What is a keeshond?

Keeshond attracts attraction and sympathy with the round and soft appearance everywhere he goes. He has a smiling and alert expression and his movements are brisk. First of all he wants to please his owner. Keeshond learns easily as an intelligent dog.

Keeshond (earlier called as Dutch Spitz) is a medium sized member of the Spitz family with long and dense coat with different shades of grey. Head and back are dark in colour. Dense ruff and high set tightly curled tail are light grey. Head is wedge-shaped in form and should show a definite stop. Ears are small and close together, triangular in shape and set on high. Eyes are dark and with well defined 'spectacles'. Legs are sturdy, straight and with moderate angulation. Feet are small, round and cat-like.

Conformation is sound and very close to original breed type. Consequently keeshond is healthy in general and does not have inclination to hereditary faults and diseases.



Keeshond is a good guard, alarming the owner with bark - not attacking - when somebody is approaching his home area. He enjoys having an own yard which he wants to guard. He prefers especially to stay on a higher place from which he has the possibility to follow what happens in the surrounding area. He is also an excellent companion and likes to participate in all activities at home. Keeshond is devoted to whole family, he is not a one-man dog.



As jogging companion he does not require long daily trips but it is enough strong to run several kilometres beside the owner. When left loose he keeps well close to owner. He does not have game instinct.

In Holland keeshond has always enjoyed popularity as barge dogs. Thus we can easily understand why he likes to stay on board of a smaller or bigger boat. He has agile movements and keeps well his balance on narrow surfaces. He enjoys travelling in cars and other means of transport.



In a dog show keeshond is presented in a natural way, i.e. standing free. The coat needs to be brushed thoroughly before going to the show. It is not clipped or trimmed. Only the hocks and feet are slightly tidied up with scissors.

Keeshond is very well adapted to work as obedience dog. He learns easily and is eager to perform and obey the owner. It also likes sweet and by giving prizes it is easy to have learn to do more difficult tasks. Finnish keeshonds have had great success in obedience training. Sanifanin Unelma has achieved the title of Finnish Champion in obedience three times (1996, 1997 and 1999). Also her son Maruskan Jesper was at the third place 1999.

Keeshond is also a good agility dog. Although he has to participate in the bigger dogs' class, he can easily jump easily over the barriers and is a quick runner.



Due to the friendly and soft appearance keeshond is suitable for work as therapy dog, friend to people in hospitals and to help people in overcoming their dog fear.

Keeshonden have been trained as rescue dogs, searching people from rumbles and woods.

Coat care 

General perception of keeshond's dense coat is that it is difficult to keep in condition. However, it requires less work one would think of at first sight. Good food, sufficient physical exercise and suitable circumstances are the prerequisites for healthy and beautiful keeshond. Double coat protects from cold and it also insulates from heat and rejects dirt.