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Keeshond - Breed Profile:
Origin: Netherlands / Germany
Physical characteristicsThe Keeshond is a medium size dog with square proportions and a luxurious lion-like mane. The head is wedge-shaped, with a definite stop. The medium length muzzle is neither coarse nor snipey. The almond shaped eyes are dark brown. The small erect ears are triangular in shape and set high on the head. The strong teeth meet in a scissor bite. Keeshonds have a very distinctive fox-like smile. The front legs are straight. The compact feet should be cat-like and round. The moderately long tail is well-feathered and carried over the back. The gait is sharp and brisk.
Keeshonds weigh 35 to 40 pounds. Their height is 17 to 18 inches.
TemperamentKeeshonds are excellent companions for children due to their lively, intelligent and very alert temperament. These dogs are full of personality. They are naturally very social, love everyone and need to be part of family activities. Some individuals may be reserved or timid, so extensive socialization is required. Generally good with other dogs and non-canine pets. It's important to take Keeshonds for daily walks so that they can burn their surplus energy, both physical and mental. They do not, however, require vigorous exercise like some of the sporting dogs. Make sure you become a pack leader and establish rules the dog must follow. Keeshonds are easy to train if the owners are consistent.
Coat and groomingKeeshonds have a long double coat that comes in a mixture of grey, black and cream colours (in the UK, the breed standards do not allow cream though). The outer hair is straight and harsh while the undercoat is thick and downy. The muzzle, skull and ears are covered with short hair. The neck is covered with an abundant mane. The hair on the legs should be smooth and short, except for feathering on the front legs and "trousers" on the back legs. The hair on the tail forms a rich plume. Grooming is easier than you might expect, but daily brushing with a stiff bristle brush is important. If you can't do it so often, thorough grooming at least once a week is a must. Puppies are born black; they turn cream by four months of age and grey, black and cream by eighteen months.
HealthKeeshonds are prone to hip dysplasia, skin problems and heart disease. Very sensitive to hot temperatures due to their thick coat. The lifespan is 12 to 15 years.
Other interesting factsThis breed is almost as clean as a cat.
The Keeshond descended from the same arctic strains as the Samoyed, Chow Chow, Norwegian Elkhound, Finnish Spitz and Pomeranian. The Kees was originally used as a watchdog on riverboats, barges and farms. Especially popular in Holland in the late 1700s, the breed became a symbol of the Dutch Patriot political party.
The Kees is also known as the Dutch Barge Dog, Smiling Dutchman, Chien Loup, German Spitz, Deutscher Wolfsspitz, and Wolfsspitz
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