Keeshond History

The exact origins of the Keeshond, or Wolf Spitz, are unknown, though the dog’s appearance places it firmly in the Spitz family; close relatives include the Finnish Spitz, Norwegian Elkhound, Chow Chow and Samoyed. The breed was well known in the Netherlands by the 18th century, and was commonly employed as a river boat and barge watch dog, as well as a companion pet.

The Keeshond would reach its greatest popularity and eventually face near extinction as a result of political upheaval in the Netherlands during the late 19th century. Cornelis (Kees) de Gyselaer, the leader of the Dutch patriot faction, owned a Wolf Spitz named Kees that was so strongly associated with the political leader that it became a symbol of the Patriot rebellion. When the rebellion was quashed and the House of Orange was restored to power, few people wanted to be seen with the rebel symbol, and the dogs began to disappear. The breed had all but vanished by the early 20th century, but luckily for the Keeshond, the Baroness van Hardenbroek began a campaign to restore the breed in 1920.

The Wolf Spitz arrived in England and America during the 1920s, and was recognized as the Keeshond (in honor of Cornelis (Kees) de Gyselaer) by the American Kennel Club in 1930. Today, the Keeshond is a moderately popular pet in the United States, as well as the national dog of the Netherlands.

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