Breed Profile

The Keeshond was originally known as the Dutch Barge Dog, and often called the ''Laughing Dutchman'' because of their ability to curl their lips back, bare their teeth, and ''smile'' at you! This can look quite frightening to people who do not know this breed, but when a Keeshond does smile at you, they are actually showing affection, and saying ''Hello''. Unfortunately, not all Keeshonds have the ability to ''smile''.

The Keeshond is one of the most loyal and loving family companions you could wish for, having a special place in their hearts for children. It is not unusual to see a Keeshond follow a small child around, wherever he or she may go, just to be near the child. He is a very loving dog who thrives on attention and is easily cared for.

Keeshonds also make superb watch dogs, but will not attack unless severely provoked. They are generally wary of strangers, especially when their owners are not present. Their heavy double coat, fox-like head, and strong bark are often enough to scare away any would be intruders.

Both dogs and bitches make lovely companions. Both are equal in temperament, and neither tend to roam. Bitches should be spayed if they are not intended to be bred from, and this will solve all the problems of having unwanted canine visitors surrounding your home every time she is in season.

As Keeshonds have no ''road sense'', it is always advisable to keep them in a well-fenced yard, and on a lead when taking them for a walk. Dogs or bitches DO NOT have to produce a litter to make them better pets. This is a complete fallacy. Desexing your pet will not change his/her temperament. It will however avoid any unwanted litters in the future.

The Keeshond is an extremely intelligent dog, and can be trained to a high degree in obedience. They love to learn new things, and seem only to want to please their owners. Like all Spitz breeds however, they do have a stubborn streak, and can become easily bored with repetitious training.Teaching them new things all the time will keep both you and your dog happy, and the dog will be eager to learn.

Grooming the Keeshond is not as hard as it looks. If brushed regularly (once a week) the Keeshond will look beautiful all the time. If left alone for a while, the coat will become matted, especially behind the ears, and many, many hours will have to spent brushing to have the dog looking tip-top again. Regular grooming will avoid this.

The Keeshond regularly sheds coat. His or her first shedding time is usually between the ages of 12 - 18 months. Thereafter they will ''drop coat'' usually in the Summer months. It is important to remove ALL dead hair in this period, or your dog can develop skin problems by continually trying to scratch the coat out themselves.

The Keeshond has a double coat. An under coat and an outer coat. The undercoat, which is like soft. fine cotton wool, can be spun, and makes the warmest jumpers you could different shades of grey!

The Keeshond is both a beautiful dog to look at, and a beautiful dog to own. They are a sturdy breed, who are not prone to illnesses, and you should enjoy many years of companionship from them. The ''Laughing Dutchman'' is a true Canine Gentleman, who gets on well with other animals, and if given a loving home, will be loyal to you forever.

Keeshond Puppies - Their Development

At Birth

Four to five inches long. Smooth coat a glossy mole colour, sometimes showing slight markings.

One Week

Expression bands (spectacles) about the eyes are appearing. Also shoulder flashings, lighter ruff and other Kees' characteristics. Legs are lightening, coat is growing.

Ten to Fourteen Days

Eyes are opening, coat is longer and thicker and markings show. Little can be said as yet of their ultimate colouring. Pup is staggering about.

Three Weeks

Milk teeth appear. Walking is steadier, and pups play wrestling games. In exceptional cases, in very small eared strains as a rule, ears begin to prick, usually both at the same time. Tails begin to curl over the back.

Four to Five Weeks

Some ears are up, others down. The curling of the tails is more pronounced.

Six to Eight Weeks

Best time to ''rate'' a pup. Most ears are up. The colouring and conformation of the pup is usually what he will have as an adult.

Three to Five Months

Keeshond puppies become very awkward looking now. Fronts loosen, backs sway, rears look too high high, bodies lengthen. The pretty puppy markings disappear on the body, facial markings remain, ears can lighten. There is a fuzzy, all-over tannish or greyish effect. This stage is generally termed as the ''Monkeys'' or ''Uglies''!

Five to Seven Months

There is a spurt in growth, after seemingly stationary ''awkward'' stage. Coat is growing and changing. Dark hairs appear in profusion on chest, shoulders, hips and tail.

Eight to Ten Months

General marked improvement in coat, also in colour. Most have reached their full height. Head begins to change. Pups start to mature.

Two Years

Development should continue until the age of two, when a Keeshond is at his best for the Show Ring. As they grow, Kees tend to darken gradually. Kees keep their looks, agility and intelligence to an advanced age - often to mid-teens and beyond. They are hardy and disease resistant. Light tail, ruff, legs, shoulder and trousers make the Kees a showy dog. Muzzles may grey early, depending on the breeding behind your dog. So barring accidents you can look forward to years of enjoyable companionship from your Keeshond.

ERBEKEES-KEESHONDEN 433 Gunter Hollow RD Fayetteville, TN. 37334 931-557-8884 or 814-691-4902