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Meet the breed: Keeshond

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help you meet the breed that’s right for you. If you’re looking for a friendly watchdog that is loving and good with children, learn everything you need to know about the Keeshond.


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Originating from the Arctic region, the Keeshond is believed to be related to the Chow Chow, Finnish Spitz and more. Especially popular with the Dutch, the breed is known for protecting farms, riverboats and barges. Extremely friendly, the dog still makes for a great watchdog due to his bark, but will be nice to strangers. A great companion, the Keeshond makes a great family pet and is very quick to learn.

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Non-sporting
  • UKC group: Northern Breed
  • Average lifespan: 13 – 15 years
  • Average size: 35 – 45 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Harsh outer coat, downy undercoat
  • Coloration: Gray, black and cream
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Medium-sized, sturdy body with a striking resemblance to the Samoyed; dark eyes with black markings on the face; fluffy coat and exterior, erect ears and thick tail that curls over the back
  • Possible alterations: None

Is this breed right for you?

A family-friendly breed, the Keeshond gets along great with children and other animals of the house. Playful and adventurous, the dog loves to romp outside and will do best with a decent-sized yard that he can have access to. Not exactly a guard dog due to his friendly and outgoing nature, the Keeshond does make for a wonderful watchdog. Barking at anything he’s unsure of, he does his best to protect his loved ones. With a double coat, the dog requires brushing every other week and sheds twice a year.

Breed characteristics

A dream day in the life of a Keeshond

A family dog through and through, the Keeshond will be happiest when waking up surrounded by his loved ones. Running outside to check the perimeter of the house, he’ll play and romp around a bit before returning inside. Affectionate, he loves getting petted and praised. Playing around with the little members of the family, he’ll enjoy an evening stroll before having a bit of family time and will then doze off with the rest of the gang.

Other breeds you might like

Chow Chow
American Eskimo Dog

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