tendency to bark when faced with strange situations or people. But, it is not aggressive with strangers and gets affectionate once it knows that there is no danger from them.

Training:The Keeshond is an intelligent breed, eager to please. Sensitive, reward-based training works best for them. These dogs regularly do well in agility and other performance competitions. They are also used for therapy and as comfort dogs. Although an active breed, its exercise needs are relatively moderate, easily fulfilled by a good daily walk combined with a game for an hour or so.

Health:Life expectancy for the Keeshond is 12 to 14 years. It is a very healthy breed, with hardly any hereditary health concerns. Some problems that do occur include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, epilepsy, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperathyroidism, von Willebrand’s Disease, and some cardiac issues.

A good-natured companion, the Keeshond follows its owner’s lead, whether it is interacting with strangers or deciding on how to spend time. Quick learning ability and a surprisingly easy to maintain coat make it suited even for an inexperienced owner.

Find out if the Keeshondwould be a good addition to your home. Now you can visit Brooklyn’s to take our quiz and find out which dog would be the best match for you.

Music by Kevin McLeod – Royalty Free


  1. I have several they are great dogs
    One small correction the resurgence in their popularity was due to a British breeder so they came to the UK and then became popular not the other way round

  2. I have this dog breed I named it Casper (I know it is a weird name for a dog) and my one looks like a Samoyed! Its mostly white but except for its ears I think I will make a video with him and it a puppy

  3. I had a pure breed and 4 puppies awesome dogs..its very loyal. But will be aggressive if backed in a and sweet beautiful..can sense if someone doesnt like them. Best dog ever, other than my pomeranian..

  4. omg, finally I found the perfect dog for me. This lovely dog has all I want, beautiful face, medium size, not high energy , good watch dog but friendly. Im loving it.


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