35-45 lbs
The Netherlands
Chien Loup, Deutscher Wolfspitz, Dutch Barge Dog, German Wolfspitz, Kees, Smiling Dutchman

The Keeshond is a small dog with a strong resemblance to their ancestor, the Samoyed. They have an attractive long, bushy outer coat and soft, dense undercoat. They are excellent with children, loving and playful. These dogs love to part of the family life; they are loyal and devoted to their family and need to be included in all the activities to keep them happy. One of their most noticeable traits is their ability to guard and be a watchdog. They will warn you immediately if they hear a sound. They are an active dog and need exercise to burn off their abundant energy. They are a very smart breed, and sometimes can be a little mischievous. Socialization early in life, getting your dog used to meeting lots of different people, and taking them to new places will all help your Keeshond to grow into a well-rounded, sociable canine. With a history as a barge or riverboat dog, these dogs adapt well to small spaces like an apartment. They are true companion dogs, and as such, it is essential that they live inside with the family, or loneliness and boredom may turn their natural propensity to bark into an annoying habit.

Barge Watchdog, Companion
Date of Origin
Samoyed, Chow Chow, Finnish Spitz, Norwegian Elkhound, Pomeranian

Keeshond Health

Sketch of Keeshond
Average Size
Male Keeshond size stats
Height: 17-18 inches Weight: 35-45 lbs
Female Keeshond size stats
Height: 16-17 inches Weight: 35-45 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Renal Cortical Hypoplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • Heart Disease
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Epilepsy
  • Skin Problems
  • Congenital Heart Defect
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • Cardiac
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Keeshond Breed History

The ‘dog of the people’ as the Keeshond was known in the 18th Century, is still a well-loved companion dog. This dog became the symbol of the Dutch Patriot political party during the French Revolution. The Dutch Patriot party was led by a man called Kees de Gyselaer and his dog called Kees. Combine the name Kees with the word hound, and this was where the breed first got their name, albeit after a few adjustments. Unfortunately, the breed then lost popularity and favor (because the rebel party was overthrown, the Keeshond bore the brunt of the lost cause, and many were destroyed). It wasn’t until a Mrs. Wingfield-Digby introduced the breed into the United Kingdom that their popularity slowly gained ground and then accelerated once they were imported into the United States in 1920. There, they became a popular dog, working as a watch and guard dog on riverboats, barges, and farms because of their natural watchful, intuitive nature and the ability to sound a quick warning when strangers are near. The friendly Keeshond gained recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1930.

Keeshond Breed Appearance

The Keeshond is an attractive animal, quite compact looking and bears a strong resemblance to their ancestor, the Samoyed. The tail is medium in length and bushy, carried proudly over the back. Erect triangular shaped ears that are set high on the wedge-shaped head give the dog an inquisitive, bright look.  The muzzle is a pointed shape,  the eyes are medium in size in a deep warm brown, and they have a fox-like expression due to the dark markings around their eyes. The hair coat is a long and dense and stands out from the body, but has a deep soft undercoat. Particularly attractive is the lion-like mane around the neck and their overall soft, cuddly appearance. The feet are compact and well-rounded in shape, and the legs are thickly fur-coated, forming the ‘trousers’ they wear. They are a healthy breed, popular with families, and good with other pets.

Appearance of Keeshond
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Keeshond eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Keeshond nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Keeshond coat
gray Keeshond coat
fawn Keeshond coat
silver Keeshond coat
white Keeshond coat
sable Keeshond coat
brindle Keeshond coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Keeshond straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Keeshond Breed Maintenance

While the coat on the Keeshond may look high maintenance, it is surprisingly easy to maintain. Of course, it does need a daily brushing of the long coat using a stiff bristle brush, to prevent any matting. But what better way to spend quality time with your dog? The trick is to brush with the grain of the hair first, then use a comb to lift the hair against the grain. Then lay it back in place, and you are finished. The Keeshond only requires bathing when necessary, and in summer, they love lying in the children’s paddling pool to keep cool. In summer, they do feel the heat but don’t need shearing as their coat will insulate them against the heat and sun's burning rays. They need daily exercise to keep them fit and prevent weight gain, and they will happily join in the family games. If they are not getting enough exercise, you will be able to tell, as they tend to spin in circles if they haven’t burnt up enough energy.

Brushes for Keeshond
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Keeshond requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Keeshond Temperament

These small dogs are active, keen and intensely loyal companions to children and adults. They can even be trained to perform. The Keeshond is like a piece of Velcro; they love to stick to their owners and need to be a part of the family activities. They are a people’s dog; they will fret and bark if left outside. They are very quick to learn as long as you are consistent with them. Gentle, but firm and calm leadership works best with these vibrant dogs. Keeshonds do like to bark, and it is because of this that they are so good as watchdogs, but they can get carried away and need training at an early age that one bark is enough! They can become overexcited if they are not exercised enough, and can spin in circles and have other behavior issues if this is the case. Socialize these dogs well when they are puppies to avoid them from becoming reserved or timid. They need a good strong pack leader who sets guidelines and rules, which is what this dog instinctively needs.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Keeshond Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.75 - $2.25
Monthly Cost
$60.00 - $67.50

Keeshond Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Keeshond at six months
Male Keeshond size stats at six months
Height: 15.0 inches Weight: 20.0 lbs
Female Keeshond size stats at six months
Height: 13.0 inches Weight: 20.0 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Keeshond at 12 months
Male Keeshond size stats at 12 months
Height: 16.0 inches Weight: 30.0 lbs
Female Keeshond size stats at 12 months
Height: 15.0 inches Weight: 30.0 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Keeshond at 18 months
Male Keeshond size stats at 18 months
Height: 18.0 inches Weight: 37.5 lbs
Female Keeshond size stats at 18 months
Height: 17.0 inches Weight: 37.5 lbs

Top Keeshond Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Keeshond breeders of 2021.
Top Keeshond breeder Dogwood Keeshonden
Dogwood Keeshonden
Warrenton, Virginia
Top Keeshond breeder Clingmey Keeshonden
Clingmey Keeshonden
Monroeville, New Jersey
Top Keeshond breeder Ikon Keeshonden
Ikon Keeshonden
Columbus, Ohio
Top Keeshond breeder Shamrock Keeshonden
Shamrock Keeshonden
Rickreall, Oregon
Top Keeshond breeder Windrift Keeshonden
Windrift Keeshonden
Santa Rosa, California
Top Keeshond breeder Summerwind Canines
Summerwind Canines
Sacramento, California
Top Keeshond breeder Wund-R Y Keeshonden
Wund-R Y Keeshonden
Waukesha, Wisconsin
Top Keeshond breeder A*Starz Keeshonden & Pomeranians
A*Starz Keeshonden & Pomeranians
Weirton, West Virginia
Top Keeshond breeder Keeshond4You
Middleton, New Hampshire

Keeshond Owner Experiences

5 Years
Explore the city
Eating Snacks
My Keeshond client literally makes my day. Her name is Leifda and she is an absolute peach. She’s just a huge fluffy teddy bear and I have to hug her every time I see her. She always has a smile on her face. She loves to walk, run and sniff. She loves to say hi to anyone we pass. She knows she’s unique and she likes to soak up the attention.
3 years, 7 months ago
5 Months
The Keeshond that I have walked was just a puppy so he was very excited and energetic. He loved to chew on my shoes and bottom of my pants as well as his leash. We did not walk too far during the walk since he mostly wanted to sniff things and chew on my shoes or play tug of war with the leash.
3 years, 7 months ago
5 Months
The Keeshond that I have walked was just a puppy so he was very excited and energetic. He loved to chew on my shoes and bottom of my pants as well as his leash. We did not walk too far during the walk since he mostly wanted to sniff things and chew on my shoes or play tug of war with the leash.
3 years, 7 months ago
4 Years
Explore the city
Agility training
This guy has fur for days and it is so soft. He's been working on leash skills and a wide variety of tricks and is making fantastic progress. He is very smart, very attentive, and calmly affectionate. He would willingly sit at every corner, not pull on the leash while we walked, and was very good at taking short trick breaks during our walk. He seems to be an absolutely great family companion because he has such a willing and open disposition. It was truly a pleasure walking this Keeshound around town. It seems every chance I have the opportunity to hang out with him he only gets better behaved even than our previous walk. It is very calming hanging out with him. I'd walk him every day if I were able to.
3 years, 7 months ago
11 Years
4 People
House & Yard
I did not know the breed until my husband introduced me to them. Hands down one of the best breeds ever! We adopted our first one and after she passed we got another one as these are truly a great family dog! She loves all family members, her disposition is probably the best I've ever experienced. They are great with little kids. You cannot go wrong with them. The biggest con I would say is that they shed a lot. These are inside dogs due to their nature, if you can't keep it inside then this is probably not the dog for you. We have enjoyed both of our Keeshonds and my bet is you will too!
2 years, 7 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd