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Keeshond Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Keeshond so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Sled Dogs
Popularity Rank87
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Keeshond dog profile picture
OriginGermany flagGermany Netherlands flagNetherlands
Other Names
What other names does the Keeshond have?
Chien LoupDeutscher WolfsspitzKeesSmiling DutchmanWolfsspitzDutch Barge DogBarge Dog
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?

Keeshond Size and Weight

Is a Keeshond small, medium or large dog?

How big do Keeshond get?

What is the average size of a Keeshond?

How much does the Keeshond weigh? How much should a Keeshond weight? What is the normal weight of a Keeshond? How much does a full-grown Keeshond weight?
35-45 pounds (15-20 kg)
Average Weight
What is the average weight of a Keeshond?
40 pounds (17.5 kg)
How tall is the Keeshond? Keeshond height:
Male: 17-19 inches (44-48 cm), Female: 16-18 inches (40-46 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of a Keeshond?
Male: 18 inches (46 cm), Female: 17 inches (43 cm)

Keeshond Price and Availability

How much does the Keeshond puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of a Keeshond in the United States? How much money is a Keeshond?

Where to buy a Keeshond with a good pedigree?

If you choose to purchase the Keeshond, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Keeshond for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Keeshond gets to a happy place.
How easy is it to get a Keeshond? How many Keeshond are there in the world?
Very frequent: The Keeshond is quite easy to get. There is a risk of overbreeding, as it is an extremely popular breed.

Inbreeding is common because of its popularity. A new study suggests that inbreeding contributes to the incidence of disease and health problems.

So be careful, buy from a trustworthy place or kennel and seek the help of an experienced person, a professional, to make the right decision.

Keeshond Trainability and Intelligence

Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Keeshond? Is the Keeshond breed dumb or smart?
Very smart: Keeshond is an excellent dog breed. You can teach them many tricks and commands. The limit is your creativity. They understand and memorize new commands in 5-15 repetitions. This breed obeys the first command 85% of the time or better.

The Keeshond is one of the top breeds in the dog intelligence ranking.

Are Keeshond dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training? How hard is it to train a Keeshond?
Keeshond dogs are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
Watchdog Ability
Is Keeshond good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Keeshond dogs are good watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're consistent in their effort. Good vocal cords and a sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're territorial and protective about their property, so the Keeshond dogs will alert you if they sense something different.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Keeshond dogs have aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Keeshond dogs are average defenders. Some dogs are very protective of their territory, while others easily let a stranger to trespass. This breed is not sure to defend its territory in every situation.

Keeshond Personality and Temperament

What kind of personality does the Keeshond have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Keeshond sensitivity:
Sensitive: Keeshond dogs don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household, and frequent guest visits.

This breed's emotional level reflects their owner's feelings and they don't handle punishments well.

Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Is a Keeshond a good family dog?
High: Keeshond dogs are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving, and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and are considered great therapy dogs for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Chien Loup need? Keeshond social needs:
Keeshond dogs are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn't tolerate being left alone.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Keeshond to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Keeshond roam?
Keeshond dogs tend to escape less than other breeds. They have low to average wanderlust potential. Exploring the world is not the best activity they can imagine.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Keeshond have high prey drive?
Keeshond dogs have an average prey drive, which means that they don't have a high impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals, but it might happen. Training can help to achieve good behavior.

Keeshond Activity and Playfulness

How playful is this breed?
Average: Keeshonds, like any other dog breed, like playing. Sometimes they bark in excitement for playing, but they are not the most playful dog breed.
Do Keeshond dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Chien Loup bark?
A lot: Keeshond is a particularly loud breed. They often enjoy barking and howling loudly. If you want a quiet dog, not the best choice.

The main triggers for barking are fear, attention, alarm, boredom, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking, and defense.

Apartment Friendly
Is Keeshond good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat? Can you have a Keeshond in an apartment?
It is not the best choice if you want to keep them indoors, however, with careful exercise and several walks a day, they will tolerate the indoor environment, so it is possible to keep Keeshond indoors.

Keeshond Adaptability and Independence

Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Keeshond dogs adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
How long can a Keeshond be left alone? How long can you leave a Keeshond alone?
Keeshond dogs do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.

Keeshond Bite Characteristics

Bite Force PSI
Does the Keeshond has a hard bite? What is the bite force of a Keeshond? How much bite force does a Keeshond have? How strong is a Keeshond bite?

Between 200 and 400 PSI

Keeshond bite force: Ordinary. Bite force Keeshond measurements typically fall within the range of 200 to 400 PSI. The bite force of a Keeshond is considered ordinary when compared to other dog breeds, but it is still quite powerful. This Keeshond bite force PSI can cause bite wounds. Keeshond bite PSI is not something that should be feared if the dog is well-trained and managed. To avoid any issues, it's essential to learn how to train a Keeshond puppy not to bite from an early age.

The Keeshond, and many others, have a fearsome presence because they have significant jaw strength, so it is important not to anger the dog and have it around strangers until it is fully trained.

However, they are usually quite calm and good companions, they work well in families and are easy to care for.

In conclusion, while the Keeshond bite force is certainly an interesting aspect of the breed, it is important not to let it overshadow the many other reasons why these dogs are so loved and respected. With proper training and socialization, a Keeshond can be a loyal and protective companion for your family.

Biting Potential
Do Keeshond bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Chien Loup? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Keeshond? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Keeshond has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Keeshond do?
Keeshond dogs have an average tendency to nip, chew, playbite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Keeshond dogs need to be taught a good attitude.

Keeshond Health and Lifespan

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Keeshond dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
The Keeshond is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems
What genetic/health problems does the Keeshond breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Keeshond breed? Most common health risks of Keeshond:
Hip Dysplasia Heart ProblemsSkin DiseasesKneecap dislocations
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Keeshond breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Keeshond see the vet?
The Keeshond should have a complete physical check-up at least once per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Keeshond dogs live? How old can a Keeshond be? What is the age limit of the Keeshond? How many years can the oldest Keeshond live?

What is the average life expectancy / lifespan of a Keeshond?

How long is the lifespan of a Keeshond?

12-14 years
The average lifespan of Keeshond: 13 years
Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Prefers cold weather
The Keeshond can adapt well to harsh weather conditions, and also can be a good mountain dog. Dogs can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia in extremely cold weather, so it is important to take precautions to keep your dog safe and comfortable during the winter months.

Keeshond Energy and Activity

Energy Level
How much energy does the Keeshond have? What is the activity level of the Keeshond?
Keeshond dogs have a higher energy level than other dog breeds. If you want a dog for snuggling on the couch, this breed isn't the perfect choice for you.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much exercise does a Keeshond need? How much exercise do Keeshond dogs require per day?

Do Keeshond dogs need a lot of exercises?

Keeshond dogs exercise need is minimal. If you live a slow life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does the Keeshond breed need?
Keeshond dogs are quite energetic dogs and they don't spend too much time with sleeping. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

Keeshond Diet and Weight Management

Average daily food consumption
How much food does a Keeshond need? What dog products should I buy? How much food does a Keeshond breed eat per day? What is good dog food for Keeshond? How much food should I feed my Keeshond?
2 to 2.5 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Keeshond risk for obesity:
Average to High: If you don't pay attention to the Keeshond's weight, he can easily gain weight. More than one daily walk should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding.

If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Keeshond weight regularly.

Keeshond Allergies and Grooming

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Keeshond have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color are proper Keeshond coats?
BlackGray Cream Silver
How to groom the Keeshond and how often? How often should I take my Keeshond to the groomer?
Advanced: The Keeshond requires a lot of grooming. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer can be helpful sometimes.

Regular brushed dog's coat is less likely to shed. Ears and eyes should be cleaned often to avoid infections.

Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Occasional dog nail trimming and dog baths are important.

Check the local pet store for dog grooming supplies and find the best dog shampoo to keep its coat healthy and to give your Keeshond a pleasant experience of a dog bath.

If you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of your Keeshond, search for the best dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment.

Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk-in dog bath places nearby.
Shedding Level
How much do Keeshond dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Chien Loup? Do Keeshond dogs shed a lot?
Keeshond dogs are heavy shedders. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Be prepared for the daily vacuum cleaning. The amount and frequency of hair loss mostly depend on their health status and breed type.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Keeshond need a bath? How often should you give a Keeshond a bath? Can I bathe my Keeshond every day?
3-4 weeks
More often than average. These dog coats tend to be longer, softer, and oilier than short-haired breeds. While a good bath every now and then is a great way to keep your buddy from becoming overly smelly, be mindful about overbathing.

Bathing will wash away your dog’s natural oils, while a simple brushing every few days should keep them clean.

Is the Keeshond breed hypoallergenic?
Keeshond dogs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reactions. Some dog breeds are even considered to higher possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?


The Keeshond has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Keeshond drool?
The Keeshond is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Keeshond could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimum compared to others, just like the Keeshond.

If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Keeshond Good With

Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Keeshond dogs get along with other pets? Are Keeshond dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Keeshond dogs are usually friendly towards other pets.
Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Keeshond temperament with other people:
Keeshond dogs are very stranger-friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Are Keeshond dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Keeshond temperament with children:
Keeshond dogs are kid-friendly dogs. This breed is a good choice if you have children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Keeshond dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats? Can the Keeshond breed live with a cat?
Keeshond dogs are cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Is Keeshond good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Keeshond dogs get along with other dogs?
Keeshond dogs are dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Keeshond can be a great choice.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Keeshond breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners? Is Keeshond breed suitable for first-time owners?
Keeshond dogs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Keeshond dogs good office canines? Do Keeshond dogs make good office-friendly pets? Can they be office dogs?
Keeshond is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Keeshond dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Chien Loup temperament with senior people? Are Keeshond dogs good for elderly owners?
Keeshonds are usually recommended for elderly people.

Keeshond As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Keeshond be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Keeshond is not the best breed for service purposes.

Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Keeshond be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Keeshond be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed is generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and people with anxiety disorders or autism.

Keeshond is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.

Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Keeshond be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.

Keeshond is not the best breed for detection purposes.

Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Keeshond be a search and rescue dog?


This breed would make an excellent search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.

The Keeshond breed is a good choice for SAR purposes.

Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Keeshond be a boat dog?

Not really

Keeshond breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Keeshond be a drafting dog?

Not really

A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination.

Keeshond is not the best breed for drafting purposes.

Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Keeshond dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Keeshond Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long is a Keeshond pregnant?How long does it take to have puppies? How to tell if the Keeshond breed is pregnant?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Keeshond: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days.

During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge.

The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days.

The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color.

The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating.

The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.

Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Keeshond have in a litter? How many puppies can the Keeshond breed have for the first time? How many puppies does a Keeshond have? How many puppies can a Keeshond give birth to?
3-8 puppies

Keeshond Recognition

AKC Group
Is Keeshond recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930 as a Non-Sporting breed.
FCI Group
Is Keeshond recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Spitz and primitive types group, in the European Spitz section.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Keeshond breed?
American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Kennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Australian National Kennel CouncilContinental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel ClubUnited Kennel ClubAmerican Pet Registry, Inc.

Keeshond Pros and Cons

  • Intelligent Rank: Very smart: Keeshond is an excellent dog breed.
  • Drooling Tendency: The Keeshond is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency.
  • Watchdog Ability: Keeshond dogs are good watchdogs.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Keeshond dogs tend to escape less than other breeds.
  • Adaptability: Keeshond dogs adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Keeshond dogs are kid-friendly dogs.
  • Cat Friendly: Keeshond dogs are cat-friendly dogs.
  • Dog Friendly: Keeshond dogs are dog-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Keeshonds are usually recommended for elderly people.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Keeshond dogs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
  • Search and Rescue Dog (SAR): This breed would make an excellent search and rescue dog.
  • Hypoallergenic: Keeshond dogs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reactions.
  • Grooming: Advanced: The Keeshond requires a lot of grooming.
  • Shedding Level: Keeshond dogs are heavy shedders.
  • Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity: Average to High: If you don't pay attention to the Keeshond's weight, he can easily gain weight.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Keeshond dogs do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
  • Office Friendly: Keeshond is not the best dog breed for office environment.

Keeshond History


The Keeshond is a medium-sized dog with a plus, two-layer coat of silver and black fur with a ruff and a curled tail. It was developed in Holland, and its closest relatives are the German spitzes such as the Large Spitz, Miniature Spitz, or Pomeranian.



The Keeshond's exact origin is unknown, but it is thought to have descended from ancient canine strains that produced other Spitz breeds.

The development of the breed is believed to have occurred in the 17th century in Holland, and paintings as well as the written word support this timeline and place.

Although at the time, the breed was known as the Wolfspitz in Germany, the Chien Loup in France, and the Lupini in Italy and it took years before the Keeshond would be known by the name we call it today.

By the 18th century, The Keeshond was used as a watchdog and companion on small boats called Rijinakens that cruised on the Rhine River, earning its nickname the “barge dog”.

Furthermore, a political insurrection led by Cornelis de Gyselaer, a Keeshond fancier and the leader of the Dutch rebellion, occurred in the 18th century in Holland.

His dog, known as Kees, became a symbol of the Dutch patriot when he was being represented in so many political pamphlets, caricatures, and handouts.

The breed was later given the name "Keeshond," with "Kees" standing for Gyzelaar and "hond" for a dog in Dutch. De Gyzelaar didn’t mind as he believed the breed reflected the Patriot party's strength, and he was likely pleased when the Keeshond became the party's official mascot.

Unfortunately for the breed, the rebellion against the House of Orange failed. It caused many Keeshond owners to abandon, or even worse, to destroy and kill their dogs out of fear that they would be identified as participants of the failed insurrection.

To make matters worse, riverboats were getting bigger, and the need for the Keeshond decreased. The breed might have gone extinct entirely if it weren’t for a few farmers, peasants, and river men who saved and preserved the dogs.



In the 1920s, Baroness van Hardenbroek became involved in the effort to save the species, and it was considered a huge success.

Within ten years, the Keeshond had grown in popularity to the point that the Dutch Keeshond Club was formed. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1930, and it is now the national dog of Holland.

Overall, the breed is considered to be a very playful, thoughtful dog, who is eager to please and is a very quick learner. They love children and are excellent family dogs, preferring to be close to their humans whenever possible.

Rate The Keeshond Breed

Keeshond Comments, Reviews and Questions

  • Luka videos

    Mar 15, 2023, 6:20:14 PM:

    1. Keeshond. They are the fluffin best dog

  • London

    Aug 6, 2021, 2:11:12 AM:

    My Keeshaund is very smart, stubborn, and energetic. We love her so much. Great dog breed.

  • Lili

    Apr 11, 2021, 8:58:50 PM:

    This profile is not very accurate an they were bread to live on barges so they would be good on boats. They are the best dogs

  • Kees mom

    Jan 20, 2021, 6:18:45 AM:

    Best dog ever!

  • Didi

    Oct 9, 2020, 3:04:33 PM:

    Fabulous companion. Affectionate and friendly yet stubborn and curious.