Keeshond Dog Breed
Aliases: Dutch Barge Dog, Smiling Dutchman, Chien Loup, German Spitz, Wolfsspitz, Deutscher Wolfsspitz, Kees
|Life Span:||12 and 15 years|
|Litter Size:||3 and 8 puppies|
|Recognized By:||CKC, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
|Color:||mix of grey, black, or cream|
|Male Height:||17-19 inches|
|Male Weight:||55-66 pounds|
|Female Height:||15 - 17 inches|
|Female Weight:||55-66 pounds|
|General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||The Keeshond will do best in an environment where it has at least a small fenced yard to run, spin, and play in. They are relatively small dogs and will do well in small indoor spaces. It is necessary to note that due to the breed\'s thick coat they do not do well in hot weather. They are best in cooler climates. It can be a rather active indoor dog and therefore should receive about an hour of outdoor activity a day. Due to their separation anxiety they are not good dogs to be left outdoors alone or they will bark excessively. They are also not good to be left alone at home for long periods of time. This makes them not an ideal pet for an individual or family who spends a lot of time away from home.|
The Keeshond is a very small and compact dog that bears a strong resemblance to their ancestor the Samoyed. This is demonstrated in their oblique chestnut eyes, erect triangular ears, and its medium length tail that rolls over onto its back. They attract attention because of their intelligent and alert expression combined with their unique coloration and luxurious coat.
The head should be well proportioned to the body and wedge shaped. The muzzle should be of medium length and never coarse. The neck should be moderately long and well shaped. The neck should sit well on the shoulders. The body should be compact with a short sloping back. The Keeshond exhibits a deep and strong chest that is well ribbed. The forelegs should be straight when viewed from any angle and the hindquarters should exhibit slight to moderate angulation to compliment the forequarters. The feet are well rounded and are said to be "cat like." The toes are nicely arched with black nails. The tail is set high, moderately long, and well feathered. The tail should be tightly curled over the back.
The Keeshond has a very distinctive gait. The dog should keep the tail always curled tightly over the back and move boldly. The movement is straight and sharp. The reach and drive is slight to moderate. The movements should be clean and brisk. The Keeshond is known for its "spinning." They will spin around in circles when excited.
The Keeshond has a profuse double coat. They have a very thick ruff around the neck. Typically the males of this breed will have a thicker more pronounced ruff than the females. The coat has a very soft look, which is demonstrated in its well plumed tail and the feathering on the fore and hind legs. The coat should not be wavy, silky, or long enough that a part is shown down the back.
The color of the Keeshond is very distinctive and is known for its wolf like appearance. The color is a mix of grey, black, or cream. The colors can range from quite light to quite dark. It should never be completely black or white and the ruff and trousers of the hind legs should always appear to be distinctively lighter grey, white, or cream. The Keeshond should never appear to be tawny. The tail should be either white or cream with a black tip. The ears and the muzzle should be black but some dogs develop a white ring around the nose or front of the muzzle, which is referred to as "milk mouth." It is also important that the Keeshond has proper spectacles. These are markings that extend from the outer corner of each eye towards the inner corner of each ear. The spectacles should be a very delicate but dark line. All markings should be clear and not muddled.
The Keeshond origin can be found in the Arctic or Netherlands. During the eighteenth century the Keeshond was known as "a dog of the people." The Keeshond was bred from the Samoyed, Chow Chow, Elkhound, and Pomeranian. At the beginning of the French Revolution it became a symbol for the common and middle-class Dutchmen. They were led by the Patriot Kees de Gyselaer. Afterwards the breed endured and suffered a long period of neglect. It was introduced to the United Kingdom by a woman named Mrs. Wingfield-Digby. However, the Keeshond did not become popular again until it was introduced into the United States in the 1920\'s. They are part of the Spitz family and therefore were originally bred to guard canal boats. It was because of this that it was named the Dutch Barge Dog. However, rather unkindly, in Victorian England the Keeshond was nicknamed the Overweight Pomeranian. Although it is known to have originated in the Netherlands it has been cited as being part of the German Spitz Family along with the Pomeranian and the American Eskimo dog.
The Keeshond is a very lively, active, and intelligent dog. Keeshonds are full of personality and become very excited about certain things. If they become excited they are known to spin around and around in happy circles. They are highly affectionate, friendly, and outgoing.
The Keeshond is an incredible family dog. They love to be involved with the family and family activities. They are excellent with children. This makes them the perfect dog for a family with children or a family who intends on having children. In fact, they are more affectionate and playful with children than with adults. They are also very well behaved and tolerant of other family pets and animals. They make fantastic watch dogs because of their keen sense of hearing. They will bark to signal the approach of unknown people or other events. This makes them an excellent watch dog. They also have a strong devotion and loyalty to the family and this will add to their nature as a watchdog.
However, occasionally the Keeshond can be very timid and reserved. If they are shy and timid as puppies they should be socialized extensively throughout puppyhood so they can become more confident and outgoing around other people and animals. If proper socialization has not taken place their natural sense of caution can turn into suspiciousness and this can be hard to deal with especially if it turns into defensive biting or nipping.
Due to the Keeshond\'s need for companionship and desire to be part of the family they do experience separation anxiety higher than other breeds. They will display this behavior through destructive chewing and excessively barking when left alone. This can become very aggravating for the owner and neighbors.
Thyroid Disease - Medium Risk
The Keeshond ranks #67 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. While this is not a high risk breed, there is still a good chance of disease transmission through breeding. Therefore, all dogs intended for breeding should be tested first.
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here
Other Health Problems
- Hip Dysplasia: Ball and joint problem of the hip that causes arthritic like symptoms.
- Patellar luxation : Known as trick knee.
- Epilepsy: Causes seizures.
- Crushings Disease: Often mistaken for aging, this causes weight gain, indoor urination, and hair loss.
- Hyperparathyroidism : Causes elevated calcium in the bloodstream. This can make dogs very ill.
- Hypothyroidism : Problem of the thyroid causing severe weight gain.
- Von Willebrands Disease: Blood clotting disorder.