Descended from spitz stock, the ancestors of this dog breed were a common sight on barges travelling along the River Rhine. They are believed to be named after two leaders of the Dutch Patriot Party, who adopted the breed as a symbol during the eighteenth century. Both these men had the Christian name of Kees, but this link ultimately had an adverse effect on the popularity of the Keeshond (pronounced ‘Kayshond’) when the Prince of Orange took power in the Netherlands.
Coat Type/Colour: Fluffy; wolf-grey
Height: 18 Inch (45.5 cm)
Weight: 55 – 66 lb (25 – 30 kg)
Nature: Alert, intelligent, playful
During the present century, however, Keeshonden (the plural form) have attracted increasing attention from dog-lovers, with a member of this dog breed winning the top award at Crufts in 1957. They are wolf grey in colour, with an attractive fluffy coat. The ruff around the neck is more prominent in adult dogs than puppies. Avoid using a check chain of any kind when training a Keeshond, as this may damage its ruff. A thorough daily grooming will be necessary to keep the coat in top condition while proper training is required because these dogs can prove to be independent and strong-willed. Keeshonden is quite at home in the domestic environment, and can be relied upon as keen guards. Their bell-like bark is characteristic of the dog breed.