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Keeshond Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A fluffy, friendly and energetic dog breed with a distinctive “spectacles” marking around their eyes.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.


Keeshonds are considered a Medium-sized dog breed.
Weight:16-20 kg.
Height:43-48 cm (17-19 inches) at the shoulder.
Length:45-50 cm.


The average lifespan of a Keeshond is 12-15 years


What type of dog is a Keeshond, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Keeshonds are renowned for their friendly and affectionate personalities. They are outgoing and love to be around people, making them great family pets. They are also known for their intelligence and trainability, making them easy to teach new tricks and commands.

Keeshonds are typically very social and enjoy being around other dogs and animals. They are also great with children and make excellent playmates for kids. They are very loyal to their owners and will often follow them around the house, always eager to be by their side.

In terms of temperament, Keeshonds are generally very even-tempered and calm. They are not typically aggressive or overly excitable, making them great pets for families with young children or other animals. They are also very adaptable and can adjust well to different living situations, whether it be a small apartment or a large house with a yard.

One thing to note about Keeshonds is that they can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. They thrive on human interaction and can become anxious or destructive if left alone for too long. It’s important to provide them with plenty of attention and exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

Overall, Keeshonds are friendly, loyal and intelligent dogs that make great family pets. They are easy to train and adapt well to different living situations, but require plenty of attention and exercise to stay happy and healthy.


Keeshonds are considered to be intelligent dogs. They are quick learners and have a good memory, which makes them easy to train. They are good at problem-solving skills and have an ability to adapt to new situations. Keeshonds are often used as therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs and even as service dogs for people with disabilities. Overall, Keeshonds are a smart breed that can excel in a variety of activities with proper training and socialization.


Keeshonds are generally intelligent and eager to please, which can make them relatively easy to train. However, like all dogs, they have their own unique personalities and may require different training methods or levels of patience. Consistency, positive reinforcement and early socialization are key to successfully training a Keeshond. It’s also important to note that Keeshonds can be sensitive to harsh training methods, so a gentle and patient approach is recommended. Overall, with the right approach and dedication, Keeshonds can be trained to be well-behaved and obedient companions.


Keeshonds typically sleep for around 12-14 hours per day, although this can vary depending on their age, activity level and individual needs. Puppies and older dogs may require more sleep, while highly active dogs may need less. It’s important to provide your Keeshond with a comfortable and quiet sleeping area where they can rest undisturbed.


Keeshonds are vocal dogs and can bark quite a bit. They were originally bred as watchdogs and have a strong protective instinct, which can lead to excessive barking if not properly trained and socialized. However, with proper training and socialization, Keeshonds can learn to control their barking and only bark when necessary.


Keeshonds are not heavy droolers. They may drool occasionally, especially when they are excited or anxious, but it is not a common trait of the breed. However, every dog is different and some Keeshonds may drool more than others.


Keeshonds are moderate to heavy lickers. They enjoy licking their owners and other people they are familiar with as a way of showing affection and bonding. However, excessive licking can also be a sign of anxiety or boredom, so it’s important to monitor their behavior and provide them with enough mental and physical stimulation. Regular grooming and dental care can also help reduce excessive licking.


Keeshonds are not known for their jumping abilities, but they are agile and athletic dogs. On average, they can jump up to 3-4 feet high. However, it is important to note that every dog is different and their jumping ability may vary based on their age, size and overall health.


Keeshonds are not excessive diggers. However, like all dogs, they may dig occasionally, especially if they are bored or trying to escape from a fenced area. Providing your Keeshond with enough exercise, mental stimulation and attention can help prevent digging behavior.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Keeshond the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Keeshond.


Keeshonds are an active breed and require moderate exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. They should get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise per day, which can include brisk walks, jogging, playing fetch or other activities that allow them to burn off energy. It’s important to note that Keeshonds are prone to obesity, so it’s important to monitor their diet and exercise routine to ensure they maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, they enjoy mental stimulation such as training, puzzle toys and games, which can also help keep them active and engaged.


Keeshonds are medium-sized dogs and require a moderate amount of space. They can adapt to living in apartments or small homes as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. However, they do enjoy having access to a yard or outdoor space where they can run and play. A fenced yard is ideal for Keeshonds to safely explore and burn off energy. Overall, Keeshonds can thrive in a variety of living situations as long as their physical and mental needs are met.


Keeshonds can adapt to apartment living, but they are an active breed that requires daily exercise and mental stimulation. They are also known for their vocal nature, so barking may be an issue in an apartment setting. If you are committed to providing your Keeshond with enough exercise and training, they can be a good apartment dog. However, it is important to note that they may be better suited for a home with a yard or access to outdoor space.

Left Alone

Keeshonds are social dogs and do not tolerate being left alone for long periods of time. They thrive on human companionship and can become anxious or depressed if left alone for extended periods. It is recommended that Keeshond owners provide their dogs with plenty of social interaction and mental stimulation, such as toys and puzzles, to keep them entertained and happy while they are away. It is also important to gradually train your Keeshond to be comfortable with alone time, starting with short periods and gradually increasing the duration.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Keeshonds are generally good with kids and families. They have a friendly and affectionate nature and they enjoy being around people. Keeshonds are also very loyal and protective of their families, making them great watchdogs. However, as with any breed, it is important to supervise interactions between children and dogs to ensure that both are safe and comfortable.

Perfect Fit

A Keeshond would be a perfect fit for a household that has an active family who can provide plenty of exercise and playtime. They are also great with children and make excellent family pets. Keeshonds are adaptable to different living situations, but they do require a moderate amount of grooming to maintain their thick, fluffy coat. They are also known for their loyalty and love to be around their owners, so a household where someone is home most of the day would be ideal. Overall, a Keeshond would thrive in a loving and active household that can provide them with plenty of attention and exercise.

Pros and Cons:

If you’re considering adding a Keeshond to your family, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons to make sure it’s the right decision for you. Here’s a table with 5 pros and cons of owning a Keeshond:

1. Keeshonds are great with children and make excellent family pets.1. Keeshonds require a lot of exercise and need plenty of space to run and play.
2. They are highly intelligent and easy to train.2. Keeshonds have a thick coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.
3. Keeshonds are very social and love to be around people.3. They can be prone to separation anxiety and may become destructive if left alone for long periods of time.
4. They have a playful and energetic personality that makes them great companions for outdoor activities.4. Keeshonds can be stubborn and may require patience and consistency during training.
5. Keeshonds are generally healthy and have a long lifespan of 12-15 years.5. They can be prone to barking and may require training to prevent excessive noise.
Overall, owning a Keeshond can be a rewarding experience for the right owner who is willing to provide plenty of exercise, grooming and training.


The cost of a Keeshond in Australia can vary depending on several factors such as the breeder, location and the dog’s age and pedigree. On average, a Keeshond puppy can cost between $2,000 to $3,500 AUD. However, it is important to note that purchasing a dog should not be solely based on the price and potential owners should also consider the breeder’s reputation, health clearances and the dog’s temperament and suitability for their lifestyle.

Breed History:

Keeshonds were originally bred as working dogs in the Netherlands. They were used as watchdogs on barges and boats, as well as for hunting and as companions. The breed is named after Cornelis (Kees) de Gyselaer, a Dutch patriot who used the dogs as a symbol of his political party in the late 18th century. Keeshonds were also popular among Dutch merchants and were often seen on their ships, which helped spread the breed throughout Europe. Today, Keeshonds are primarily kept as companion dogs and are known for their friendly and affectionate nature.

Current Usage

Keeshonds are primarily used as companion dogs or family pets. They are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them great companions for families and individuals alike. However, Keeshonds were originally bred as working dogs and they still possess many of the traits that made them successful in their original roles.

Today, Keeshonds are occasionally used in various dog sports such as obedience, agility and rally. They are also sometimes used as therapy dogs due to their gentle and loving nature. Additionally, some Keeshonds are still used for their original purpose as watchdogs, as they are naturally protective of their families and homes.

Overall, while Keeshonds are primarily kept as pets, they still possess many of the traits that made them successful working dogs and they can excel in a variety of roles.

Guard Dogs

Keeshonds are not typically considered good guard dogs as they are friendly and outgoing with people, including strangers. They are more likely to greet visitors with a wagging tail than to bark or act aggressively. However, they are known to be watchful and alert and will bark to alert their owners of any unusual activity or potential danger. So while they may not be the best guard dogs, they can still be effective watchdogs.

Where Are They Found?

Keeshonds are most popular in their country of origin, the Netherlands. They are also popular in other European countries such as Germany, France and Belgium. In the United States, Keeshonds are a relatively rare breed and not among the most popular breeds.


Keeshonds are best suited to moderate climates that are not too hot or too cold. They have a thick double coat that provides insulation and protection from the elements, but they can overheat easily in hot weather. They also do not do well in extreme cold and should not be left outside for extended periods of time in freezing temperatures. Overall, Keeshonds are adaptable to a range of climates as long as they have access to shelter and appropriate care.


It is difficult to determine the exact number of Keeshonds in the world as there is no centralized database or registry for this breed. However, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Keeshonds are a relatively rare breed in the United States, ranking 102nd out of 195 breeds in terms of popularity. It is estimated that there are around 3,000 Keeshonds registered with the AKC each year. In other countries, such as the Netherlands where the breed originated, there may be more Keeshonds, but again, exact numbers are difficult to determine.

Physical Appearance:

Keeshonds are medium-sized dogs with a distinctive appearance. They have a thick, double coat that is typically a mix of gray, black and cream colors. Their fur is long and fluffy, especially around the neck and tail, giving them a lion-like appearance. They have a wedge-shaped head with a pointed muzzle and small, triangular ears that stand erect. Their eyes are dark and almond-shaped, giving them an intelligent and alert expression. Keeshonds have a sturdy, muscular build with a broad chest and a slightly curved back. They have a plumed tail that curls over their back. Overall, Keeshonds have a friendly and approachable appearance that makes them popular as family pets.



Keeshonds are typically gray or black with a silver or cream undercoat. They may also have white markings on their chest, legs and face. Some Keeshonds may have a darker “mask” around their eyes and muzzle.

Hair/Fur Length:

Keeshonds have a medium-length double coat of fur that is typically about 2-3 inches in length. The fur is thick and fluffy, with a dense undercoat and longer guard hairs on top. The fur is longer around the neck and chest area, giving the appearance of a mane and shorter on the legs and tail. Regular grooming is necessary to keep their coat healthy and free of tangles and mats.


Yes, Keeshonds do shed. They have a thick, double-layered coat that sheds moderately year-round and heavily twice a year during shedding seasons. Regular grooming and brushing can help manage shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny.


The Keeshond has a thick, double coat that requires regular grooming. They shed heavily twice a year and will require more frequent brushing during these times. Weekly brushing is recommended to keep their coat healthy and free of mats and tangles.

Trimming or cutting the Keeshond’s hair is not necessary, but some owners may choose to trim the hair around their ears and paws for a neater appearance. It is important to avoid shaving their coat as it can damage their natural insulation and protection from the sun.


No, Keeshonds are not considered hypoallergenic. They have a thick double coat that sheds moderately year-round and heavily twice a year during shedding season. This shedding can cause allergies in some people who are sensitive to pet dander. However, some people with mild allergies may be able to tolerate Keeshonds with proper grooming and cleaning.


Keeshonds have a maximum running speed of approximately 48 kph (30 mph).


Keeshonds are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health issues that Keeshonds are faced with include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: A genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Patellar Luxation: A condition where the kneecap dislocates from its normal position, causing lameness and pain.
  • Hypothyroidism: A condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to weight gain, lethargy and skin problems.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A genetic condition where the retina degenerates over time, leading to blindness.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: A genetic bleeding disorder that affects the blood’s ability to clot properly.


Keeshonds typically have 42 teeth.


Keeshonds have a keen sense of vision and excellent eyesight. They have a wide field of vision and can detect movement from a distance, making them great watchdogs.


Keeshonds typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.


Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Keeshonds is between 4 to 6 puppies. However, litter sizes can vary and may be smaller or larger depending on various factors such as the age and health of the mother, genetics and environmental conditions.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Keeshonds is approximately 63 days. However, it can range from 58 to 68 days.


Female Keeshonds typically go into heat twice a year, with each heat cycle lasting for approximately three weeks.

Male vs Female:

Male and female Keeshonds have some physical and behavioral differences. Males are generally larger and heavier than females, with a height of 17-19 inches and a weight of 45-65 pounds, while females are 16-18 inches tall and weigh 35-55 pounds. Females tend to have a more refined head and a more delicate bone structure, while males have a broader head and a more muscular build. In terms of temperament, females may be more independent and reserved, while males are often more outgoing and playful. However, these differences are not absolute and can vary depending on the individual dog’s personality and upbringing.

Tips and Advice:

Like all dogs, they require proper care and attention to ensure they stay healthy and happy. Here are some tips and advice for caring for a Keeshond:

  • Grooming: Keeshonds have a thick double coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Brush their coat at least once a week and consider taking them to a professional groomer every few months for a trim.
  • Exercise: Keeshonds are an active breed that require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. Take them for a walk or run every day and provide them with plenty of toys to play with.
  • Training: Keeshonds are intelligent dogs that respond well to positive reinforcement training. Start training them early and use treats and praise to reward good behavior.
  • Socialization: Keeshonds are friendly dogs that enjoy being around people and other animals. Socialize them early by exposing them to different people, animals and environments.
  • Health: Keeshonds are generally healthy dogs, but they are prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and eye problems. Take them to the vet for regular check-ups and keep up with their vaccinations and preventative care.
  • Diet: Keeshonds require a balanced diet that is high in protein and low in fat. Feed them high-quality dog food and avoid giving them table scraps or human food.
  • Dental care: Keeshonds are prone to dental problems, so it’s important to brush their teeth regularly and provide them with dental chews or toys.
  • Safety: Keeshonds are curious dogs that can get into trouble if left unsupervised. Keep them on a leash when outside and make sure your home is safe and secure.

By following these tips and advice, you can ensure that your Keeshond stays healthy, happy and well-cared for.


Keeshonds typically eat 1-2 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day, depending on their size, age and activity level. They are not typically food-obsessed or overly food-motivated, but like all dogs, they enjoy treats and rewards for good behavior. It’s important to monitor their food intake and ensure they maintain a healthy weight to prevent obesity and related health issues.


Here are three interesting facts about Keeshond:

  1. Keeshonds were once used as watchdogs on Dutch riverboats, where they would alert their owners of any intruders or danger.
  2. The breed was named after a Dutch patriot named Cornelis (Kees) de Gyselaer, who owned a dog named Kees that became a symbol of the Dutch resistance against the House of Orange in the late 18th century.
  3. Keeshonds have a distinctive “spectacles” marking around their eyes, which gives them a friendly and intelligent expression. This marking is also believed to help protect their eyes from the glare of the sun and snow.


Keeshonds are a breed of dog that originated in Holland and are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They have a thick, fluffy coat and a distinctive curled tail. When it comes to naming a Keeshond, names that are fun, playful and a little bit quirky tend to work well. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for a Keeshond:

1. Koda6. Jasper11. Cooper
2. Luna7. Willow12. Sadie
3. Finn8. Milo13. Max
4. Ziggy9. Bailey14. Rosie
5. Mika10. Charlie15. Toby


Over the years, some Keeshonds have become famous for their roles in movies, their incredible feats or for being owned by famous people. Here is a list of some of the most famous Keeshonds of all time:

  1. Pete the Pup – Pete was a Keeshond who appeared in the Our Gang comedies in the 1920s and 1930s.
  2. Gidget – Gidget was a Keeshond who became famous in the 1980s for her role in the Taco Bell commercials.
  3. Kees – Kees was a Keeshond who was trained to be a search and rescue dog. He helped locate survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
  4. Tasha Tudor’s Keeshonds – Tasha Tudor was a children’s book author and illustrator who owned several Keeshonds. Her dogs often appeared in her illustrations and became beloved characters in their own right.
  5. King – King was a Keeshond who belonged to President Calvin Coolidge. He was known for his friendly demeanor and was a popular fixture at the White House.
  6. Tika – Tika was a Keeshond who competed in agility competitions and won several titles, including the AKC National Agility Championship in 2003.
  7. Keesha – Keesha was a Keeshond who belonged to actress Betty White. White was a longtime advocate for animal welfare and often spoke about her love for her Keeshond.

These are just a few of the many famous Keeshonds throughout history. Their intelligence, loyalty and friendly nature have made them beloved pets and working dogs for centuries.


The Keeshond is a medium-sized dog breed that originated in the Netherlands. It is a spitz-type dog that is renowned for its thick, fluffy coat and distinctive “spectacles” around its eyes. Keeshonds are friendly, intelligent and affectionate dogs that make great family pets. They are known for their loyalty and love to be around their owners.

Keeshonds have a rich history as a companion and working dog. They were originally bred to be watchdogs and to help on barges and boats. They were also used as hunting dogs and as companions to Dutch nobility. Today, Keeshonds are primarily kept as family pets and are known for their playful and friendly personalities.

As a pet, Keeshonds are great for families with children and other pets. They are social dogs that love to be around people and have a gentle nature. They are also highly trainable and eager to please, making them great candidates for obedience training and other activities. However, they do require regular exercise and grooming to keep their coat healthy and prevent matting. Overall, the Keeshond is a wonderful companion that is sure to bring joy and love to any home.