The Keeshond is alert, intelligent, bold and mischievous. Keeshonds are fantastic characters and make ideal companions. They get on well with children and the elderly and their intelligence makes them highly obedient and trainable. Keeshonds make excellent watchdogs and are naturally good with other dogs. They do need to be introduced to cats while they are young to avoid difficulties later on. Keeshonds are loyal to their handler and their clownish, boisterous behavior makes them lovely pets for energetic families.
Keeshonds require regular brushing and combing to keep the coat knot-free and looking tidy. This is the sort of coat that well rewards the conscientious and dedicated owner.
Keeshonds need an average amount of exercise and they tend to adapt themselves to the family activities for most of their exercise needs.
Keeshonds can be greedy eaters and need rationing to avoid them becoming overweight.
The Keeshond originates from the Arctic Spitz. They were originally known as the Dutch Barge dog and for five centuries they travelled up and down the River Rhine with their Dutch owners. This breed got their name from the Dutch patriot leader de Gyselaer, whose dog was called 'Kees'. This dog later became the symbol of his master's political movement. However the popularity of these dogs quickly decreased after the suppression of this party by the Prince or Orange in 1576. The Keeshond managed to avoid extinction by working for the river boat captains who valued their even-temperament, loyalty and the fact that they would bark at unwanted intruders.
General Appearance: Compact, lion-like mane with an intelligent expression.
Color: Mixture of black and grey. The undercoat is a very pale grey or cream and the outcoat hairs are tipped with black.
Coat: The outercoat is harsh, long, straight and offstanding. The undercoat is dense and soft. The hairs on the legs are smooth and short except for some feathering and the head hair is also smooth and short.
Tail: Set high, tightly curled (a double curl at the end is desirable), moderately long, black tipped and carried over the back.
Ears: Set high, small, ivy-leaf shaped, carried erect and covered in thick, velvety short hair.
Body: The back is short, straight and sloping towards the hindquarters. The well-ribbed chest is deep and strong with the belly being moderately tucked up.
- Keeshonds are solidly-built and thick-coated, allowing them to withstand the toughest of weather conditions including snow and freezing temperatures.