The Keeshond dog is an excellent dog choice for adoption if you are looking for a fun and playful dog that is more of a medium-sized breed. Here’s some information on them before you consider taking the plunge and adopting one.
The Keeshond is a member of the spitz grouping of dogs. They are not very big in size, standing about a foot and a half tall and weigh around 30 pounds. But while short, they are study dogs. Their coat is a dense double-coat, usually with a thick ruff around their neck. The males’ ruffs are usually thicker than females. The coat is long, coarse, and thick and there is also a thick downy undercoat
Because of the intensity and thickness of the coats, these dogs require regular brushing or your house will become carpet-coated in their fur. They lose their entire coat once a year for males and females actually lose it twice a year. This intense shedding happens over the course of two weeks. Do not shave the dog, the undercoat, while thick is their protection against the elements. During the shedding period, you will need to constantly brush the dog as well as make sure your vacuum cleaner is prepared to handle the mess.
Color-wise, Keeshonden are black and gray. The undercoat itself is a very light gray or beige color and the main back coat is often tipped in black, making it look like the dog has been shaded in. Their ruff is usually lighter than the body. There shouldn’t be any pronounced white markings.
Keeshonds are by nature very playful and energetic with quick reflexes and the ability to jump very high. They are also very quick learners and pick new skills without issue. But, as it goes, because they are so quick at learning new skills, they often learn things that you really didn’t want them to learn. But with some training, any bad habits can be stopped even before they start. They are actually so trainable that they have been used as guide dogs for the blind, so you know that they are capable of behaving very well.
The Keeshonden (as they are called in plural; they are a Dutch breed) are known to be a healthy breed. Congenital health issues are extremely uncommon, but some conditions that have occurred are things like diabetes, hip dysplasia, and epilepsy, but as I said before, this would be very rare. To help ensure your puppy is free from these diseases, see if you can have their parents’ health information to see if they have been cleared from diseases. If you are purchasing a certified purebred, you should double check to make sure there is some distance in the relation between the parents. Inbreeding will only enhance health problems and is true of any breed, not just the Keeshonden.
The Keeshond breed dates back to the 18th century and was named after a leader of the rebellion against the House of Orange. The dog became the symbol of the rebellion and when the House of Orange regained their power, the breed was nearly eliminated. The name is a combination of the word “Kees” for Cornelius (the leader of the rebellion) and “Hond” which is the Dutch word for “dog.” The big difference between the Keeshond and other spitz breeds is the size and color. While the American references think of the Keeshond as a Dutch breed, it is actually part of the German spitz family of dogs, originating in German just like the Pomeranian, who is also a spitz breed. The American Eskimo is also a German spitz breed.