About the Breed
What is a Keeshond?
Part of the Non-Sporting group, a Keeshond’s only real working chore is to be a very effective alarm-giving watchdog. Keeshonden were bred to live in very small quarters (i.e. barges in Holland). For this reason it was mandatory that these dogs must be very agreeable in temperament, be extremely agile, sure-footed and personable. Incredibly affectionate, these dogs are people pleasers. This is NOT the breed if you just want a dog in the backyard. Your Kees will want to be with you everywhere you go. The Keeshond is a healthy, long-lived dog with few genetic problems. It is not uncommon for a Kees to live to fourteen or more years. The Keeshond or ‘smiling Dutchmen’ can be recommended to any sincere dog lover.
One of the few breeds who are truly of a medium size, males are ideally 18 inches at the shoulders and weigh about 45 pounds; females 17 inches, weighing about 35 pounds. Keeshonden are elegant in appearance, with a full coat that makes them appear bigger than they actually are. Keeshonden are painfully eye-catching with their profuse silver and black coats, expressive face, beautifully plumed tails and spirited gait. The owner of a Keeshond can expect to be stopped often in public and asked, “What breed is that?” Don’t let the glamorous hair fool you, that lovely double coat seldom will exude ‘doggy odor’ and is often appropriate for people who have dander allergies to other breeds. A Kees is almost a wash-and–wear dog. One hour a week of proper grooming will keep a Kees in good condition.
Sturdy, even-tempered dogs with a definite sense of humor and fun-loving spirit, Keeshonden adore children. Their interest in and gentleness toward these small people is astonishing and incredible to behold. A dog and child partnership is something very valuable but a puppy’s needs are an adult’s responsibility, not a teaching aid to children. Keeshond puppies are among the most appealing characters in the world. He is, however, breakable if played with carelessly. He requires frequent and regular feeding and a great deal of sleep.
Leaving the security of mom and his littermates will be traumatic for your puppy; he will require your patience and understanding while learning your schedule. If your puppy is genuinely wanted and planned for you will reap the rewards of unquestioning companionship and he will have a permanent and happy home with you.
We highly recommend crate training your puppy. A dog crate will eventually become your dog’s private den and refuge. Buy a crate your dog will be comfortable in as an adult. Put the crate where he can see family activity and stock it with water and safe toys. Do not scold the puppy while he’s in his crate, your dog’s crate should be a place they feel safe, happy and relaxed.
- Establish a firm potty/ feeding/sleep schedule and stick to it. Dogs like habit.
- Take the puppy out as early as possible in the morning. Praise him for success.
- Feed and then take him out to the same spot where he eliminated earlier, Praise him!!
- Hourly potty breaks throughout the day.
- Follow each feeding and nap-waking with an immediate ‘out’. Praise him!
- Keep your puppy busy prior to the last ‘out’. Tired pups are good sleepers.
When a puppy eliminates outside, praise him. If he makes a ‘mistake’ in the house, verbally scold him only if you see it happening and immediately take him outside. If he eliminates outside, praise him. If he has an accident in his crate do not scold him, he will ‘hold’ it in his crate when he is old enough to do so. You do not want to associate scolding with his crate. A soiled crate is usually the result of a real ‘emergency’ for your dog. Dogs typically will not soil in their small living space. Consistency on your part and the use of the crate will make housebreaking an easy, inoffensive task. The crate-trained dog is also easier to handle when traveling.
Your puppy should have three meals a day. Because of his rapid growth, his daily intake now exceeds that which he will need as an adult. Around 5 to 6 months of age, the adult AM and PM feeding routine of approximately 1 cup each meal may begin. It is recommended that you continue feeding twice a day for the lifetime of your dog. Feed only as much as your dog will eat in less than ten minutes and do not let your dog get overweight. The vast majority of health issues for Keeshonden are secondary to being overweight, please do not let this happen to your pet! Avoid supermarket brand dog foods, feed a premium quality dry kibble. Do not change food suddenly. Have fresh water available at all times.
Keep your puppy accustomed to grooming, nail trimming and teeth cleaning. Groom your dog once a week. Shedding coat must be removed to avoid hot spots and matting. While Kees do not need a great deal of grooming, you must be consistent about grooming regularly to maintain good coat and skin health. Trim your dog’s toenails weekly when you do your grooming. Nails that are too long will eventually destroy your dog’s feet and pasterns. Learn to brush your dog’s teeth weekly, it keeps their breath fresh and will save you a fortune on dental care.
Never hesitate to ask your breeder for grooming help and advice!
Your puppy is shy, playful, bossy and affectionate. All these traits must be modified, not amplified. To establish social graces get him out to experience new things, crowds of people, other dogs, children, men and women. Your puppy should be exposed to all sorts of noises and situations, but in small doses. Don’t let your puppy become terrified talk him through his fears in a calming voice and again, praise him. Find a puppy kindergarten in your area this will help socialize your puppy and give basic training tips. We plead with you to give your puppy every chance to become a successful family member.