The Keeshond dog breed has typical spitz features: a foxy face, small prick ears, a thick stand-off coat and a well-plumed tail that curls over the back. Medium-sized, adult males stand at approximately 46cm and females at 43cm. Adults weigh about 16-18kg. The coat is a combination of black and grey, and the soft, thick undercoat is cream or pale grey.
Closely related to the Pomeranian and other spitz breeds from northern Europe, the Keeshond dog breed takes his name from Kees de Gyselaer, the leader of the 18th century Dutch Patriots Party. A dog kept by ordinary, working people, he is also known as the Dutch Barge Dog, as he has lived and worked on the barges, as a guard and a companion.
Ever alert, the Keeshond dog makes a natural watchdog, alerting his family to anything he considers untoward. A friendly dog, he is companionable, he is a happy, affectionate dog – often called the Smiling Dutchman.
The Keeshond is generally a healthy breed. There are a couple of known inherited conditions that affect the breed; epilepsy and a hormonal problem (primary hyperparathyroidism). Genetic tests are available for both of these conditions and should be carried out in all breeding dogs.
Keeshond dogs need about an hour's daily exercise, and this busy dog will also enjoy his self-appointed role as watch dog, patrolling his house and garden. Do make sure his barking doesn't cause a problem with neighbours, as he can be tempted to alert you of anything that he hears when outside!
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
The thick, stand-off, harsh coat is profuse and can be time-consuming to keep in good order. Daily brushing will keep on top of any tangles and prevent the coat becoming unmanageable and a huge chore.