Originating in Germany and a member of the AKC non-sporting group Keeshond is also known as the Wolfspitz, German Spitz or simply Kees. Being part of the German Spitz family they have a typical spitz appearance, neither coarse nor refined. This is medium-sized dog with a plush two-layer coat of silver and black fur with a 'ruff' and a curled tail, small pointed ears and an expressive face. The approximate adult size (two years old or older) of the Keeshond is 17 to 19 inches to the withers (highest point of the shoulder) and 35 to 40 pounds.
The color is a mix of grey, black and cream. The top coat is tipped with black, while the undercoat is silver or cream (never tawny). The color can range from very pale to very dark, but the Kees should neither be black nor white, and the ruff and "trousers" of the hind legs should be a distinctly lighter silver or cream.
They generally likes to bark (known by their loud distinctive bark) and remain active indoors and makes a good watch dog. Keeshond puppies are generally great with older, considerate children and want to be a part of the family. They are very quick to be trained as long as you use gentle and consistent training methods. Like most of the independent-minded spitz breeds, Keeshonden respond poorly to heavy-handed or forceful training methods.
The Keeshond is a dog that can live in an apartment as long as frequent long walks are available. Keeshond puppies should visit the veterinarian several times in the first year for shots, boosters and check up. A daily walk and a play time is all they need each day to satisfy its needs for exercise.
This spitz type dog features a fabulous coat which consists of a short undercoat and a long overcoat making it quite fluffy indeed. They shed their undercoat twice a year, seasonally. This coat requires brushing once or twice a week and more often when shedding.
The coat acts as insulation and protects the dog from sunburn and insects, so shaving or clipping is not desirable. With their thick fur they can tolerate cold temperatures but cannot tolerate heat so make sure they are not left out to sweltering heat.
Their teeth should be brushed at least twice a week with toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs. Be sure not to overfeed the Keeshond as they can have a tendency to gain weight. The Keeshond can live between 13 and 15 years with proper nutrition, medical care and excellent living conditions.
Unlike herding and hunting dogs the Keeshond is a general, all-purpose dog. An excellent watchdog, friendly and affectionate, they are a wonderful pet for any family who is looking for a dog to share their home. The Keeshond ranks 16th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, being of excellent working/obedience intelligence. This intelligence makes a Keeshond a good choice for the dog owner who is willing to help a dog learn the right lessons, but also entails added responsibility.