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Is the Keeshond the Right Dog Breed for You?

Is the Keeshond the Right Dog Breed for You?

What makes the Keeshond so popular? Find out everything you need to know about one of Australia’s favorite dog breeds. 

Breed Snapshot: 

  • Size: Weight: 15-20kg. Height: 40-36cm
  • Coat: Plush, fluffy double-dense coat that is cream, black and grey in coloring.
  • Energy: Medium energy. They require moderate exercise–brisk walks but not runs.
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Country of Origin: The Netherlands and Germany
  • Breed Type: Spitz
  • Other Names: Dutch Barge Dog
  • Great Breed for: Families. Breed also tolerates apartment living well due to its moderate exercise needs. 


What Is a Keeshond?

A Keeshond was originally bred in northern Germany and The Netherlands as a guard dog where it would patrol barges on the region’s many rivers and canals. Today, it’s a popular companion dog and beloved by owners for its loyal and loving temperament. Although these dogs enjoy cool weather, they prefer to live indoors with their human companions. They can be lively and alert but don’t need an extraordinary amount of exercise to thrive. In fact, they aren’t the ideal dog for accompanying their owners on jogs or hikes. 

The Keeshond is part of the Spitz family of dogs. Most spitzes were bred to hunt, herd, or pull sleds, but the Keeshond is not a workhorse of a dog and prefers family life. In its native Holland, the breed is among the most beloved, and Aussies are coming to understand just why and are choosing life with a Keeshond. 


What Do Border Keeshond Look Like?

The Keeshond features a medium build and is known for its fluffy coat that’s black, grey, and cream. Like other spitz dogs, they have a sturdy body and wedge-shaped head with an expressive face. It also sports a tightly curled tail. 


What Makes the Keeshond Special?

Even though the Keeshond is lively, alert, and boasts a moderate level of exercise, it adapts well to apartment life and tolerates both urban and rural settings quite well. The breed is also comfortable living near water and tolerates–even prefers–cold weather. This dog also loves being treated as part of the family and will not be happy if forced to live apart from its companions. It enjoys outdoor play but does not require extensive exercise to thrive. Its alert nature also makes it an excellent guard dog; it will not hesitate to bark and alert its owner if anything is amiss. 


How Often Do I Need to Groom My Keeshond Dog?

One of the cons of the Keeshond, according to some owners, is its need for regular grooming; however, in spite of its fluffy coat, its grooming requirements are actually moderate. Brush out its coat two times a week to reduce the potential for tangles and matting. The Keeshond is also not regarded as a ‘smelly’ breed. It usually only needs a bath every three months or so. Trim this dog’s nails each month and, also, refrain from shaving this dog’s coat during the summer. The coat actually protects its skin from sunburns.  


How Often Should I Walk My Keeshond Dog?

With its moderate energy, the Keeshond enjoys about 30 minutes of walking or exercising daily. Younger dogs may enjoy more playtime if possible. One vigorous walk each day usually suffices for this breed. However, during the hot season, shorter walks may be preferred. 


How Do I Train My Keeshond Dog?

Keeshonds have a well-balanced temperament. They are loyal and affectionate and not overly prone to mischief. Their chief complaint is barking. Socialize these dogs young and rely on positive reinforcement training to encourage obedience and positive behaviors. Pet Cloud features dog training classes in blocks of six-week, one-hour sessions with registered trainers. An experienced trainer will come to your house or apartment and use positive reinforcement techniques as recommended by the RSPCA to teach your Keeshond puppy.  


Quickfire Keeshond Questions: 

Can I leave my Keeshond alone during the day?

The Keeshond does not tolerate being alone well. It may develop anxiety or a tendency to bark excessively when left alone. If you spend little time at home, a more independent breed of dog might be a better choice for you. Even so, many owners of Keeshonds do work and find that if they get their dog used to being alone at a young age, it might learn to get comfortable with the routine, but this is more difficult training in the Keeshond’s case.  


Are Keeshonds barkers?

Yes, Keeshonds are barkers, so if you’re concerned about their potential for noise-making, train them with silence commands right from the start. Talk to your trainer about helping you reduce their propensity for barking. 


Are Keeshond dogs prone to health risks I should know about?

Like many breeds, Keeshonds are associated with certain health risks. You’ll want to be on guard for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, Addison’s disease, progressive renal atrophy, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, cataracts, and allergies. 


Where can I get a Keeshond Dog?

If you’re open to rescuing and adopting a Keeshond, check with area rescue agencies and organizations. You may be able to find a pet who simply needs the right living situation and companion. With the right setting and owners, this breed is likely to thrive. Check out the RSPCA’s adoption guide to see if this is the ideal solution for you. If you want to purchase your Keeshond dog from a reputable breeder, be sure to use this helpful guide for finding the right breeder from the RSPCA.


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