Often known as the “Dutch Barge Dog”, the keeshond served for countless years as a guard and companion to the riverboat captains who plied their craft up and down the canals of Holland. The breed’s compact build and shape, bearing in mind the lack of room on the barges, coupled with their acute hearing, meant they were ideally suited for this purpose.


The keeshond has a smiling face and their most distinctive characteristic is the well-defined spectacles around their eyes. They have a thick double coat, lion-like mane, woolly trousers, and richly plumed tail.

Average Lifespan

10 – 16 years


The keeshond still retains their watchdog instincts and will loudly give warning of anyone approaching the house. In fact, they are so protective of their households that they much prefer to stay at home with their owners than go hunting or roaming. With a sweet-tempered, friendly and affectionate nature, the keeshond makes an ideal companion dog. They are suitable for children and get on well with other dogs.

It is advisable not to leave a keeshond alone for long period of times as they like to be a part of the family.


They will need regular grooming, but no trimming is required.


Keeshonds are intelligent and eager to learn, making them very trainable.

Health Concern

For the latest research in breed-related problems in Keeshonds visit the University of Sydney’s LIDA (Listing of Inherited Disorders in Animals) website.

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