The Keeshond (pronounced case-hund) might be Netherland's national dog, but she's also a true American hero. Keeshonds worked as comfort dogs at Ground Zero after 9/11 bombings, helping to console first responders. They're best known for their happy, friendly natures — that's why their nickname is the “Smiling Dutchman.” (Shouldn't that be “Smiling Dutchdog?”)
Originally called the “Wolf Spitz,” Keeshonds have an Artic lineage and were bred as watchdogs for barges sailing along the Rhine. These days, this friendly fuzzball is now primarily a cherished canine companion.
Originally from the Netherlands, this medium-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 34-45 pounds and lives an average of 12-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Non-Sporting group.
|Breed's original pastime||Companion|
|Average lifespan||12-14 years|
|Date of origin||1700s|
|Original function||Ratting, companion|
|Average size of male||Height: 17-19 Weight: 45|
|Average size of female||Height: 16-18 Weight: 35|
|Energy level||High energy|
|Affection level||Very affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Very Friendly|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Very Friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Friendly|
|Ease of training||Moderately easy to train|
|Protection ability||Not very protective|
|Grooming needs||Moderate maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||High tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Low tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A KEESHOND'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
A Keeshond's personality is a lot like static electricity: rub them the right way and they'll stick right to you. Affable and affectionate, this dog bonds closely with her chosen people. They're very patient and cuddly, which makes them a great fit for many families. They love children and do well with other pets if socialized early and properly supervised.
WHAT IS KEESHOND BEHAVIOR LIKE?
These dogs adapt to your activity level, but whether you're an athlete or a lounger, it's still important for them to get exercise every day. Even if they're not bursting with energy, they'll appreciate walks as a chance to meet new friends (they might look like “strangers” to you, but your Keeshond knows better) and explore the neighborhood.
True to their river-going heritage, these dogs like to play in water and might splash in their dog bowls if given the opportunity. Don't leave a Keeshond alone in your backyard unless you value canine landscaping — this dog is a digger.
Keeshonden are entirely too friendly to make effective guard dogs, but you'll definitely know if someone's at the door. These dogs were bred to be barky, so a Keeshond might be a titch more vocal than your neighbors would appreciate.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A KEESHOND?
Keeshonden are intelligent people-pleasers who are very responsive to training. These are sensitive, intuitive dogs, so be gentle with your furry friend, even if she's stubborn. Be patient and consistent while training, and try to keep sessions short and engaging. They respond well to food, praise, and play rewards.
Keeshonden make wonderful therapy dogs, and excel in obedience, agility, and rally events.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO KEESHONDEN SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
A Keeshond's lush double coat is weather-resistant and requires quite a bit of grooming. Plan to brush this fuzzball at least three times a week. They are heavy seasonal shedders.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO KEESHONDEN HAVE?
Keeshonden are generally healthy. Some develop skin problems, heart disease, or hip dysplasia.