Also known as the Dutch Barge Dog, the Smiling Dutchman, the Dutch Keeshond, Wolfspitz and the Chien Loup (France), this is a typical spitz dog, with pointed muzzle, pricked ears, up-curled tail, thick coat, stocky body, and wolf-like coloring. As a barge dog, it was a jack-of-all-trades, catching and killing vermin, watching over cargo, guiding barges through the fog and acting as a guard dog. Because of his history as a barge dog, the Keeshond is prepared to accept more confined spaces than many breeds, although it does enjoy being outside.
The Keeshond has a double coat : long, straight, stand off top coat and short, thick, cotton-wool-like undercoat. He comes in a variety of colors: cream, cream-sable, orange-sable, black and tan and parti-color.
The Keeshond is a medium-sized dog, a reduced version of its Arctic ancestors, but slightly smaller than the very similar German Woldspitz from which it is descended. He is always attentive, lively and exceptionally devoted to his owner. The Keeshond is very teachable and easy to train. His distrust to strangers and lack of hunting instinct make him the ideal watchdog for home and farm.
Photo courtesy of Allforus Keeshonds
This is a vivacious, outgoing, intelligent and ever alert who enjoys a good bark. A full-grown Kees can handle the rough-and-tumble play of children, while a Keeshond puppy may not be a very good idea for a family with young children. The breed has a very limited hunting or prey instinct and is an ideal candidate for a home with other pets. However, consistent training should start at a very early age as this agile and quick-thinking dog with a mind of his own will try and find his way around the house rules.