Pet Advisor Blog

Keeshond – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Medium
Weight: 30 to 40 pounds
Height: 17 to 19.25 inches
Longevity: 15
Bark Tendency: Medium
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: Medium

Adopt a Keeshond, Dog Breed Guide


Keeshond are Dutch dogs who were bred to do their duties aboard barges and boats! They are excellent watchdogs and will adapt to any conditions even in the smallest of living spaces.

Official Name

Other Name:
Dutch Barge Dog
Smiling Dutchman
Chien Loup
German Spitz
Deutscher Wolfspitz


Date –Early 16th Century
Country – The Netherlands
Family / Group – Non-sporting, Northern Breeds, Spitz

Recognized By

Fédération Cynologique Internationale
American Kennel Club
Australian National Kennel Club
Canadian Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
Kennel Club of Great Britain
New Zealand Kennel Club


The Keeshond dog originates in Holland, The Netherlands and has records of their existence dating as far back in the early 16th Century. They are spitzes that are believed to be descendants of the German Wolfspitz. During the 17th and 18th century, these dogs were famous for being watchdogs. They were mostly used to watch boats and farms, showing their versatility by performing watching and guarding duties on both land and water. Following the French Revolution, political unrest was rampant across Europe. One political group which gained popularity during these times was The Dutch Patriotic Party, which made the Keeshond as their official “mascot” or representation. By 1905, this Dutch spitz reached the United Kingdom, followed years later in 1928 in the United States where it became popular as companion pets!


The Keeshond is a fun loving dog breed. They are naturally gentle. These dogs are friendly towards everyone including children and other dogs as well as other animals. Their high level of intelligence matched with their eagerness to learn makes them one of the most trainable dog breeds today.

Bred For

The Keeshond is an old dog breed used as watch and companion dogs on barges and boats. They were also used to guard and protect farms. Today they are considered ideal companion pets.


The Keeshond dog breed is known to live happily in an apartment. Their ideal home is in rural areas that have large yards. They will also thrive living on a boat. The Keeshond is not fond of hot climates.


The Keeshond dogs require regular brushing for grooming maintenance. Owners of these dogs should devote an hour every week to have their coat healthy and manageable.


The Keeshond can be very enjoyable to train as they are quick to learn and eager to perform for their masters. But training them using a harsh approach would produce quite the opposite. Keeshonds are really very bright dogs. Proof of it is the high a level of achievement it gained in obedience work.


Keeshonden are generally a very healthy breed. Congenital health issues are not common, but they do happen to these dogs. Expect them to have one of several health problems including hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, primary hyperparathyroidism, and hypothyroidism. This dog breed is also known to have epilepsy and the Cushing’s disease.


The Keeshond does not require a great deal of exercise. Which is surprising for large dog breeds.