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Keeshond Breed Summary

Loving, Affectionate, Loyal, Intelligent and Happy

These dogs are sometimes referred to as the 'Smiling Dutchman' as they nearly always have a cheerful expression on their face! For this reason, they have found their place in many homes across the Globe.

They are fairly vocal by nature, but this means that they make excellent watchdogs, particularly on farms and in domestic environments. They have found a huge fan following in the UK not only because of their looks but also because they are so devoted and make lovely pets!

Fun Fact: Lady Diana Spencer was actually able to grow up with a Keeshond in the home. In fact, her sister, Lady Sarah, owns one to this day!

Kennel Club Group Utility
Lifespan 12 - 14 Years
Height (at the withers) Males 43cm - 46cm, Females 40cm - 43cm
Weight Males 15kg - 20kg, Females 14kg -18kg
Coat Coats are Harsh, Straight and Thick. They stand Well Off the Body
Colour Grey, Silver Grey, Silver, Grey and Black
Eye colour Dark
Common health issues Hip Dysplasia, Congenital deafness, PHPT, Epilepsy, Luxating Patella, Obesity
Other Names Kees, Dutch Barge Dog, Smiling Dutchman, Chien Loup, German Spitz, Deutscher Wolfspitz, Wolfspitz

These dogs are known for their love of humans. They form extremely strong bonds with their families and love to be the centre of attention. However, because they love their owners so much, they don't like to be left by themselves for too long as it can lead to them developing separation anxiety. This can result in destructive behaviours meaning someone will need to be in the house with them for most of the day. They get on tremendously well with children, dogs, cats and other animals and these dogs are sometimes referred to as 'smiling dutchman' as they are rarely seen without a smile on their face. They are a great choice for first-time owners as they are so easy to train.

Keeshonds are thought to have been created in the Arctic during the 18th century, similar to lots of other Spitz-type dogs. Many legends surrounding the breed discuss how the dog appeared on the shores of Friesland, after a Viking Ship got lost, off the coast of Holland. It's discussed that all the crew on the ship died, apart from the Chieftain's son and his dog who were rescued by a fisherman. The story led many to believe that having a dog on-board a shop would bring you good luck and it soon became custom on most ships. However, the breed is most well-known for their excellent herding abilities and providing excellent companionship to their owners. It's thought the breed went on to be developed in many European countries and were crossed with Spitz-like dogs. The breed was also used in a rebellion against William of Orange in the late 1700s and used as mascots, however, the failure of the rebellion led to many dogs being destroyed to avoid association with what had happened. It then took hundreds and hundreds of years to bring the breed back into prosperity, but the breed found itself falling once again due to WW1 and 2. Fortunately, they were just about saved and are now a fairly popular breed across a lot of the world.