History & Overview
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. His distrust to strangers and lack of hunting instinct make him the ideal watchdog for home and farm.
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.
This is a vivacious, outgoing, intelligent and ever alert who enjoys a good bark. He is always attentive, lively and exceptionally devoted to his owner. 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 very limited hunting or prey instinct and is an ideal candidate for a home with other pets. The Keeshond is very teachable and easy to train. 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.
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 Wolfspitz from which it is descended.