Keeshond (Non-Sporting Group)

The Keeshond is one of the most affectionate and friendliest members of the Non-Sporting Group. This dog has the physical appearance of a fluffy, square-shaped Northern-type breed. The coat is harsh and long, perfect for withstanding cool temperatures. These stand from 17 to 18 inches tall, and weigh from 35 to 45 lbs.


The temperament of the Keeshond can be summed up in one word: loving. These dogs are as tender and affectionate as can be, not only towards its family members but also with other dogs and pets in the house. However, do not let this soft-hearted temperament fool you – the Keeshond also makes a great watchdog and will bark incessantly at incoming intruders.

A Brief History Of The Keeshond

The Keeshond has its roots from the Netherlands, dating back to the 1700s. However, the exact history of the breed is not documented. We do know that it was widely popular in Holland since the 18th century, owned by families as companions and devoted watchdogs.

Several years before the French Revolution the breed got twisted into the affairs discussed around the political events of the time. This was due largely in part from a man named Kees de Gyselaer, who was the leader of the Patriot faction. He owned a large number of these dogs and used them in so many political cartoons that the dogs became known as Patriot symbols.

Unfortunately, since this party did not win, many owners of Keeshond dogs got rid of their pets, not wanting to have anything affiliating them with the losing party. However, the breed did survive in enough numbers to continue. By 1925 the Keeshond made its way to England, and in 1930 the breed was recognized by the AKC.

Upkeep Requirements For The Keeshond

This is a moderately active breed that can get its exercise requirements from a few brisk walks on the leash and some playtime, both in or outside the home. They are compact enough in size to make ideal house dogs, but always appreciate a romp outside. The Keeshond is an overly-social dog that enjoys interacting with other dogs and people.

With its harsh coat, the ideal climate for the breed is in cool locations. They do not tolerate heat well and can live outdoors if need be. However, Keeshond dogs are meant to be companions and should sleep inside at night with the family. Grooming requirements call for a good brushing two to three times weekly.

Health Concerns

The average lifespan for the Keeshond is between twelve and fourteen years. There are no major health concerns in the breed. Minor health issues include epilepsy, CHD, patellar luxation, and skin problems. Rarely seen is renal cortical hypoplasia, mitral valve insufficiency, and tetralogy of Fallot. Veterinarians suggest that the Keeshond get specifically tested for knee, hip, and cardiac problems.