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Basic Information

Germany and Netherlands
Breed Group
Dense,Harsh and Rough,Long,Thick
25 - 35 Pounds
14 - 16 Inches



The Keeshond is often called the "Smiling Dutchman" because of their cheerful expression. Over the years these little dogs have found their way into the hearts and homes of many people thanks to their charming looks and kind, loyal natures. They are Spitz-type dogs that boast a compact, solid appearance and a profuse thick double coat that provides them with excellent protection from the elements. Like many other of the Spitz breeds, the Keeshond is known to be quite vocal by nature which is why they have always been so highly prized as watchdogs on barges, farms and in a domestic environment in the Netherlands.

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The Keeshond is thought to have been developed in the Arctic regions of the world during the 18th century like so many other Spitz-type dogs. They were always bred to be companion dogs rather than to work and quickly found a fan base in Europe, more especially in the Netherlands where they became a popular choice not only as family pets, but as barge and farm dogs too.

The breed was further developed in Holland, Germany, Italy and France by enthusiasts when they were crossed with German Spitz-type dogs. In the late 1700's, Cornelius de Gyselaar became the leader of the Dutch Patriot Party, leading the Dutch Patriots against William of Orange. He decided to use his Keeshond as the emblem and mascot of his party. However, when the Patriots succumbed to the House of Orange, the breed faced near extinction as they were abandoned or destroyed by owners who did not want to be associated with the rebellion.

Thanks to the endeavours of Baroness von Hardenbroek, the Keeshond was saved from vanishing forever when she found some dogs and began a breeding programme during the 1920's which was to see breed numbers rise over the ensuing decades. To begin with these charming little dogs were registered with The Kennel Club as the Dutch Barge Dog and the first Keeshond to be exhibited in the show ring was in 1923 after which time their popularity grew throughout the land as well as elsewhere in the world. Today, the Keeshond remains a popular choice both as companion dogs and family pets, thanks to their charming smiling faces and their kind, loyal and affectionate natures.

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