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Domestic Long Hair
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17 - 18 inches
35 - 45 pounds
12 - 14 years
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Breed History | Background:
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.
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.
Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.
Suggested exercise needs:
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.
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 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.
Medical conditions seen:
Ventricular Septal Defect
Von Willebrand's Disease
Growth Hormone Responsive Dermatoses
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