Keeshond Puppies

Photo of Keeshond

A lively, intelligent, and loving family dog

Keeshonds love spending time with people and were originally used as companions and guards on Dutch barges. Now, they are a strong symbol of Dutch patriotism, and companions to families around the world.

Keeshond At a Glance

Photo of Keeshond Photo of Keeshond Photo of Keeshond Photo of Keeshond

Keeshond At a Glance

  • Size: 17"-18", 35-45 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Energy Level: medium
  • Coat: Thick, woolly undercoat with a long outercoat
  • Shedding: heavy
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Dog Group: Non-Sporting
  • Common Nicknames: Smiling Dutchman, Dutch Barge Dog, Wolfspitz

Keeshond Breed Guide

Learn More About Keeshonds

  • Temperament

    The Keeshond is a playful and affectionate dog who functions best as a family companion. These dogs are friendly and outgoing, and will typically welcome strangers as long as their owner approves of them. The Keeshond does very well with children and loves to share its liveliness with everyone. In terms of training, these dogs are smart and learn quickly. However, the Keeshond's intelligence can also cause them to be a bit mischievous. With proper training, though, this breed is very obedient and learns readily. All in all, the Keeshond makes a wonderful companion for just about anyone.

  • Health

    Keeshond's are generally healthy but could be subject to Addison's Disease, Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Patellar Luxation, Diabetes Mellitus, Von Willebrand's Disease, Hypothyroidism, Cataracts, Epilepsy, or Allergies.

  • Activity Level

    Keeshonds have a moderate energy level and should get a half hour to 45 minutes of exercise per day. If they don't get enough exercise they tend to get the zoomies, which can be destructive to your home. Playing in a fenced-in yard or a daily walk is usually enough to keep them happy and healthy

  • Grooming

    A Keeshond's coat is surprisingly easy to maintain compared to other breeds with similarly thick and long coats. A semi-weekly brushing with a wire brush will keep their coat free of tangles. They should also be bathed every month or two and blow dried. Do not shave your Keeshond, as their coat protects them from sunburn. More frequent brushing in the summer will keep them cool.

  • Shedding

    Keeshonds' fabulously thick double coat sheds heavily, especially during shedding season, so be prepared to find it on your clothes and furniture.

  • Appearance

    Keeshonds are compact dogs with luscious coats of dense and straight fur. Their erect triangular ears give them an attentive and inquisitive look. Their pointed muzzle and bushy tail give them a very foxy look. The hair around their neck feathers out resembling a lion's mane.

  • History

    The Keeshond is part of the Spitz family of dogs and is closely related to the Chow Chow, Norwegian Elkhound, Pomeranian, and Finnish Spitz. While its history is relatively unclear, it's likely that the Keeshond was developed during the 17th and 18th centuries in Holland as a companion and watchdog. These dogs were often referred to as "barge dogs" since they acted as watchdogs on small vessels that traveled the Rhine River. The Keeshond really gained its name when it was put in the spotlight during Holland's political turmoil in the late 1800s. The leader of the Patriot party was named Kees de Gyselaar, who kept a barge dog, also named Kees, as a pet. This dog became the symbol of the Patriots but suffered a decline when the Patriot party lost. Fortunately, the breed was revived in the early 1920s through the efforts of some loyal farmers. The Keeshond gained American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition in 1930.