Featured Dog Breed – Keeshond
Read more about this breed, also sometimes known as the Wolf Spitz.
Affectionate, loving, and good natured, the Keeshond is a dog that loves to be around his human family. These dogs thrive on attention and love, and enjoy getting involved in the family fun and activities. Some can be quite demanding in terms of the affection and attention that they require, and without it can become bored and start barking a lot. Spirited and happy, the Keeshond is a sociable creature, and is very friendly towards just about everyone. He will bark to raise an alarm, which can make him a fairly effective watchdog, but he is too friendly to qualify as a guard dog. Known as the ‘smiling Dutchman’ because of the way that he bares his teeth in a cheerful, grinning fashion, this dog makes for a great family pet and companion. The Keeshond is fine for inexperienced dog owners as well as for the more experienced, but he can have a willful and independent streak – although training using positive methods should not prove too much of a problem.
The Keeshond is an intelligent breed, and is quick to learn obedience commands. These dogs get on very well with children, and most will be fine around strangers. Early socialization is important in order to reduce the risk of increased timidity in some Keeshonds, and a peaceful environment is essential as these dogs are very sensitive and have very powerful hearing. When it comes to other pets, the Keeshond tends to get along well with them, which means that he is ideal for families that already have pets in the household. The Keeshond’s eagerness to please his owner along with his intelligence and learning rate means that he will usually do well in terms of obedience training.
The Keeshond is a medium sized dog, with a very distinctive appearance and a sturdy build. The double coat of the Keeshond is dense, straight, and long, and these dogs have a beautiful, regal looking ruff of dense hair around the neck. His small ears stand erect on his head, adding to his alert expression. The coloring of the coat is a beautiful, rich gray, with black and cream, and he has a luxurious pluming tail that cascades over his back. The weight of the Keeshond is around 35 pounds for females, and between 40-45 pounds for males. The height of these dogs is around 17-18 inches.
When it comes to grooming the requirements for the Keeshond are quite demanding. He must be brushed for one or two hours every week otherwise matting will occur which can stop air getting to the skin and it can become infected. The coat must be brushed thoroughly to the skin to prevent matting. This breed should be clipped only when necessary for medical reasons, such as surgery. The Keeshond is prone to a condition called “post-clipping alopecia,” which can happen any time they’re clipped. The fur in the clipped area falls out completely and the dog becomes completely bald in that area for some time until the hair eventually grows back. The Keeshond is quite a high shedder, and will shed more heavily on a seasonal basis, so he is not the best choice for those with allergies.
Keeshond Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Keeshond is around 12-15 years, and there are a number of health problems that have been linked to this breed. This includes diabetes, thyroid problems, autoimmune disorders, cataracts, luxating patella, HD, MVD, vWD, heart disease, and seizures. The parents of the Keeshond puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.
The Keeshond originates from the Netherlands, where he was originally bred as a watchdog on riverboats. The breed gets its name from the leader of the Dutch Patriots, Kees de Gyselaer, and eventually went on to become the national dog of Holland. The breed was registered with the AKC in 1930.