Origin and brief history:

The Keeshond origins can be traced back to the Netherlands.  Its breed is said to be a mix of multiple breeds, including Pomeranian, Finnish Spitz, and Samoyed, among others.  During the French Revolution, the Keeshond became a symbol for the Dutch Political Party.  It’s owner at the time, Cornelis (Kees) de Gyselaer, gave the dog the name Kees, which is how the breed got its name.  The breed, however, was known in Europe as the Wolfspitz until 1926.  It was in England that the name was changed.  Here, people knew the breed as the Dutch Barge Dog as they were known to be useful guard dogs.  The American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1930.


Keeshonden are known to be great family pets.  They are full of personality, and are great with children.  The Keeshond is also known to be very intelligent, outgoing, and active.  The breed is so affectionate, that it almost needs to be a part of all family activities.  If a family already has other pets, a Keeshond would be a great addition.  They usually get along with other animals.  Keeshonden are very good watchdogs, as they like to bark.  However, this forces owners to train the breed to known when enough barking is enough.   With a calm and gentle, but firm attitude, Keeshonden should be easy to train.


While not difficult, a Keeshond does need to be constantly groomed.  Their long coat needs to be brushed daily, with a stiff bristle.  The Keeshond should only be bathed when necessary.  Their undercoat does shed heavily twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

Specification of breed:

The standard Keeshond is a medium sized dog, and will grow to be between 17 to 18 inches tall.   They weigh between 30 and 40 pounds.  Some breeders have said their Keeshonden have weighed up to 65 pounds.  Females are not much smaller in height, growing to be around 16 to 18 inches.

Buyer Beware:

Keeshonden are susceptible a various ailments.  Hip dysplasia can occur.  This will cause an abnormal formation of the hip socket, which may lead to pain in their joints.  This breed is also known for heart disease and skin problems.  Overfeeding of the Keeshond needs to be watched as well.  The breed is known to gain weight quickly, so their diet needs to be monitored.  Also, if they are not given proper exercise, they may release their energy in improper ways.  They are known to spin in circles and express other behavioral issues when they need to burn energy.


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