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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Keeshond Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More

Keeshond Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More


If you want a dog that will be involved in all family activities and will always want to be by your side, a Keeshond may be right for you! The fluffy dogs have strikingly beautiful coats in black, gray, silver, and cream, with huge, plumed tails. Keeshonden are affectionate and social and love being around their families. They get along well with children and other pets, making them an ideal family dog.

Breed Overview


17–18 inches


35–45 pounds


13–15 years


Black and silver, gray and black, gray cream and black

Suitable for:

Active families, families with kids, those who want a social companion dog


Good-natured, intelligent, playful, gets along with children and other pets

This dog’s primary purpose today is to be a family pet and companion animal. They don’t have a strong hunting ability and they don’t make good guard dogs. While Keeshonden are intelligent and easy to train, they aren’t bred to do a specific job other than being a loving, entertaining, and happy addition to your home. They don’t try to dominate anyone else in the household, including other pets, and they’re easy to live with if you don’t mind shedding. They only need moderate exercise. A lengthy walk or running in the backyard will do. Read on for more information about this stunning breed.

Keeshond Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-dogKeeshond Puppies

Keeshond puppy
Image By: Eve Photography, Shutterstock

Browsing classified ads, you might come across Keeshond puppies available for different prices. When litters are accidentally created, people may turn to the classifieds to try to sell the puppies. It’s best to research the breeder first and ask questions before making your purchase. A responsible breeder will put time into the process, take the parent dogs in for health checks and genetic tests, and only allow healthy dogs to mate. Visit the breeder’s property or facility and see the dogs and their living conditions. Always ask to see the parents of your puppy.

If you’re looking to adopt your puppy instead, rescues and shelters often have Keeshond puppies available, although they might not be purebred dogs. If you have your heart set on a purebred Keeshond, check the Keeshond rescue in your area to see if they have puppies. An adoption fee from a rescue covers the puppy’s vaccinations, dewormings, any medical treatments that they might need, and a spay or neuter surgery.

Temperament and Intelligence of the Keeshond

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Keeshonden make great family dogs and are good options for families with kids. A Keeshond is large, but not overwhelming for kids to run and play with, and they are alert and observant of strangers. They’re good watchdogs but not good guard dogs, meaning they will bark at any new person or sound, but they aren’t aggressive. This is a dog that truly loves nothing more than spending time with their family and can experience severe separation anxiety1 if they are left alone for long periods.

A Keeshond wants to be with people and around people no matter what is happening. If you’re having a movie night or a barbecue or are just washing the dishes, your dog will be right there next to you. They’re kind to strangers if their family accepts them into the house but might be timid at first. This is a good dog for a family of any activity level because they can adjust and adapt to the energy of their people.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Keeshonden are known for being tolerant of other animals in the house, and they can get along with any other pets, especially if the animals are raised together. A Keeshond puppy will love everyone in the house right away. An adult Keeshond might take a little more time to come around to other pets, but they are social and happy dogs that like other animals.

divider-dogThings to Know When Owning a Keeshond

Food and Diet Requirements 🦴

Any high-quality dog food will work well for a Keeshond. As long as the food is age-appropriate and you’re feeding them the recommended amount at each meal, they don’t require too much when it comes to their food. They also can enjoy a low-carb fish-based diet. Your veterinarian can answer any questions that you have about the food that you choose, but high-protein food without any fillers or by-products is optimal. Treats are always important, especially when training your Keeshond. They should be given to your dog in moderation to avoid any extra weight gain, though.

Exercise 🐕

Keeshonden love to run and play, but they don’t require much exercise to be happy. A good long walk each day or a chance for them to play fetch in a backyard will keep them healthy and provide mental stimulation. They’re happy being active, but they’re also happy to relax with you at home.

Training 🎾

The Keeshond is an intelligent and highly trainable dog. Socialization is recommended for puppies and newly adopted older dogs. Keeshonden learn quickly and enjoy doing what they’re told because it pleases their owners. Some dogs can get bored during training, so keeping the Keeshond’s attention might prove difficult at times. But training is important for Keeshonden because if they aren’t taught what to do, they’ll make up things to do. These things might not be what you want them to be doing! Showing them proper behavior from day one will help your dog learn what is expected of them.

Grooming ✂️

The fluffy coat of the Keeshond also includes an undercoat that sheds all the time. Twice a year, this coat will shed heavily. Brushing their coats as often as possible — ideally, every day, but no less than twice a week — will help keep the shedding controlled. Their coats don’t require much trimming — just enough to keep them tidy. Baths are needed if the dog is dirty. Aside from that, bathing a Keeshond every 6–8 weeks will help keep them clean and their skin conditioned. Regular nail clippings are important to avoid overgrown nails and paw injuries.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Keeshonds are healthy dogs that don’t often suffer from health issues, but there are certain ones that the breed is genetically predisposed to developing over time. This doesn’t mean a Keeshond will experience all or any of these, but it’s important to be aware of the possibilities and take your dog in for routine veterinary checkups. Catching any health problem early gives you the best chance to treat your dog for it.

Minor Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Mitral valve defect
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
Serious Conditions
  • Patellar luxation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Skin infections
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Hyperparathyroidism

Male vs. Female

When it comes to choosing a male or female Keeshond to add to your family, your preference is what’s important. There are a few notable differences between the two, though.

Males can be up to 10 pounds heavier than females. They also have fuller manes around their necks. Males have been said to be more affectionate and sillier and stick to their owners much more than females. Males tend to mark their territory and can become rambunctious and hard to control if they smell a female in heat. Both of these issues can usually be solved by neutering the dog.

Females are affectionate and love their families, and they also tend to be less dominant than males. They can focus more during training and don’t get distracted as easily.

Both show love and make terrific family pets who are dedicated to their families.

divider-dog paw

3 Little-Known Facts About the Keeshond

1. Keeshond — are you saying that right?

Keeshond is pronounced KAYZ-hawnd. The plural of Keeshond is Keeshonden. The breed was named after Kees de Gyselaer, a Dutch patriot in the 18th century. The name combines Kees with “hond,” the Dutch word for dog.

2. Keeshonden like to smile.

This dog will show off a goofy grin from time to time by actually curling their lips into a smile. Even though they’re showing their teeth, this isn’t a form of aggression. They’re truly smiling, earning them the nickname, “The Smiling Dutchman.”

3. They make excellent therapy dogs.

Keeshonden love people and affection and make wonderful therapy dogs for people of all ages, including children.

Keeshond in the grass
Image By: RitaE, Pixabay


Final Thoughts

Keeshonden are beautiful dogs with fun personalities that want nothing more than to be loved by you. Adding this dog to your family will give you a loyal companion for life that gets along with every person and animal in the house. Training a Keeshond is not difficult due to the dog’s intelligence and desire to follow commands correctly. The comical nature of this dog will keep you entertained. Your Keeshond will be happy going on walks or playing in the backyard just as much as they enjoy curling up on the couch with you at the end of a long day. If you are looking for a Keeshond, be sure to check breed-specific rescues if you’re willing to adopt your dog. Reputable breeders are options for puppies but do your research first. We hope that you learned a few things that you didn’t know about this breed and will welcoming your new dog to your home soon!

Featured Image Credit: stockfoto, Shutterstock

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