Species group: Non-Sporting Group dogs
Other name(s): Kees; Keeshonden; Dutch Barge Dog; Smiling Dutchman; Chien Loup; German Spitz; Deutscher Wolfsspitz
The Keeshond looks like it was born to be cuddled, but this adorable Spitz-type dog is more than just a powder puff. For centuries, the so-called Dutch Barge Dog was employed as a watchdog on riverboats, farms, and barges, and they still have something of a tendency to bark. However, they are not a ferocious animal. In fact, the bark is often more of a greeting than a threat. And they are extremely well-regarded for their gentleness with children and their desire to involve themselves in family life. Don't toss them in a backyard and expect them to be happy. They want to be part of things with their people.
Some individuals can be sensitive or even timid. Socialize them early and with lots of love, praise, and food rewards.
Appearance / health:
The Keeshond is a medium-sized, square dog with a fox-like appearance. The dark brown, almond-shaped eyes are of medium size. The triangular ears are small, mounted on high, and carried erect. Unique markings and shadings surround the eyes giving the impression of intelligence and alertness. The wedge-shaped head exhibits a definite stop. The neck is covered with a mane. The tail is moderately long and well feathered.
Regular weekly brushing is necessary to keep the coat in good shape. Keeshonden are average shedders though they shed heavily twice a year.
They do not require too much exercise though a daily walk is necessary to keep them healthy and happy.
Hip dysplasia (abnormal hip formation that can cause lameness) is common in Keeshonden. Luxating patella, or dislocation of the kneecaps, may occur in some dogs. Some dogs may develop thyroid and eye problems.
Behavior / temperament:
Keeshonden love to be with their owners. They love to greet people they know by displaying an expression that may appear to be grinning. When left alone for too long, some Keeshonden may indulge in destructive behavior such as excessive barking, digging, chewing, or escaping. Some Keeshonden love snow. They express themselves through "talking", and tend to bark often. They rarely bite.
Training a Keeshond may be a challenge. Patient, firm, and kind training along with early socialization are necessary for this otherwise intelligent breed.
Some Keeshonden bark a lot.
intelligent, happy dogs, ideal family pet, Kees beautiful coat, wonderful temperment
barking, warm climates, High Maintenance, grooming, recreational barkers
good vacuum, excellent watch dogs, Wonderful Family Addition, people especially children
Excellent Guard & Watch Dog, but Timid
As a purebred Keeshound, Hans had all the markings of his breed. He had the distinctive gray/silver lion-like ruff, the tightly curled tail, and the full double-coat. As a medium sized dog, Hans weighed around 35 to 40 pounds.
With the thick double-coat, Hans required daily brushing, especially after an outdoor evening run. Twice a year, he shed his undercoat, so trips to the groomer were necessary during these times. In his mid-age, we began buzzing off his coat, but leaving the ruff and tail, and fur around his legs. Not only did Hans love having his coat this way, he looked like a mini-lion dog!
Hans was a playful companion, and he enjoyed running outside in the evenings, playing fetch with flying discs, and loved to play with our German Shepard. Any time Hans could get outside to run, he certainly was in his element.
He was also an excellent guard and watchdog. If Hans heard any movement outside, he’d run from window to window, barking at the neighbor walking down the street or the mail carrier delivering mail.
While he was a great protector, he was also timid. New people, objects or sounds caused him to tuck his tail between his legs. It would take time for him to adjust to new things in his immediate surroundings.
Hans did wonderfully with obedience training. He was easy to train, and he enjoyed learning new tricks. He was especially keen and had a good wit about himself.
Overall, Keeshounds require constant companionship. They don’t like to be left alone too long and do like to have their noses into everything.
The image of the Keeshound was taken by "Keeshond beech" by JB (John) - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.
From esteebeck Jun 28 2015 3:01PM
Important for every dog, extremly important for dogs with osteoarthritis
Best way to prevent, or at least prolong the time before your old dog becomes arthritic is to keep them lean and strong. This is also important for longevity and overall health, so it should be your main goal if you want to keep your dog alive and well for as long as possible. I can't stress the importance of keeping your dog fit and strong if it has osteoarthritis. If your dog is overweight joints have to bear more weight, and if it's muscles aren't strong joints bear even more weight then they should, which leads to increased friction and damage of the joints. If your dog is in perfect physical condition (body condition score 4-5 on 9 point scale) joints bear minimum amount of weight they have to, and if it's muscles, tendons and ligaments are strong they reduce weight bearing of the joints even more. This is important for overall health, as well as in cases of osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions. So keep your dog fit and strong. .
From Vuk Ignjic DVM 125 days ago
Sweet Dog Needing Lots of Attention
Nikki was my family dog growing up. She was beautiful and very, very sweet. Unfortunately, we were not the right type of family for her. Let me explain why.
First of all, Nikki required more attention than a busy family with teenagers and two working parents could possibly give. She wanted to be involved in everything and hated to be left alone. Her attention-seeking behavior was not simply nuzzling you in hopes of being pet. She would put her face in yours and pant relentlessly. Even guests quickly tired of her in-your-face nature. If she didn't get what she was looking for, she'd get into things: the trash, the cat litter box, or your dirty clothes. She eventually started chewing the corners of the walls.
On top of her energy level and neediness, her grooming needs far exceeding the resources of a working-class family. She needed to be brushed daily and professionally groomed at least once per month. We just couldn't afford to do that.
In summary, my experience with this breed is that they would be perfect for a retired person or couple with plenty of free time and disposable income. Had she received the affection she needed, Nikki would have been the perfect dog. However, she was way too high maintenance for my family.
Photo credit: "Keeshond image 001" by Flickr user dancing_with_wolves . Photo cropped by commons user ltshears - Flickr here. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Keeshond_image_001.jpg#/media/File:Keeshond_image_001.jpg.
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