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In Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, they were extensively used as watchdogs on river boats, farms, and barges and were known in Germany as "Wolfspitzen"; in France as "Chiens Loup"; in Italy as "Lupini"; and in Holland as "Keeshond” The breed has a long history of popularity with the people of Holland and was used for a variety of jobs, including as a watch dog, for herding, for draft work and for hunting.  The Keeshond as we know it today is basically the work of breeders in England and is bred primarily today as a companion and watchdog for the family.



Making an excellent companion and watchdog. Very fond of members of his own family the Keeshond can be somewhat aloof with strangers, but at the same time, friendly and not at all aggressive. They will vigorously give voice if their territory is approached by one and a barking Keeshond outwardly advertising his presence is enough to make any would-be intruder change his mind. However, once properly introduced they will gladly accept strangers as friends even though it is sometimes a bit overwhelmingly. Many people purchase a Keeshond thinking that, being a family dog; they must also be an easy to train dog.  Not be for the inexperienced trainer as consistency and fairness is needed with a Keeshond as in some ways their intelligence can be a liability, especially in obedience work, where they can get bored with repetitive training.



Height:  17-18 in (about 45 cm)

Weight:  35-45 pounds (about 16-18 kg)

Group: Utility Dogs

With a short, compact body, alert expression, coupled with distinct markings, their head is wedge shaped with a muzzle which is dark and a nose which should be black. They have erect, velvety ears. The feet are cat like and cream in colour with black nails. The tightly curled tail may show a double curl which is highly desirable and the tail carries a light plume on top where it is curled.  Their beautiful coat is a mixture of grey and black, the undercoat being very pale grey or cream and all shades of grey are acceptable.



They are double coated and surprisingly easy to maintain.  The long, outer hairs and soft undercoat do not tangle and the outer coat sheds dirt as it dries after a wet outing. Oddly enough, this handsome coat, which is odourless when dry, normally needs grooming only about once every one to three weeks and should be done from the skin out. They shed heavily twice per year, Spring and Autumn, when the undercoat detaches from the body - and then it is brush, brush, brush for about 2 to 3 weeks. The coat should be thoroughly brushed before bathing and thoroughly dried after the bath and they should only be bathed when necessary. Grooming tools required are a slicker brush, a pin brush and a steel-toothed comb for grooming and as the Keeshond is a natural breed, little trimming is necessary. You can tidy the feet and the hocks but no further trimming should be done. Toenails should be trimmed every week or two with a file or nail clippers. If you don't have the time to bath or groom your dog, your local  dog grooming salon provides these services.


Life Expectancy

12-15 Years


Health Concerns

Typically happy, healthy and not prone to injury or disease, it is important to note that the following conditions listed occur infrequently - hip displasia, luxating patellas, congenital heart disease, allergies, and hypo-thyroidism.  So it is important to ensure you obtain your Keeshond from a reputable breeder to avoid any unnecessary health problems with your new puppy.



They require daily contact with their owners and lots of activity to remain happy.  Therefore, it is not the right choice of breed for those who want a dog that lives happily alone in a kennel or backyard.  While they are really affectionate, they may not be for the inexperienced trainer. Consistency and fairness are needed and, while most dogs need a structured environment these dogs respond poorly to heavy-handed or forceful training methods. Despite being a loud and alert watch dog, they are not aggressive towards visitors. They generally welcome visitors affectionately once their family has accepted them. They can become nuisance barkers if unhappy and left alone.


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Utility Dogs: A non-sporting group of dogs include a variety of large dogs from the Akita to the much smaller Shih Tzu.  The group is said to include all of the breeds that do not fit into the other main groups.


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