Are you looking for a fantastic, family-friendly breed? Are you looking for a walking partner that will stay committed? If yes, the Keeshond could be your dog!
The beautiful Keeshond is a very old breed that dates back to the sixteenth century. They are a medium size breed with a fluffy coat, and a curled tail. A descendant of the Pomeranian, Chow Chow, Samoyed, Finnish Spitiz, and the Norwegian Elkhound, this breed is known to be loving, loyal, and extremely friendly.
Keeshond's Country of Origin
This breed was known for their hard working skills as a watchdog, protecting boats and farms in Holland. Known mainly for their work on riverboats and barges, they earned the nickname "Dutch Barge Dog." The Keeshond wasn't recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) until 1930. Now, they are recognized as a favored companion for a family.
Fur, Fur, and More Fur!
Does all that fur worry you? Don't worry, the Keeshond has a relatively easy grooming need, daily brushing. Their coat is dense, and double-coated, and absolutely should NEVER be shaved. Shaving will hinder their coats ability to work as a special insulator and cooling mechanism during the cold and warm months.
If you are an allergy sufferer with dogs, you may want to reconsider the Keeshond. They experience heavy shedding for about 2 weeks during the seasonal changes.
It is recommended, that if they need a bath, you use a professional groomer. They have the tools to blow-out their fur properly, insuring that their massive double-coat dries entirely.
Perfect Family Pet
The Keeshond is known for their friendly personality around everyone, especially children. They tend to gravitate towards children, wanting to join the fun. Keeshonds will bond quickly with their family members, typically choosing one person to be more clingy to then others in the household. They are often referred as a "velcro dog," following their person from room to room, lying by their feet, or waiting patiently for their return.
Separation anxiety can play a role with the Keeshond. To prevent this behavioral issue, it will be important to teach the Keeshond to be a confident and secure dog.
Fantastic Walking Partner
Keeshonds LOVE to explore, walk, play, run, hike, or even participate in agility. This active breed will do it all. If you LOVE to take a daily walk, and are in a need of a committed partner, the Keeshond is your walking buddy. They will never tell you no. Grab the leash, the Keeshond, your walking shoes, and GO! The Keeshond is happiest when exercised appropriately on a daily basis. A 45 minute daily walk will be sufficient for the Keeshond.
This is a breed that does best in colder climates. When walking the Keeshond, take care to not let them overheat. Walking in midday heat in the middle of July, for any dog, is not recommended, and especially for the Keeshond.
Yip, Yip, Yip!!!
Keeshonds are known for their watchdog behavior, and what watchdog doesn't alert to visitors? This breed will have no problem barking away at anything. Without proper training to keep their bark under control, it can easily get out of hand.
They are not aggressive with visitors, but can be a little intimidating with their excessive barking. Proper training at a young age will help keep their barking in line.
Friendly, Playful, Intelligent
The Keeshond has a welcoming, playful spirit, and will happily engage with other dogs and animals. They relish having a doggy friend to romp around with.Doggy Daycare is a great option for the Keeshond to have the appropriate interaction with other friendly dogs. While at work, consider taking your Keeshond to Doggy Daycare so they can have that socialization time.
Keeshonds are smart, and if early training isn't provided, they will take it upon themselves to have things their way. Early training, and socialization will provide your Keeshond a fantastic start to being a loyal, well-behaved, and friendly companion for their life.
This breed is an excellent choice for Therapy work. Because they LOVE everyone, and get along with other dogs, they will excel at being a Therapy Dog. Consider giving the Keeshond a job that will provide them the opportunity to show off their friendly demeanor, as well as their intellect.
Generally a Very Healthy Breed
The Keeshond are overall a very healthy, and hardy breed. Unscrupulous breeders will not genetically test their Keeshonds, which in turn may cause some health concerns to be aware of: Hip Dysplasia, Luxating Patellas, Epilepsy, Cushing's Disease, Hyperthyroidism, and Hypothyroidism.
Their average lifespan is 12-14 years old.
As you begin looking for a Keeshond, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe