The Keeshond is a spitz type dog breed once known as the ‘Dutch Barge Dog’. This breed was a well-known watchdog on boats that traveled the waterways in the Netherlands as well as the Rhine River. It was called Wolfspitzen in Germany and Chien Loup in France.
Today, the Keeshond is more popular as a lovable companion although it would not hesitate to bark at anyone who is entering its territory. Are you thinking of having a Keeshond in your home? Get to know this breed better in this article.
Keeshond Dogs and Puppies
What is a Keeshond?
The Keeshond, pronounced as ‘kayz-hawnd’, is closely related to the Finnish Spitz, Chow Chow, Samoyed, Pomeranian, and Norwegian Elkhound. This medium-sized dog breed is playful and people-loving, which are both good qualities to find in a pet.
Its mild and empathetic nature also makes the Keeshond a good therapy dog. One notable Keeshond named Tikva was one of the therapy dogs that helped 9/11 workers cope with the stress and anxiety from searching the rubble at Ground Zero.
Where does the Keeshond come from?
The Keeshond is one of the Spitz type dogs which originated in the Arctic and sub-Arctic region. This breed was a popular companion and a versatile working dog in Holland around the 17th and 18th centuries. It was a reputable watchdog on small boats and barges traveling across Holland and other European countries during these periods. Keeshonden also watched over farms, guided boats, herded farm animals, and killed rodents.
The Keeshond was named after a prominent figure in Holland named Cornelis (Kees) de Gyselaer. This Dutch patriot was a rebel leader during the 18th century when there was political unrest in Holland. At this time, the country was politically divided into two parties, the patriots led by de Gyselaer and the supporters of the Prince of Orange. Cornelis’ spitz-type barge dog was his constant companion and the breed eventually became a symbol of the rebel faction.
But the Dutch Patriot Party was defeated by the House of Orange and the symbol of the mass fell out of favor. The Kees’ hund (Cornelis’ monicker plus the Dutch word for dog) was almost extinct after the rebel party lost. Fortunately, some of the Keeshond survived in the Netherlands’ rural areas.
It was during the early 20th century when people like Lady Gwendolyn Wingfield Digby (England), Baroness Van Hardenbroeck (Netherlands), and Carl Hinderer (Germany) took notice of the Keeshond again and began promoting the breed. Since then, the breed’s number and popularity increased.
Hinderer was the one who brought the Keeshond to the U.S. The first Keeshond in the American Kennel Club was registered in 1930.
What does a Keeshond look like?
The Keeshond is a beautiful, sturdy, and proportionate dog breed bearing the distinct traits found among spitz-type dogs—long and thick fur, pointed ears and muzzles and curled tail.
A Keeshond can weigh between 15 to 20 kg. Female Kees stand between 16 to 18 inches while male Kees stand at 17 to 19 inches.
Some of the breed’s standard traits include:
- Thick ruff around the neck (the mane is thicker in male Keeshonden)
- Thicker coat on the shoulders and chest
- Feathering on the front legs and ‘trousers’ (also feathering) on the hind legs
- Plumed tail is curled over the back
- Double coat in uniquely mixed colors: gray, black and
- Round and cat-like feet
- Dark brown, almond-shaped eyes, and black eye rims
- Sturdy, square-like body
- Erect, triangle-shaped ears
What is the Keeshond like?
The Keeshonden are known to be devoted companions. They get along very well with people and are friendly towards other dogs and animals. They can also be great playmates for children as they are playful and affectionate. Although they tend to bark more than other breeds, the Keeshonden are not aggressive.
In few words, the Keeshonden are:
- Eager and quick learners
Are Keeshond dogs hypoallergenic?
No, the Keeshond is not considered hypoallergenic. This breed does shed a lot and can shed even more than usual when it blows out its undercoat. The intense shedding can happen twice a year and can last around two to three weeks. A Keeshond on normal days does not require a lot of coat grooming. Brushing its coat at least twice a week can suffice.
How much does a Keeshond cost?
A Keeshond puppy in PuppyFind can cost around USD $700 to more than $1,000.
When is a Keeshond fully grown?
Medium-sized dog breeds may be physically mature at 12 months. But it may also take longer than 12 months for them to reach their full grown size. Most dogs take about 12 months to 18 months, or even two years, to reach emotional maturity.
What’s good about the Keeshond?
The Keeshonden pretty much have the desirable traits plenty of people want in a pet. Their size is convenient and manageable. They are generally easy to the eyes if not utterly beautiful. Plus, the have a great personality and are friendly towards people and other animals. They also flash an endearing ‘smile’ occasionally. When they curl their lips and show their teeth, sometimes they are not snarling but are actually smiling. They are simply showing their happiness through the famous ‘Smiling Dutchman’ smile.
Learn more about the Keeshond in this video from Animal Planet:
If you want a good dose of therapy from a furry friend, then you should consider getting a Keeshond. This breed practically has everything people like in a pet: conveniently sized, furry and huggable, and devoted. The Keeshond does well in a cooler climate, which is why you must reconsider getting this dog if you live in hotter areas.
Do you think the Keeshond is the right breed for you? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. If you want to read more posts about dogs, click here.
Featured image via Pixabay