Keeshond (Wolfsspitz) FCI Standard
At the onset of the French Revolution this dog became well known as the symbol of the Dutch Patriot political association, which was headed by the patriot Kees de Gyselaer. The Dutch barge dog with the nickname Kees belonged to this leader and after it the breed got its official name. Sadly enough but the party of the de Gyselaer was beaten by its opponents, followers of the Prince Orange. It led to the substantial drop in popularity of the Keeshond among common people.
The breed received its second chance in 1905 when it was spotted by a young Miss Hamilton-Fletcher. She pleaded her parents to bring to their native England two puppies of this breed. Dogs were imported into this country and became the base of the stock for the Keeshond outside its homeland. The breed quickly earned loyal following in England and soon found its way to other countries.
In its native Holland the Keeshond was neglected until the 20s of the XX century when Baroness van Hardenbroek became fascinated with this dog and invested much time and efforts in its popularization. She discovered the specimens of the breed all over the country, as they were still owned by riverboat captains, farm people and factory workers. Baroness initiated a breeding program and promoted its spread throughout European countries. The Keeshond was recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1930.
The Keeshond shows its friendly disposition when it meets unfamiliar people. Nevertheless the poorly socialised specimens tend to be shy and reserved with strangers. The dog is endowed with prominent, sonorous voice and excellent vigilance, which make it a reasonable watchdog. But this kind and gentle creature will become an awful guard dog with a tendency to happily greet an intruder and follow him into the house. Being a very sensitive and gentle dog the Keeshond is often used as a therapy dog. These traits make it also rather suitable for the job as a guide dog for the blind though it’s not big enough to gain wide popularity in this role.
The Keeshond has fully deserved its reputation as a universally amiable dog. Its quiet temper and the absence of the dominative issues purport that it will get along with other canine animals. It will happily share its existence with one or more other dogs. The other pets are also pretty safe in the presence of the Keeshond but it should be properly socialised with them to make sure their co-habituation under the same roof will be problem-free.
• diabetes mellitus;
• growth hormone-responsive and adrenal sex-hormone dermatoses;
• patent ductus arteriosus;
• eyes problems;
• tetralogy of Fallot;
• ventricular septal defect;
• von Willebrand’s disease;
• familial nephropathy;
• canine hip dysplasia (CHD);
• patellar luxation;
• Cushing’s disease;
• cardiac disease;
• skin problems;
Corrective methods of training based on force and yelling are absolutely inappropriate for this breed and they may only spoil its sweet character and turn it into a timid and nervous creature. The handler should encourage the Keeshond with a kind word and plentiful of delicious treats.
The Keeshond is highly suitable for such canine sports as obedience contest and agility, which will ensure good stimulation both for the mind and the body of the dog. It is prone to become extremely destructive, nervous and disobedient if it doesn’t get chances to discharge its buoyant energy.