Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Keeshonds: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Keeshond temperament, personality, and behavior.

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Keeshond dog breed

Keeshond Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

Keeshond Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

Compared to other breeds in the "spitz" family, the Keeshond is quieter, more sensible, and less dominant.

Bright, cheerful, and lively, the Keeshond needs moderate exercise, but more importantly, he needs companionship. He is very people-oriented, craves attention and petting, and needs to be fully involved in the family.

Attitude toward strangers varies from friendly to polite. There is timidity in some lines, so early socialization is important to build an outgoing, confident temperament.

With his acute hearing and emotional sensitivity, Keeshonds are more reactive to loud noises than some other breeds and don't do well in an environment with tension or shouting.

This is not a guard dog. Keeshonds will bark, but it's usually welcoming rather than protective. Most are peaceful with other pets.

The Keeshond has an independent streak and can be mischievous and "clever" (using his intelligence to get his own way). Focus on gentle, positive guidance and praise/food rewards.

The Kees is known as the "Smiling Dutchman" because of his tendency to curl his lip and bare his teeth in a hideous grimace. It's not a snarl, but only a happy and submissive grin.


If you want a dog who...

  • Is a medium-sized "spitz" (a dog with a wolf-like face, prick ears, curled tail, and thick coat)
  • Is easier to live with (less dominant, less mischievous) than most other spitzes
  • Needs only moderate exercise
  • Is polite with strangers
  • Is peaceful with other pets

A Keeshond may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...

  • "Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
  • Suspiciousness or timidity when not socialized enough
  • Stubbornness (mind of his own)
  • Potential for excessive barking
  • A good amount of regular brushing and combing
  • Heavy shedding

A Keeshond may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy


More traits and characteristics of the Keeshond

If I was considering a Keeshond, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Separation anxiety. More than most other breeds, Keeshonds need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. They tend to express their unhappiness through destructive chewing and barking.

  2. Providing enough socialization. Keeshonds need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their natural caution can become shyness or suspiciousness.

  3. Mind of their own. Keeshonds are more willing to work with you than some other spitzes, but they do have an independent mind of their own and can be stubborn and manipulative. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    To teach your Keeshond to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Keeshond Training Page discusses the program you need.

  4. Barking. Keeshonds are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them. Keeshonds should NEVER be left outside in your yard, unsupervised. To make matters worse, some Keeshonds have high-pitched barks that can set your teeth on edge.

  5. Grooming. Without frequent brushing and combing, Keeshonds become a matted mess.

  6. Heavy shedding. Like all spitz breeds, Keeshonds shed a LOT. You'll find hair and fur all over your clothing and furniture. Make sure you're really up for this.


book cover To learn more about training Keeshonds to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Keeshond the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.



book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Keeshond. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.


If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Keeshond might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.


book cover Once you have your Keeshond home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.

Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.



Please consider adopting an ADULT Keeshond...

When you're acquiring a Keeshond PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Keeshonds who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

Adopting a Dog From a Dog Breed Rescue Group

Adopting a Dog From the Animal Shelter

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