It seems odd that a dog known fondly as "The Smiling Dutchman" and "The Gentleman of Holland" could have had such a tumultuous history. The modern Keeshond is one of the gentlest of dogs. Never bred as a hunter and never used for any other specialized work, these dogs are companions extraordinaire and great home lovers. It is said this friendly, gentle devotion is what makes the Keeshond unique. Indeed, anyone who has owned one would agree that this is a dog who wants to please, an affectionate dog with a wonderful disposition.
A Keeshond's strongest desire is to share the companionship of a loving family. If you choose to bring a Keeshond into your home, prepare to include it in all your daily routines. This is not a dog to be left outside to live out it's life in the backyard.
Temperament is the Keeshond's greatest quality. These dogs love everyone and are extremely patient with young children. Keeshonden were bred to be watch dogs, not attack dogs. These intelligent dogs are strongly devoted to the whole family, not just one member. Keenly aware of strangers, Keeshonden will vigorously give voice if their territory is approached by one. A barking Keeshond brazenly advertising his presence is enough to make any would-be intruder change his mind. However, Keeshonden will gladly accept strangers as friends once they have been properly introduced, sometimes a bit overwhelmingly. Typically, they are not afraid of anything or anyone.
If you need a friend, try a Keeshond. Keeshonden are witty and wise, bubbly and brazen, sensitive and silly - just plain lovable! While no one would deny that the Keeshond's glorious coat draws admirers to the breed, it's the eyes that captivate and the smile that wins hearts.
The Keeshond is a medium-sized dog, averaging 35-40 pounds (16-18 kilograms), standing 17-18 inches (43-46 centimetres) at the shoulder. The coat is silver- grey to black with a pale grey or cream undercoat. The muzzle should be dark and there should be characteristic black "spectacles" around the eyes. Ears are held upright. The neck sports a lion-like mane and the tail is plumed and carried over the back. The hind legs, dense with fur, form the well-known "trousers". Compact, agile and good-tempered, they were ideally suited to life on the barges. Today, these qualities make the Keeshond popular among apartment dwellers and home owners alike.
The Keeshond is a beautiful, intelligent, teddy-bear-like dog that thrives in all kinds of weather -- indoors or out -- and attracts favourable attention wherever seen.
“It’s not how cute a dog is that determines its quality—it’s how closely he conforms to his breed standard,” German Pinscher breeder Dr. Laura Van Horn
Conformation (dog shows) has existed for hundreds of years and was started as a way to evaluate breeding stock. Dogs are not being compared to each other; they’re being measured by how closely they conform to the standard of their particular breed. Why? Because the closer a dog’s appearance is to the breed’s standard, the better that dog’s ability will be to produce healthy, purpose-bred puppies that meet the standard.
The breed standard offers a distinct picture in words, which outlines the ideal size, weight, colour, length of coat, tail structure, temperament and movement for each of the 175 dog breeds recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club. They are all dogs, but the breed standard is why you can distinguish one breed from another. Ethical dog breeders will only breed dogs that fall within their breed standard.