The Keeshond Dog Breed - An Affectionate, Fun Dog that has a LOT of Hair!
If you want a dog that always appears to be smiling…then the Keeshond may be the breed for you! Originally from Holland, the Keeshond dates as far back as the sixteenth century and is believed to be a descendent of the German Wolfspitz. Though the Keeshond was originally bred to perform watchdog duties, today they are loyal and loving companion animals! This affectionate and playful dog stands 16 to 18 inches in height, weighs 35 to 42 pounds and lives approximately 12 to 14 years.
This well-balanced, sturdy dog is medium in size, has small erect ears and beautiful dark brown eyes. Their fur is a mixture of gray and black with a pale gray or cream undercoat (their muzzles are always dark). The Keeshond has a dense coat; however, it is easier to care for than one might think. Weekly brushings with a stiff bristle brush will keep the Keeshond's coat healthy and free of tangles and mats. Though their coats are relatively easy to care for, if neglected, you will run into problems! Neglected coats can easily become…well, for lack of better words…big tangled rat's nests! If this happens, be prepared to get out your wallet as you will most likely need the touch (and help) of a professional groomer! It should also be noted that his breed molts (sheds) two times per year. During these times…you can expect a lot of loose hair to end up on your carpet and couch! If you are a neat freak and do not like to vacuum…it would probably be best to avoid this dog breed all together.
Fun Loving Family Dog!
The Keeshond is fun-loving and gentle. They are wonderful family dogs as they are very people oriented and good with children. They love to be involved in family activities so be prepared to bring your furry friend along on hikes and camping trips (they don't like to be left alone for long periods of time!). Though good with people, it should be noted that this breed can get overly excited. Therefore, children should be taught how to properly care for and play with this breed. They do best in CALM environments (unless you don't mind a rowdy dog!). Just as Keeshonds get along well with people…they also get along well with other animals (especially if socialized and trained early!). They enjoy the companionship of other dogs and for this reason, would be good dog park companions.
City or Country? Which is Best?
So exactly what type of home is best for the Keeshond? Well, as mentioned above, they do well with children and have the capability of getting along well with other pets. When it comes to which setting is best for this breed (country versus city)…truth be told… the Keeshond can adapt to either. Though they would appreciate a yard to play and run in…they can also thrive in an apartment (city setting) as long as they get enough exercise! Though the Keeshond wouldn't mind living in an apartment…it should be noted that they do have a tendency to bark (which might upset the neighbors). This dog can also over-heat easily…so an over-heated home would not be ideal.
As mentioned above, the Keeshond does not like to be left alone for long periods of time. If you have a very demanding job that requires you to travel and be gone from your home for hours on end…you might want to consider a different breed (or an entirely different type of pet for that matter!). Potential Keeshond owners should be committed when it comes to caring for their dog's coat (see second paragraph). Though the Keeshond is not as demanding in the exercise department as say a Border Collie might be…they do need an owner who is willing and able to walk them several times a day. Bored and under-exercised Keeshonds can quickly become destructive (say goodbye to your shoes) and loud (excessive barking).
Possible to Train?
When it comes to training…the earlier the better! Training should begin during puppy-hood and be loving yet firm and consistent. Like most Spitz breeds, the Keeshond has a mind of his own and can be quite stubborn when it comes to training. In other words…they often like to do what THEY want WHEN they want! If training is fun, positive and reward based it is possible to train this breed as it is eager to please! If training becomes boring….the Keeshond will lose interest…FAST!
The Keeshond is generally a healthy dog with few reported problems. However they can be prone to medical issues such as hip malformation (hip dysplasia), heart disorders, epilepsy and skin allergies. It should be noted that most Keeshonds are extremely allergic to fleas, therefore, it is very important that proper precautions be taken in order to avoid infestations (ask your veterinarian for the best flea preventative and treat accordingly).
Overall, the Keeshond is a sweet, loving, intelligent dog. Though they do have some coat care requirements, they are relatively easy to care for. They do have the tendency to become excited easily (a calm atmosphere is BEST if you don't want a BIG BARKER on your hands)…they are fun, energetic dogs that love to be part of the family. If you are interested in adding a Keeshond to your home, please consider adoption as there are many Keeshond rescue groups in the United States (do a Google search to find one near you!). I will warn you….once you see a Keeshond puppy…you will want to take him home…IMMEDIATELY as they are just about the cutest, fluffiest pups on the planet! Woof!
If you are interested in learning about different dog training collars and what is best for you (as well as your dog)…please read the Dog Collars Training Guide!
Please read some of my other pet related HUB Pages! Enjoy!!!
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