Keeshond | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures


The Keeshond is a dog included in the breed of German spitz dogs, as well as four other breeds, which the International Cynological Federation (FCI) groups under one standard, but with differences for each. The breeds included in this group are: keeshond, large spitz, medium spitz, small spitz and Pomeranian.

Despite the large list of advantages, this breed is still not widespread in the world, this is a rare, expensive type of dog.

Dog sheet Keeshond

Keeshond photos

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Physical characteristics

The Keeshond is a medium-sized dog, with characteristics reminiscent of other Nordic and Spitz breeds. The main difference from the rest of the spitz breeds is their size and the color and density of the coat, but in terms of body shape they are very similar in general.

  • Male height: 43-55 cm
  • Females: 43-55cm
  • Weight Males: 25-30 kg
  • Females: 25-30 kg

Distinctive features

  • Head: The head is small. The shape is wedge-shaped, the back of the head and the forehead are protruding, straight, pointed.
  • Jaws: Scissor cut. The jaws are powerful.
  • Ears: The ears are shaped like small equilateral triangles. Set high.
  • Eyes: The eyes are small, rounded, protruding. Dark color. There are always dark glasses around the eyes.
  • Frame: The body is square, elongated. The chest is wide and deep. Belly picked up. The topline slopes gently towards the croup.
  • Limbs: The legs are straight, slender, but strong. The task of the limbs goes beyond the line of the rump. The legs are small, rounded. Fingers are gathered in a dense mass.
  • Coat: The coat is long and fluffy. The undercoat is short but dense. The outer hair is straight. Color: Grey, Wolf, Black. A dark mask is required on the muzzle and goggles around the eyes.

Character and behavior

Always alerted, the keeshond is a watchdog by nature, always warning his family of anything he considers abnormal. It is a friendly dog, it likes the company, is happy and affectionate (it often receives the qualification of “Dutch smiling”).

Keeshonds have a high level of intelligence, they are able to make their own decisions, which leads to difficulties in education. These dogs are loyal to their owner and try to please him, please him in everything. They like to be praised and encouraged.

They perfectly feel the state of the owner and, like true friends, they try to provide emotional support. The negative side can be seen as an excessive desire to bark, which is not always appropriate. However, if the dog lives in a private house with its own yard, outside it will warn you of the approach of strangers. But if a stranger enters the yard, chances are your pet will immediately run towards him, wagging its tail.

With the children

Although he has been well socialized, this dog is generally not a good dog for very young children, as his behavior is reactive, so he may snack if mistreated in any way, even unintentionally. On the other hand, the keeshond is a good companion for older children who know how to care for and respect a dog.

With other animals

These dogs do not get along well with other animals. If the pets grow up together, there will be no habitability problems.


It is important that the owner is aware of what diseases his pet is predisposed to. The Keeshond specifics are outlined below:

  • Epilepsy – accompanied by seizures, convulsions, cannot be treated, but a person can control seizures with the help of medications and proper treatment of animals, reducing their number.
  • Hypoadrenocorticism is an endocrine pathology.
  • Allergy – often occurs on food. Therefore, it is important to carefully, gradually introduce new foods into the diet or change the type of dry food.
  • Dysplasia – contributes to the development of arthritis, is characterized by intolerable pain, lameness.
  • Cataract – an eye disease, greatly impairs vision, up to blindness.
  • Knee dislocation is an inherited genetically bilateral pathology.
  • Hypothyroidism is a lack of blood of Keeshond circulating thyroid hormones.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy – develops immediately in two eyes and always leads to complete blindness.
  • Diabetes mellitus – is not completely cured, but requires control, the right diet and medicines.
  • Obesity – comes from overeating, malnutrition and a sedentary lifestyle. It leads to malfunction of the digestive tract and to cardiovascular diseases.
  • Von Willebrand disease – develops in the presence of a defective von Willebrand factor in the blood or its deficiency in the blood.

Life expectancy

The average life span of a Keeshond is 15-16 years. It mainly depends on the conditions of detention and veterinary care.


Representatives of this breed feel great both in large houses with gardens and in small apartments.

Caring for a Keeshond is not at all difficult. The coat requires special attention. These animals gradually change their coat, which means that they moult all year round. To prevent the wool from spreading throughout the house, Keeshond must be combed and washed regularly.

  • The dog’s coat should be brushed daily with a stiff, long-toothed brush.
  • Bathe the dog once every 2 months. Wolf Spitz coats are self-cleaning, and they are also clean and can wash themselves like cats. Representatives of the breed are not sheared; hair is removed only between the fingers.
  • The teeth of representatives of this breed are cleaned with a special toothpaste or allowed to chew cords to clean the oral cavity.
  • The ears are regularly examined for the presence of secretions and are cleaned of sulfur with a cotton swab moistened with a special lotion.
  • The claws of these dogs are clipped as they grow. This procedure is extremely rare, since the claws grind while walking.
  • In summer, dogs should be treated for external parasites and dewormed once every 1-2 months.


Make sure their barking is not a problem for the neighbors, as they may be tempted to alert you to anything they hear while you are away.


The Keeshond needs an hour of exercise a day; This hardworking dog will also appreciate being a caretaker and patrolling his home and garden.

Fun facts

  • The Keeshond has the largest dimensions of all types of Spitz, he maximally preserved the original natural appearance of the ancestors.
  • In their homeland, the Keeshond dogs was called a “barge dog” because they were mostly kept on barges where rats were caught.
  • Keeshond has a specific gait, he walks like “on stilts”, all due to the fact that during the movement the dog almost does not straighten its hind limbs.
  • Keeshond dogs love to swim and are not afraid of water.
  • This is one of the ten smartest breeds in the world.
  • These dogs are unusually clean; they can be washed with their paw, like cats.
  • The Keeshond is called a “smiling Dutchman”, the fact is that these dogs have a special structure of the muzzle, which creates the appearance of a smile.

History of the breed

It is considered that this breed, which has been used as a companion dog since its creation, is of Dutch origin (Netherlands) and in the 18th century was known as “the people’s dog”. Chow chow, elkhound, samoyed and the pomeranian come from their relatives. They are called keeshond because at the beginning of the French Revolution, a patriot named Gyselaer who had a dog of this breed, called him Kees and made it a symbol of the Dutch homeland, and thus gave his name to this breed.

The Keeshond were introduced by Mrs. Wingfield-Digby for the first time in the United Kingdom, but were not popular again as a breed until 1920 when they arrived in the United States. Thus in 1930, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club.


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