Keeshond dogThe Keeshond dog is one of the old breeds. In the 17th and 18th centuries, once a watchdog and companion dog on the boats and barges that moved to the rivers and canals of Netherlands. The breed is just about purely a companion dog today. He is a people-lover and always happy to take a part in all activities of the family. He is alert, lively, and intelligent and he has the standards that earned him rank as the dearest dog in Holland.


Important Stats

Dog Breed Group: Companion Dogs

Height: 1 foot, 4 inches to 1 foot, 7 inches tall at the shoulder

Weight: 35 to 45 pounds

Life Span: 12 to 15 years

The Keeshond is one of the medium dog breeds in size and the pronunciation of Keeshond “KAYZ-hawnd.” He has an attractive cream, black, and grey coat and a massive and roughtail. The breed was well-known as the “Dutch Barge Dog” for many years due to his job as companion and protector on small boats and barges on plenty of rivers and canals of Netherlands.

While the breed will give a serious bark when anyone approaches his territory, he is really a love that he will willingly accept anyone who comes with his owner into the household. In truth, he is not a great protective dog.

He is a big fan of cool weather. When the weather is cool, the breed loves to spend his time outside. However, he is not a dog for the backyard. He is human-loving, requires remaining indoors with the family and participating in all activities at home.

The Keeshond dog breed loves the kids and plays with them nicely. He gets on well other pets and dogs if he grows up with them at an early age.

Apart from being a great pet for a family, Keeshond can do well in the obedience ring, conformation ring, and rally competitions. He is confident as well that makes him a phenomenal agility competitor.


Need to Know about Keeshond Dog

The Keeshond has no hesitations to give an alarming bark to alert his family to guest or strangers. His tendency to bark may become an issue if he remains alone for too long and becomes bored.

If Keeshond stays away from his family, Keeshond will become miserable. The breed was made to be a companion, and he requires being a part of family life. If you have no desires for your dog to join in card games, barbeques of family, or movie time, select a dog that is more independent.

It is not terribly difficult to keep the coat of the breed in good condition, but Keeshond does shed a lot once or twice a year. Fortunately, you don’t need to bathe him frequently.

To want your dog to be healthy, you should never buy a puppy from a reckless breeder, pet store or puppy mill. Always find a breeder who has the reputation of testing his breeding dogs ensure that he is free of genetic diseases.


Keeshond Dog History

The dog breed is a close cousin to the Norwegian Elkhound, Chow Chow, Pomeranian, Finnish Spitz, and Samoyed. The Keeshond was a watchdog and companion dog on small vessels that called “rijnaken” on the Rhine River in the 17th and 18th centuries.

This dog became the best affectionate dog of the Netherlands while there was political unrest. The country was separated into two groups: the Prince of Orange’s followers or the prinsgezinden, and the, patriots or patriotten.

Cornelius de Gyselaer led the Patriots and he had a spitz-type dog named Kees as his continuous companion. The followers of De Gyselaer were sarcastically referred to as Keezen by being against Orange party. The dog breed turned out to be a symbol of the rebel party, and the Keeshond became famous amongst the typical people.

The Prince of Orange’s followers displaced the rebel party in time and the Keeshond got lack of favor as the representative of a lost cause; a lot of dogs were demolished. Some survived on barges around Amsterdam and on farms of Dutch.

In 1905, Miss Hamilton-Fletcher rediscovered the dog breed. She persuaded her parents to adopt two puppies. Later she took these dogs to England and they turned out to be the foundation stock for the introduction of the breed outside the Netherlands. Mrs Alice Gatacre and Mrs Wingfield-Digby (Miss Hamilton-Fletcher) promoted interest in breeding in Great Britain. The English breed club came into being in 1926.

Until 1920, The Keeshond dog breed continued to decrease in Holland, when Baroness van Hardenbroek got interested in the dog. The Baroness discovered that farmers, riverboat captains, and working people still retained the dogs. She started to breed Keeshond and let their story spread all across Europe. The Dutch Keeshond Club developed within 10 years.

Carl Hinderer bred the first American litter of Keeshond in 1929. The American Kennel Club in 1930 registered first Keeshond in the Non-Sporting Group. In 1935, the Keeshond Club of America was developed.


Keeshond Dog Personality

The breed got creation more to be a companion than a watchdog. The Keeshond is not a hunter, nor does he have an inborn will for any specific task. He is a devoted and loyal friend.

The dog breed is smart and greatly trainable as well. He is really intelligent that he can become somehow a little mischievous. The dog breed learns easily canine manners and does well in the ring of obedience.

A Keeshond is with full of personality and is a lively and alert dog. He is often spinning in circles when he is happy or excited and he likes to share his joy with everybody. He has got easy-going personality as well as loves adults and kids a lot.

The Keeshond requires early socialization as every dog needs. He needs exposure to a lot of different sights, people, experiences, and sounds when he is young. The socialization assists to make sure that your puppy grows up to be a great companion dog.

It will be a great idea to enrol him in a class of puppy kindergarten. Invite guests over on regular basis and take him to stores that allow dogs, busy parks, and go to meet neighbors will assist him to improve his social skills as well.


Keeshond Dog Health

The Keeshond is normally found healthy, but just like all breeds; he can also have certain health conditions. Not every Spaniel will have any of these diseases, but it is really crucial to have awareness of each of them if you are about to buy this breed.

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cataracts
  • Epilepsy
  • Allergies

If you are planning to buy a puppy, find a responsible breeder who can show you clearances of health for both parents of your puppy. Health clearance proves that the puppy has been tested for and cleared of a specific condition.

As far as Keeshond is concerned, you are supposed to expect to have health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia (with a score of better), von Willebrand, and hypothyroidism disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation) certifying that the eyes are normal. You can also visit OFA web site ( to confirm health clearances.


Keeshond Dog Care

The breed was first bred for a life of barge and later as a companion dog, the Keeshond knows how to remain happy in a rather little place. He can cheerfully adjust to a home that has a large yard, an apartment, or on a boat.

The Keeshond enjoys staying in the house with his family rather than a huge space because he is one of the companion dogs.

If the breed remains alone in the yard for hours with no or little contact with members of his family, he will become bored and his natural tendency to bark will increase. When you allow him, he can become a nuisance barker. If you are unable to make a certain plan to spend a good time with your this breed on a daily basis, you must choose a different dog breed.

The dog breed doesn’t need a lot of exercise like other dogs. You will just need to have a vigorous walk daily for your own health as well his.

The Keeshond does not like hot climates. The breed is quite comfortable and happy in cool weather. On hot days, keep your Keeshond inside the house near fans or in an air-conditioned. Some of the breeds will also love to relax in a small wading pool of kids which is filled with cool water.


Keeshond Dog Feeding

Recommended daily amount: 1 to 2 cups of good quality of dry food every day, that is divided into two meals.

Note: How much your adult dog breed eats, depends on his size, build, age, metabolism and activity level. The dogs are individuals, just like a human, and they do not want the same amount of food. In simple words, a highly agile and active dog will, of course, need more than a dog that is lazy. When you buy the quality food for your dog also makes a difference — the better the food for your dog, the further it will go towards nourishing the dog and the less of it you will need to shake into the bowl of your dog.

Let your Keeshond be in a healthy shape by measuring his meal and feed him twice a day rather than leaving food the whole day. If you are not sure, whether he is overweight or not look down at him first and then you will be able to see his waist. Now keep your hands on his back and your thumbs on his spine, along with the fingers that spread downward. You will be able to feel his ribs but not see without pressing hard. If you can’t, he definitely will need more exercise and less food.


Keeshond Dog with Children and Other Pets

The Keeshond is an amazing pet with the kids. The breed is as good and playful nature and a cute companion for children of every age. If the Keeshond gets well socialization as well as training, the breed gets on nicely with other pets and dogs.

Always teach your children how to touch and approach dogs, and the interactions between young children and dogs must always be supervised to prevent any biting or tail or ear pulling. Teach your children never try to approach any dogs while they are sleeping or eating or taking their food away. No matter how friendly your dog is, you should ever leave the breed unsupervised with a kid.


Males: Stand 18 inches tall

Weight: 45 pounds

Females: Stand 17 inches tall

Weight: 35 pounds