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The Keeshond is a sturdy, thick-coated breed from Holland. They make a good family dog and are friendly and intelligent.

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Physical Characteristics
  • Well-balanced, short-coupled body
  • Coat: Thick hair; a mixture of gray, black and cream
  • Plumed tail curls over the back
  • Distinct black markings around the eyes, with lines that extend to each ear
  • Hair is densest around neck
  • Dark brown, almond-shaped eyes with black eye rims
  • Small, triangular-shaped ears
  • Height: 16-19 inches
  • Weight: 55-66 pounds
  • Average lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Outgoing, friendly, smart, active, alert, loving
  • Interaction with people: Good with children; likes being part of family activities
  • Interaction with animals: Good with other dogs and pets
  • Training: Easily trained; use gentle techniques with little physical instruction
  • Bark: Can be highly vocal
  • Protection: Good watchdog
Medical Conditions
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
At Home
  • OK for apartments; highly adaptable
  • Needs an average-sized yard
  • Needs daily walks
  • Heavy seasonal shedder, especially spring and fall
  • Needs daily brushing to keep long coat neat
Other Facts
  • This breed has changed little in two centuries
  • Named after Kees de Gyselear, a Dutch politician
  • Referred to as the "Overweight Pomeranian" in Victorian England
  • Due to its political affiliations, it was featured in countless pictures and cartoons associated with Dutch political strife
  • Also known as a "smiling Dutchman," "wolf spitz," or "Dutch barge dog"
Breed History
  • Breed dates back to 16th century Holland
  • Historically this breed was a working dog on small ships that sailed the Rhine River in western Europe
  • Became a symbol of the Patriots - the working class Dutch - during the French Revolution; many were disposed of quietly as favor was given to the more dominant party
  • Became popular again in the 1920s when it was brought to the U.S.
For more information about this breed and breeder referral contacts, please visit the Keeshond Club of America For breed rescue opportunities, visit Turbo Kees Foundation
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