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Keeshond

Keeshond

A People Pleaser

Loving, Playful, Sensitive

Keeshonden are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Keeshonden, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Keeshond and some can be quite irritating!

Understanding her unique needs will help you keep her healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where she came, which health conditions are a risk to her and how to keep her feeling her best.


Breed Details

Height:17-18" Weight:35-45 lbs Lifespan:12-14 years

Size
3

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
3

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
5

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
4

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: The Keeshond is a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep her mind and body active. She is highly intelligent and can be taught to perform a variety of tricks to keep her mentally stimulated. She can be sensitive to warm temperatures, so avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress.

Grooming: She needs a thorough brushing at least weekly most of the year. Twice a year she blows her coat and loses crazy amounts of hair; daily brushing is recommended during this time.

Dental: Keeshonden generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


The Keeshond is a cheerful and amusing companion who enjoys being the center of attention.

Positive Traits:

  • Great with kids and other dogs: a true family pet

  • Easily motivated and trainable

  • Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions

  • Alert, curious, and busy

  • People-oriented and eager to please

  • Quirky, entertaining personality

Negative Traits:

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

  • Needs regular exercise and diet regulation to avoid weight gain

  • Has a tendency to bark quite a bit if not trained out of this habit

  • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

  • Can be independent and strong-willed

  • Likes to dig

Whether you are considering adding a new Keeshond to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Keeshond will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Keeshond you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

Some health issues a Keeshond could encounter:

Diabetes

Eye Problems

Cataracts

Glaucoma

Distichiasis

Heart Disease

The Keeshond originated in Holland in the 1700’s and was bred for companionship and as a watchdog for riverboats, barges, and farms. The Keeshond is known for its lip-curling grin, inspiring the nickname “the smiling dutchman.” In Europe, the Keeshond is called the German Wolfspitz.

Keeshonden crave attention and are friendly to all people as well as most pets. The Keeshond has a stable temperament making a playful and lively family companion. Kees are natural watchdogs but rarely aggressive.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Keeshond shows signs of the following:

  • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Coughing, exercise intolerance, rapid breathing at rest

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

  • Depression, poor appetite, yellowing of the eyes

  • Lameness with or without swelling

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Care

    Routine Care: The Keeshond is a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep her mind and body active. She is highly intelligent and can be taught to perform a variety of tricks to keep her mentally stimulated. She can be sensitive to warm temperatures, so avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress.

    Grooming: She needs a thorough brushing at least weekly most of the year. Twice a year she blows her coat and loses crazy amounts of hair; daily brushing is recommended during this time.

    Dental: Keeshonden generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    The Keeshond is a cheerful and amusing companion who enjoys being the center of attention.

    Positive Traits:

    • Great with kids and other dogs: a true family pet

    • Easily motivated and trainable

    • Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions

    • Alert, curious, and busy

    • People-oriented and eager to please

    • Quirky, entertaining personality

    Negative Traits:

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Needs regular exercise and diet regulation to avoid weight gain

    • Has a tendency to bark quite a bit if not trained out of this habit

    • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

    • Can be independent and strong-willed

    • Likes to dig

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Keeshond to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Keeshond will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Keeshond you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

    Some health issues a Keeshond could encounter:

    Diabetes

    Eye Problems

    Cataracts

    Glaucoma

    Distichiasis

    Heart Disease

  • History

    The Keeshond originated in Holland in the 1700’s and was bred for companionship and as a watchdog for riverboats, barges, and farms. The Keeshond is known for its lip-curling grin, inspiring the nickname “the smiling dutchman.” In Europe, the Keeshond is called the German Wolfspitz.

    Keeshonden crave attention and are friendly to all people as well as most pets. The Keeshond has a stable temperament making a playful and lively family companion. Kees are natural watchdogs but rarely aggressive.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Keeshond shows signs of the following:

    • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Coughing, exercise intolerance, rapid breathing at rest

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

    • Depression, poor appetite, yellowing of the eyes

    • Lameness with or without swelling

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

Keeshond Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Keeshond breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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