The breed of dog we know today as the Keeshond first originated in the Netherlands, where they most likely descended from the Pomeranian, Chow Chow, Elkhound and Samoyed. These unique and useful dogs were used to guard the canal boats in this seafaring country, and the Keeshond is still very much a working dog.
The Keeshond makes an excellent watchdog due to its alert nature, and the fact that it likes to bark. The Keeshond also tends to get along quite well with people and other pets, especially if he has been socialized properly as a puppy.
The Keeshond stands between 17 and 18 inches high at the shoulders, and weighs in at 35 to 40 pounds, with the female generally a little smaller and lighter than the male. Although the Keeshond is generally quite a hardy breed, there are some health concerns owners should watch out for. One of the most significant is hip dysplasia, an inherited condition that plagues many large breeds of dogs. Keeshonds can also be prone to heart defects, skin issues and eye problems. Dog owners should be on the lookout for signs of illness and discuss any breed specific health concerns with their veterinarian.
The coat of the Keeshond is long and straight, but this dog has a soft and thick undercoat as well. This undercoat is shed twice a year, and it is important that Keeshond owners carefully brush their dogs on a regular basis. This frequent brushing and grooming will help keep the coat from matting and keep the coat looking healthy and vibrant. An occasional trip to the professional dog groomer is a good idea as well for owners of this special breed.