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The Keeshond’s happy disposition has led to its nickname “The Smiling Dutchman”.


The dog was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic. – Henry Ward Beecher

Keeshond puppy Canada

Keeshond puppy

Another member of the Spitz family of dogs, the Keeshond (pronounced ‘kays hond’) comes from Holland where he has worked since the mid-1700s as a companion and watchdog on the canal barges. Also known as the Wolfspitz and the “Dutch barge dog”, Keeshonds have also been used as hunters, herders, and draft dogs. They are believed to have been developed from sleigh dogs used in the Arctic.

Keeshonds are named for Kees de Gyselaer, a political figure who used his dog as the party mascot. The dog became known as “Kees’ dog” or Keeshond.

A member of the Spitz family of dogs, Keeshonds stand up to 18 inches (46 cm) tall at the shoulder. They have dense, thick double coats with long hair that stands straight out. The coat is a mixture of any shade of grey and black with black tips on the body fur. The feet and legs are covered with short, cream-coloured fur.

All that fur means shedding and extra care!

Photos displayed courtesy of Shannon de Bruin, Admiraal Keeshonden Reg’d, Alberta

With his tailed curled up over his back and a large ruff of fur around his neck, Keeshonds look ready made for cuddling! Known in Holland as “the smiling Dutchmen”, Keeshonds seems to wear a constant happy grin and this sums up his personality. Affectionate and loving, they adore children and family.

They have keen hearing which make them good watch dogs. However, they love people too much to be an effective guard dog.

Although Keeshonds will adapt to any level of exercise, they should have regular daily walks to keep them fit and trim. They are intelligent and do well in obedience if motivated by a patient and caring owner.

Keeshond Adults Canada

“Calista” and “Katie”

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CKC Breed Standard