The Keeshond dog is a medium sized breed that stands up to 18” tall at the shoulder, and can weigh up to 20kg. They have a rich, plush coat that has two layers that are black and silver in colour, with a ruffle around the neck and a curled tail. The breed originates in Germany, and was originally called the German spitz dog, or Wolfspitz. They are also sometimes known as the Dutch barge dog, being popular boating dogs in many areas where houseboats are very common, such as Holland.
The Keeshond has the typical spitz-dog appearance, with a medium length muzzle, pointed ears and a sturdy build. The tail is tightly curled over the back of the dog so that in some cases it is almost indistinguishable, and they are thick coated, bold and loving.
If you are wondering if the Keeshond is the right choice of dog for you, in this article we will look at the temperament and main traits of the breed in more detail. Read on to learn more.
The Keeshond is an outgoing, lively and playful dog that has fast reflexes and a good ability to jump. They are keen to please and learn new skills quickly, both in training and through observation. They are versatile dogs that are good all-rounders, and that are capable of doing well in canine sports such as agility, and are also amenable to training as assistance dogs.
They love the company of people, and enjoy having someone at home with them for the larger part of the day, and can also be prone to separation anxiety and being rather clingy.
The Keeshond has a rather loud bark that they are not afraid to use, and as such, they are popular watchdogs that will soon alert their owners to the approach of a stranger. While they are watchful and alert, they are generally personable with strangers, and are not prone to aggression. If left alone for long periods of time, they may potentially become destructive, and will sometimes bark for prolonged periods of time when alone to try and get some attention!
The Keeshond is a bright, active dog that likes to receive plenty of exercise, and while they are not on a par with the most physically active dogs such as the Siberian husky and the Border collie, they will not thrive within a sedentary lifestyle.
They require at least two to three lively, long and varied walks per day, and enjoy both walking on the lead and playing outside with supervision.
The Keeshond is a very bright dog with a superior working intelligence, ranked as 16th overall in terms of canine intelligence and obedience. This means that they can learn a wide range of skills and commands, and also learn from observation, but this is as likely to mean that they pick up bad habits as good ones! They require a confident, experienced trainer that knows how to channel the energies of a lively and bright dog that is highly intelligent, and they can pose something of a handful for the inexperienced trainer. They require clear guidelines, lots of praise, and positive reinforcement training in order to thrive.
The Keeshond is a rather sensitive dog that will soon become timid if shouted at or badly treated, and so it is important to work with the dog’s innate willingness to please and reward positive behaviour, rather than punishing poor behaviour.
The Keeshond is usually very personable and friendly with other dogs, and can generally happily share their home with another canine companion. They enjoy company and having another dog to play with and cuddle up and relax with, and generally get on well with both familiar dogs and strangers.
Good early socialisation with other dogs is vital to ensure that they learn how to play nicely and behave with other dogs, and assuming that this is achieved, they are generally keen to play and able to moderate their behaviour to get on with other dogs both large and small.
The Keeshond is considered to be an excellent dog for families, and they are very affectionate and kind with children of all ages. They enjoy the company of people, like to stay close to their owners, and are very intuitive, empathic dogs that will soon pick up on your mood and rush to comfort you if you are feeling down.
They do not thrive if left alone for long periods of time or do not have enough to do, and can become destructive, and pick up bad habits such as excessive barking, chewing and digging if bored. They need to be fully involved in family life in order to thrive, and assuming that this is achieved, they are very rewarding dogs to own and care for.