The keeshond is not a widely known breed of dog, though it has many characteristics that make it a desirable pet. This canine grows to about 18 inches tall. It has upright ears, a dense, long coat and a tail that curls over its back. Bred as a family watchdog, the keeshond breed has an affectionate nature and is compatible with children.
Arctic Roots of the Keeshond
The keeshond breed is descended from the same line of dogs as the Samoyed breed, the chow chow, the Norwegian elkhound and the Pomeranian, according to the American Kennel Club website. Unlike many breeds, keeshonds were not used to hunt or kill game. They were always primarily a family watchdog and companion animal. The keeshond was often used on riverboats and barges as a guard dog. Keeshonds were also used on farms, to guard livestock and property.
Political Significance of the Keeshond
The breed we know as keeshond came to prominence in Holland at the end of the 18th century when it became the mascot of Dutch rebels who opposed the House of Orange. The rebellion was led by a man named Kees de Guyselaer, who gave the dog breed its name. The monarchy returned to power, however, and the breed associated with the rebellion was allowed to die out. It was only after many years, in the 1920s, that Baroness von Hardenbroeck became interested in the finding the few remaining dogs and continuing the line. The keeshond was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1930.
Keeshonds as Companion Animals
The keeshonds medium size and good disposition make it an excellent family pet. Though these dogs can be train for agility courses and competitive obedience, it does not require a great deal of exercise. It can dwell as easily in a city apartment as a rural farmhouse. Its thick coat makes it unsuitable for warm climates, however. Some grooming is required for its long, thick coat.
Keeshonds are lively and alert, neither too shy nor too aggressive. They are generally friendly to all, but will take their owners' cues when meeting new people. Keeshonds are good with other dogs. This breed makes a good family pet because they are good with children of all ages and will accept other pets in the household. They require patience and consistency during training as puppies and can be mischievous if not supervised well. Adult keeshonds have a great sense of empathy and can be used as therapy dogs, according to the Dog-DNA website.