• The Keeshond is a member of the ancient Spitz family of dogs. It is actually most closely related the Pomeranian and American Eskimo.
  • The exact origin is unknown, but the breed was established in Holland as a watchdog and companion at least by the 18th century.
  • The breed later became known as the barge dog because it was used as a watchdog on barges that travelled the Rhine.
  • In the years before the French Revolution, the leader of the Patriot faction, a man named Kees de Gyselaer, appeared in many political cartoons along with his barge dog. The dog became a symbol of the movement, and known as a dog of the people. It also began being referred to as a Keeshond. When the Patriot party did not prevail, many Keeshond owners disposed of their dogs.
  • With larger barges, the Keeshond became less favored as a barge dog, and by the 1900s the breed was rare.
  • In 1920,a concerted effort, led by the Baroness van Hardenbroek, was made to revive the breed. Progress was rapid because several good-quality Keeshonden were found.
  • The breed received AKC recognition in 1930.
  • The Keeshond is the national dog of Holland.
  • The breed is often called "the smiling Dutchman."
  • The plural of Keeshond is Keeshonden.
Keeshond Behavior Concerns
  • Makes a loyal and loving companion.
  • Playful and careful with children.
  • Less independent than most Spitz breeds.
  • Good with other dogs and pets.
  • Sociable with children.
  • Learns quickly.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.
Keeshond Suggested Exercises
  • Makes a trustworthy and quiet housedog as long as its exercise needs are met.
  • Requires a moderate walk or jog every day.
  • Most Keeshonden do well in dog parks.
  • Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
  • Its thick coat provides good protection against cold weather but may make it prone to overheating.
Keeshond Grooming
  • Coat is made up of a soft thick undercoat covered by a straight, harsh outer coat that stands off from the body.
  • The coat needs brushing once or twice weekly-more when shedding heavily.
  • It needs bathing every month or so.
  • Shedding is above average.
Suggested Keeshond Nutritional Needs
  • Keeshonden have a tendency to put on weight. The thick coat can obscure weight problems, so be sure to use your hands to feel the ribs to identify obesity.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.


Keeshond dog breed picture
12 - 14 years
17 - 18 inches
35 - 45 pounds
Keeshond Traits
  • Jogging Partner
    3 out of 5
  • Lap Dog
    2 out of 5
  • Good With Children
    5 out of 5
  • Warm Weather
    1 out of 5
  • Cold Weather
    4 out of 5
  • Grooming Requirements
    3 out of 5
  • Shedding
    4 out of 5
  • Barking
    2 out of 5
  • Ease Of Training
    3 out of 5