The Keeshond is a typical spitz-type dog with a plush protective thick coat, prick ears and curly tail. It is also known as the Dutch barge dog and forms part of the utility group.

Keeshond breed group


Size of the Keeshond


Country of origin

Netherlands and Germany

Time of original development

The Keeshond probably originates from the Artic like many other Spitz-type dogs, before being developed in the Netherlands into the dog we know today. It is also known as the Dutch barge dog, German Spitz, Chien Loup and the Lupini.

Keeshond breed introduction and overview

The Keeshond is a typical type of Spitz dog, solid and compact. It has a thick, waterproof double coat that provided protection against the harsh elements and a tail that curls over the back. The Keeshond feels the heat, so exercise should be provided during the cooler hours of the day in hot weather. The Keeshond is a vocal breed, like many Spitz dogs.

Keeshond temperament

The breed is alert, friendly and enjoys human companionship. It enjoys being part of the family, and normally patient and gentle around cheerful. Keehonds are not dogs to be left alone for long periods of time, and can develop unwanted behaviour such as separation anxiety. They make excellent guards around the home and will certainly alert you of somebody approaching the house. If socialised well from an early age, the Keehond should be happy living with cats, but care should be taken around other smaller family pets.

The Keehond is prone to obesity, so meal portions should be monitored.

Colour varieties of the Keeshond

The Keeshond comes in a variety of colours which include:

  • Grey
  • Silver Grey
  • Silver Grey & Black

Height and weight of the Keeshond

Height bitch 40-46cms

Height dog 44-48cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 15-20kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 15-20kgs

Exercise requirements of the Keeshond

The Keeshond is an energetic and athletic breed that requires at least an hour of exercise every day.

Is the Keeshond a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Yes, but new dog owners should be aware of the vocal nature of the breed and also ensure these dogs do not suffer from the heat in warm weather.

Keeshond coat length


Grooming requirements of the Keeshond

Medium. The thick coat may look daunting to new owners, but is in fact easy to groom and being waterproof, mud and water simply slides off the coat. A large soft slicker brush can be used to penetrate the thick coat and remove any debris and tangles. The coat should not be clipped or shaved.

Ears need to be cleaned and checked regularly for any sign of infections and foreign bodies such as ticks.


No. The Keeshond sheds hair steadily throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Keeshond

The Keeshond is a fairly hardy breed, but owners should consult their breeder about the following known issues in the breed:

  • Hip Dysplasia - A malformation of the hip joint, has been found in the breed, so ensure your puppy has been hip scored.
  • Luxating Patella

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Keeshond

A healthy Keeshond should expect to enjoy a life expectancy of between 12-14 years.

Approximate Keeshond pedigree puppy price

No current information is available as litters are quite rare. Register your interest with an assured breeder so they can advise you of expected litters. Just 155 puppies were registered with the Kennel Club in 2015.

Estimating how much a Keeshond would need to be fed each day

A bitch weighing 15kgs will require around 237gms of complete dry food daily.

A dog weighing 20kgs will require around 283gms of complete dry food daily.

An average bitch weighing 15kgs will cost around £6 per week to feed.

An average dog weighing 20kgs will cost around £7 per week to feed.

Our figures are based on feeding an ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket. A good quality feed is suggested for the energetic dogs in the utility group.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment