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Keeshond is an active and outgoing medium sized dog with a cheerful personality. The dog originated in the arctic region and was named after a dog named Kees that was owned by 18th century Dutch Patriot Cornelis (Kees) de Gyselaer. The dog soon became symbol of the Dutch Patriot political party led by Gyselaer.

Dutch Barge Dog, German Spitz, Wolfsspitz, Chien Loup, Deutscher Wolfsspitz and Smiling Dutchman are some other names for Keeshond dog breed. The dog was earlier referred to as “Overweight Pomeranian” in Victorian England.

The breed is a member of Spitz group and is related to Pomeranian, Samoyed, Finnish Spitz, Chow Chow and Norwegian Elkhound breeds. These dogs are gentler and less dominant than other spitz-type dogs. In earlier times, people often kept them as vermin exterminators on riverboats, farms and barges. They were also considered as good luck dogs on ships.

Physical Appearance

The dog has a well balanced and sturdy body. There is typical spitz pointed muzzle. The breed also has distinctive characteristics like spectacles (formed by a combination of markings and shadings in the orbital area) and trousers (thick feathering on rump and hind legs). Neck is surrounded by a mane is more profuse in males than females.

Eyes are almond shaped and medium in size. They are dark brown in color and have black eye rims. The high set ears are small, triangular and carried erect. Tail is also set high on the back. It is tightly curved and lies flat and close to the body. Hair on the moderately long tail form a rich plume.

Color: The color of hair coat is a light to dark mixture of grey, black and cream. Tips of the outer coat are black in color.
Height: On an average, these dogs are 17 to 19 inches in height. Females are a bit shorter, that is 16 to 18 inches.
Weight: The average weight of males is about 45 pounds. Female Keeshonden tend to be around 35 pounds in weight.

Health Problems

These dogs are prone to health issues like Hip Dysplasia, Slipped Stifles, Hypothyroidism, Epilepsy, Heart Problems, bleeding disorders such as Von Willebrand’s Disease and Hemophilia etc. They are also susceptible to flea allergies and skin problems.

Life Expectancy: The average lifespan of these dogs is 12 to 14 years.
Litter Size: Keeshond litter size is about 3 to 8 puppies.