General Description

(Wolfspitz) (Chien Loup) (German Wolfspitz) The Keeshond (plural: Keeshonden) is a compact little breed, and strongly resembles its ancestor, the Samoyed. The Keeshond has oblique chestnut eyes and erect triangular ears. The Keeshond has a double coat: the undercoat is cream or pale grey, the outer coat varies in shades of grey, with black tips. The hair stands away from the body, especially the front ruff. The male’s ruff is longer than that of the female. The front and rear legs are feathered. The tail is of medium length and is rolled on its back. The Keeshond has distinctive pale markings around the eye, described as “spectacles.” For show dogs, it is imperative that these markings are present.


The Keeshond is a lively and excitable little dog, and like most little dogs and small children it enjoys spinning around in a tight circle, barking its head off, for no apparent reason. They are friendly, affectionate and outgoing, and can be trained to perform tricks. Harsh discipline in obedience training must not be used. They make an excellent children's companion, being full of love. The Keeshond needs to be part of the family, and not neglected. Most Keeshond are good with other pets, although there are always some that may be reserved or timid - usually females. Extensive socialization as puppies may overcome this trait. Keeshond are also somewhat needy, and will pine for their owners, so they should not be left alone for long periods of time.

The Keeshond is a lively dog, very intelligent and can be mischievous. Keeshonds will bark a warning if there is a visitor or if another animal comes in to its yard. It is protective towards its family. If properly trained, it will quiet immediately upon command. Some Keeshonds may be needy, based on how it is are raised and its current environment. Most believe this is not a trait it uniformly shares. Like any breed Keeshonds have a mix of temperaments which can be influenced by environmental settings and breeding.


16-19 inches


35‑66 pounds

General Health:

A Keeshond gains weight easily, so do not overfeed. (If your pet is gaining weight and you are not overfeeding, check to see if they have Cushing's Disease). They are prone to hip dysplasia, skin problems, epilepsy and heart disease. Properly cared for, however, they can live up to 15 years.


The Keeshond breed was originally called a Wolfspitz, or German spitz. The breed was especially popular in Holland, making a perfect pet and guard dog for the barge-folk, and was the symbol of those rebels who were trying to overthrow the House of Orange. They were led by a Dutch patriot, Cornelis (Kees) de Gyselaer. When the House of Orange put down the rebellion the breed fell out of fashion for a while. The Wolfspitze name was officially changed to Keeshond in England in 1926, to honor de Gyselaer.


Daily brushing - with a stiff bristle brush - is important. The dense undercoat of the Keeshond is shed twice a year, during spring and fall. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary.

This breeds coat should not be clipped too short. Their coat protects from sunburn, bugs, the heat and the cold.

Ideal Environment:

The Keeshond has an extremely dense coat, and will not be comfortable in overly warm climates. Apartment living is okay provided they are exercised on a daily basis, however a house with an average‑sized yard is best.

Dog Training:

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