Keeshonds have a fabulously fluffy coat that really sets them apart from other breeds. These playful guys are an ideal companion whilst their high intellect and willingness to obey have also made them star show dogs.
Where I'm From
For most of the 17th and 18th Centuries, Keeshonds were a very common breed in their country of origin, Holland. In the 1780s, Holland became divided into two opposing political groups – the ruling parting “the prinsgeziden”, and the rebels “the patriotten”. It was then that the breed reached the height of its notoriety.
The leader of the rebel group owned his very own Keeshond, and these fluffy dogs became known throughout Holland as the symbol of the rebel cause. However, after the rebels were defeated, this once-loved breed quickly became undesirable amongst the people. Sadly, many Keeshonds were destroyed during that time.
Luckily, the survivors later became popular as companion and watchdogs on the boats that navigated the country’s many rivers and canals. Keeshonds began to be known as the “Dutch Barge Dog” because of this.
At the start of the 20th century, Keeshonds regained their popularity when they were introduced to the English upper class. Meanwhile back in Holland, the breed was also gaining admirers after the Baroness van Hardenbroek started breeding the fluffy companions.
It wasn’t long before these cute dogs began spreading throughout Europe, America, and Australia, becoming ever more popular as the years roll on.
What I Look Like
Often referred to as the “Smiling Dutchman”, Keeshonds are known for their trademark grimace. One cannot help but laugh when these guys attempt a smile by comically curling their lips and baring their teeth
Another feature that makes this breed so unique is their fabulously dense coat, and plumed tail. A Keeshond’s fluffy fur can be grey, black, or cream, varieties that distinguish them from other spitz-type dogs.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that impressive coats mean reflects a soft, prima donna, Keeshonds are very nimble, often competing in agility competitions. Normally, this medium-sized dog will weigh between 15-20kg.
How I Act
A Keeshond will become another member of the family pretty quickly. They thrive with closely-knit households, and enjoy participating in their owner’s activities.
Even though Keeshonds will often bark at unfamiliar dogs and people, it’s easy to get them to make new friends. Their loving and friendly personalities allow them to quickly accept others, which becomes all the easier with early socialisation.
These guys get excited pretty easily. It is this high-energy nature that makes them so endearing to many. They are playful and very warm around children, making them a perfect fit for young families. Keeshonds are mostly known for being devoted companions.
Keeshonds are highly intelligent, which makes them excellent show dogs. They will easily learn tricks and commands very quickly.
Looking After Me
Shown by their days navigating in barges, Keeshonds can be happy in homes with limited room. This makes them ideal for people who live in apartments and other small spaces such as boats.
They may not need an extensive exercise routine but a daily 15-20 min walk is required to keep them healthy and active.
Keeshonds are so people-orientated that they become restless if left alone for long periods. Isolation can lead to constant barking, making it important to give these adorable dogs the necessary attention before they become a nuisance.
In terms of grooming, a nice wash every three months should be enough for your little buddy. Keeshonds dense coat might make them look high-maintenance, but the opposite is true.
They are known as the “lazy man’s glamour dog” because their hair is so easy to keep smooth and knot-free. A 10min brush twice a week will do the trick. Unfortunately, Keeshonds will shed hair like crazy once or twice per year. This usually goes on for about three weeks, so if you can weather the hair storm, you’ll enjoy a relatively easy to look after breed.
Am I the pet for you?
- Keeshonds don’t need a lot of room to be happy.
- They are family-orientated pets.
- They are highly obedient, which makes them easy to train.
- They can be quite dependent, demanding frequent attention.
- They do not enjoy extensive outdoor activity.
- They shed a lot of hair a couple of times per year.
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