• Overview

    The Keeshond makes an excellent family companion. They are characterized by their alert, fox-like expressions and their upbeat personalities. These medium-sized dogs range from 35 to 45 pounds, but their affectionate attitudes often cause them to behave like lapdogs.

  • Personality

    These dogs love nothing more than spending quality time with their owners and feeling as if they are part of the family. Keeshonds follow their owners' leads. Therefore, they will warm up to strangers that their owner welcomes, and they will calm down when they see it isn't time to play. If you are unable to involve your dog in your daily activities, the Keeshond is not the breed for you. They hate to be neglected and when they are left alone for long periods of time, they will resort to excessive barking and other mischievous behavior.

    Although Keeshonds do enjoy barking at strangers and while they are alone, they make ineffective watch dogs. They warm up to people almost immediately and they won't turn away affection from anyone. These dogs have natural confidence and intelligence that flourish with consistent socialization and stimulating training. They love to please and receive praise, so training that highlights their capabilities and intelligence will be the most successful. Above all, the Keeshond is an outgoing and friendly breed who will quickly become the center of any household.

  • Coat Care

    The Keeshond's dramatic markings are one of his most noticeable and important features. Their coat should be either gray, black or cream with distinctive black markings called "spectacles" around the face and muzzle. Keeshond puppies are born black and gradually develop their unique colorings by the time they are 18 months old. Keeshonds' coats are similar to other Northern Spitz breeds. They have a dense, thick double coat with a wooly, soft under coat and long, straight outer coat to insulate them during warm and cold weather. The Keeshond's harsh coat is defined by a thick mane around the neck, which is more prominent in males than females. Their tails curl into a plume over the back and their cream-colored legs are coated in longer hair, called "trousers."

    He will need to be brushed with a pin brush to help stimulate new hair growth and help his coat stay vibrant and clean. Keeshonds shed extensively twice a year, but other than that, they are not overly prone to matting.

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Keeshonds shed extensively twice a year, but other than that, they are not overly prone to matting and might be able to stay looking their best with less brushing than other heavy coated dogs.

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With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

Heavy coated dogs should be bathed about once every three months. Their coats are naturally oily and repellent, so they don't tend to develop an odor, but if they track their coat through the mud, they may need to be bathed more frequently. The coat should end up fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Their heavy coat should be fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair.

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Hair Clipping

Although the Keeshonds' coat makes them look like a demanding breed to groom, they actually make one of the easiest breeds to groom at home. Their hair does not need to be clipped often — in fact, if you plan to show your dog, you should avoid clipping him. Instead, trim carefully around the feet and paws to protect them from uncomfortably long hairs.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Small dogs, like Pomeranians, and dogs with extremely profuse coats, like Newfoundlands, American Eskimo Dogs and Keeshonds, have ears that need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Small dogs like Pomeranians and Pekingese, and dogs with white coats like American Eskimo Dogs and Samoyeds, are prone to developing tear stains around their eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

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Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.