The Dutch Barge Dog - The Keeshound

  • 06/01/2017
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The Keeshound was originally bred to serve as a watch dog on barges used on the Netherland canals and rivers. Today, they are utilized for companion dogs, seeing eye dogs, agility course dogs, and pets. This dog desires to please and to be with the family and owner. It is very loyal and dedicated to the family. While it will bark when someone approaches, it is not a great watch dog. Keeshounds like people, so it will bark but readily accept the person as a friend. A very intuitive dog, it is easily trained. It can be very empathetic and can serve as a therapy dog. Because of the desire for the breed to be with people and to please people, this could be a great first dog for someone. Do not select this dog, however, if you do not want a constant companion. This is not a dog to be outside while the family is inside. The Keeshound will have a tendency to let you know that it is unhappy by barking constantly. This can be very irritating to neighbors and you while you are trying to watch a movie!

The Keeshound is in the Spitz family and looks somewhat like a grey colored Spitz in size and appearance. The coat of a Keeshound is very thick and double coated. The inner layer is very fine and works as insulation, while the outer coat repels water and dirt. An occasional bath may be needed for the breed, especially if it becomes muddy. Taking time to brush the Keeshound for about an hour each week will keep the coat looking great. This dog sheds year around, but will also "blow" the undercoat a couple times a year. For about three weeks each year, you will have lots of fur to contain. Brushing on a regular basis will help with this problem. It is not recommended to shave the dog in hotter climates as this can lead to sunburn and skim damage. The inner coat also acts as insulation for the Keeshound and will help keep the dog cool. Some enjoy kiddie pools of water to lay in during the heat.

The Keeshound is a medium sized, standing about 14 to 19 inches tall and weighing about 35 to 45 pounds. Males typically have a pronounced "mane" or ruff around their neck. The breed is also typically very healthy with few genetic problems. The lifespan is typically about 12 to 15 years. This dog has a very sturdy build and loves to play with children. As with all dogs, it is recommended that children and dog play be monitored. Additionally, it will get along with most other household pets, especially if socialized to these pets in the early years. All dogs enjoy some exercise and the Keeshound is no different. They do not have a high prey drive and enjoy being with their companion, so you may be tempted to not use a leash, however, this is not generally recommended. All dogs can find something interesting to go after, leaving the owners to chase or find a way to retrieve their pet.

Keeshound is singular for the breed. The plural of the breed is Keeshonden. The breed has an interesting history as it arose from a conflict between the House of Orange in the Netherlands and the people trying to revolt from the House of Orange. The leader of the revolution had a Keeshound and it became the symbol of the revolt. After the revolution was quelled the breed nearly was eliminated. It was restored by Baroness van Hardenbroeck and Carl Hinderer in Germany. At one time the Keeshound was described as an overweight Pomeranian!

Keeshunden are a very loyal and family oriented breed. They are easy to train and enjoy spending all of their time with family and friends. Despite the double coat, grooming is not terrible. Regular brushing will keep the coat in order and since the dog prefers to be indoors with people, it does not get too dirty. A good source of grooming supplies is http://www.doggroomingtablesplus.com. The Keeshound is a healthy dog, that enjoys children and makes a great family pet.

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