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 and adults weigh about 16-18kg. The coat is a combination of black and grey, and the soft, thick undercoat is cream or pale grey.

I've looked after dogs before, so I have some experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
A medium size dog works for me
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I can fit in daily grooming sessions
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Very vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
No
No
Keeshond

Origin

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 was lived and worked on the barges, as a guard and a companion.

Personality

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.

Health

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

Exercise

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!

Nutrition

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.

Grooming

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.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Related to the Pomeranian, Keeshonds are friendly and happy but also make natural watchdogs. Visit Purina to read about the breed's history and care guide.

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What to Consider next

Adoption

It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information