How to Care for Your Keeshond: The Complete Guide

keeshond sitting in front of a pond
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Keeshond Introduction

While Keeshonds are pure-breed dogs, their origin isn’t exactly known. Keeshonds are believed to have descended from ancient dogs that also produced other Spitz breeds, such as Pomeranians. The Keeshond breed can be dated back to the 17th century in Holland, where painting and written documents support their existence.

During this time, the Keeshond was called various names depending on the region. In France, they were known as the Chien Loup, in Germany the Wolfspitz, and in Italy the Lupini. Many years passed before they became known as the Keeshond breed all over the world.

Keeshonds also picked up the nickname of ‘barge dog,’ as they were commonly used during the 18th century as watchdogs and companions on small boats that traveled the Rhine River.

There was a big decline in the number of Keeshond dogs, but in the 1920s, Baroness van Hardenbroek took an interest in saving the breed that we know and love today.

Modern Keeshond males reach an average height of around 18 inches, with females reaching around 17 inches. Keeshonds typically weigh between 35-45 pounds when fully grown, making them an ideal medium-sized breed to have in your home and part of your family.

Keeshond Temperament

When it comes to a family that wants a loving and loyal dog, Keeshonds are the perfect contender. They are very affectionate with their family members and love to be with their owners. They also do well when living in homes with small children or other dogs.

When out and about, Keeshond puppies and adults love to make new canine friends and will enjoy trips to socialize at the dog park. Keeshonds also are very open to strangers, meaning that they will be happy to meet a new human whenever the opportunity presents itself. While they are friendly, Keeshonds are also excellent watchdogs who will gladly alert you when they feel there is a stranger or threat outside of your home.

Keeshond puppies and adults are extremely playful, even as they age. They love to engage in tug-of-war and roughhousing with their family members. While playing is very important to this breed, they aren’t known for extreme energy levels. They will greatly enjoy going on walks with you and playing fetch, but also love to snuggle up on the couch after a long day. Games and puzzles are a great way to play with your Keeshond and keep them mentally stimulated!

keeshond standing in a flower field

Keeshond Intelligence

The Keeshond is an intelligent breed that quickly picks up on its surroundings and owner’s commands. Not only are they a smart breed, but they are eager to please. This trait makes them very easy to train, and the training process with a Keeshond can even be fun!

When training Keeshond puppies or adults, it’s important to focus on positive reinforcement. Given how eager to please Keeshond puppies and adults are, praising them when they do something right can help motivate them during training. Keeshond puppies and adults love to hear about how they made their owners happy by following commands!

Verbal praising, treats, and pets are great ways to motivate your Keeshond during training. When you provide positive reinforcement, your pup will begin to associate following commands with things that they love.

When training Keeshond puppies and adults, be sure to avoid harsh words and punishments. Keeshond puppies and adults don’t respond well to punishment during training which may result in a loss of progress and unwillingness to participate.

With consistency and dedication, your Keeshond will be listening to your commands and fully trained in no time. You may even be able to practice agility courses with your beloved, obedient dog!

Keeshond Shedding

Keeshonds are known for their beautiful, long-haired coats that keep them warm in colder weather and give them their unique look. With this beautiful Keeshond coat can come a price, such as shedding.

Keeshonds can shed quite a bit, and this can increase during the warmer spring and summer months. Keeshonds will often be shed in preparation for these warm months in order not to overheat, as many other animals do. During these times, you can expect to be cleaning up some extra fur compared to usual.

Keeshond puppies and adults will shed profusely twice a year when they lose their entire undercoat at once. This shedding can be very intense, and it typically lasts two to three weeks. Aside from shedding season and these bi-annual undercoat sheds, Keeshonds aren’t known to shed excessively.

When owning Keeshond puppies or adults, you can expect a shedding level of a little more than average. Keeshonds have long, double coats, and their adult coat comes in at around 18 months to 2 years of age. When this happens, you can expect shedding to increase slightly, though it won’t be unmanageable. With proper grooming and maintenance, shedding won’t be one of your main concerns.

keeshond sitting in the grass

Keeshond Health

All dog owners want as many treasured years with their dog as they can get, including Keeshond owners. Overall, Keeshond owners can expect an average of 12-15 years together. Keeping your pooch in good health and taking preventative measures for common Keeshond health conditions are the best ways to ensure you get the most time with your pooch as you can.

Nutrition is an important part of ensuring that your dog has the longest life possible. Keeshond puppies and adults should always consume high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their specific stage of life as well as the health conditions that they are experiencing.

Psychological Health

Psychological health is a very important component of overall health. Just like humans, Keeshond puppies and adults can be prone to various psychological health issues. The most common psychological health issues for dogs to face are stress and anxiety.

Stress and anxiety can look different in every dog, though there are some typical signs. Stress or anxious Keeshond puppies and adults may become restless, causing them to pace around their yard or home. Vocalizing is another common sign of canine stress and anxiety. If you notice your dog whining, and they don’t need to be let out to potty, this may be because they are feeling anxious. Panting and yawning are also common signs of a stressed or anxious Keeshond. If you notice any of these symptoms in your Keeshond, be sure to act accordingly.

Keeshond puppies and adults can become stressed for a variety of reasons. Traveling, new people or dogs, unknown places, and loud sounds are just some of the factors that can trigger canine stress and anxiety. If you notice your dog is experiencing one of these conditions, try to note when this is happening. Maybe they begin to whine when a fire truck goes by. Some Keeshond puppies and adults may begin to pace when someone new comes to their home. Whatever the cause, you can surely provide your Keeshond relief from stress and anxiety.

CBD is one of the best ways to manage canine anxiety and stress. This naturally occurring compound soothes and relaxes your Keeshond. Safe to use with all ages, CBD is the ideal anxiety and stress relief that is available in a variety of forms.

close up shot of a smiling keeshond

Separation Anxiety

Many Keeshond puppies and adults may become anxious when left alone or away from their owners. This condition is known as separation anxiety, and it can affect all types of dogs. Because Keeshond puppies and adults are very affectionate dogs and form a strong bond with their owners, they can be more prone to developing separation anxiety than other breeds.

While separation anxiety can be troubling for any dog and its owner, there are ways to manage this condition. Specific pheromones have been known to reduce this condition in Keeshond puppies and adults. This specific pheromone, known as dog appeasing pheromone, has been produced synthetically to help treat separation anxiety. It can be found in the form of room diffusers, sprays, edible treats, and even wearable collars.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and elbow dysplasia are very common joint health issues for Keeshond puppies and adults to face, and they can be very painful. Thankfully, these conditions can easily be prevented and combatted at home.

Hip and elbow dysplasia occur due to an abnormal growth within the ball and socket of the hip or elbow joint. The joint becomes unstable and loose, which can lead to scar tissue development. These conditions can occur simultaneously or on their own, and they can affect one or multiple joints.

Diet is one of the most promising ways to combat hip and elbow dysplasia at home. Studies have shown that dogs who consumed a fish-based, nutrient-rich diet had less severe cases of hip dysplasia than those who consumed chicken-based diets. Some nutrient factors of fish-based foods are believed to help slow the progression of hip dysplasia.

In addition to diet, supplementation can be used to manage hip and elbow dysplasia. Turmeric, Ashwagandha, and other anti-inflammatory agents can be used to minimize Keeshond joint swelling. In doing so, Keeshonds will experience reduced pain from hip and elbow dysplasia. Be sure to consult with your vet before beginning any dietary changes or supplementation.

keeshond standing in the snow





Epilepsy is a very serious health condition that can affect both humans and dogs. This condition occurs when an individual experiences recurring seizures. Epilepsy is a very troubling condition to experience for any Keeshond and its owner. While this condition can be concerning, there are ways that you can combat epilepsy at home.

One of the most well-known ways to combat seizures is CBD. CBD is used to treat seizures and epilepsy in both humans and dogs. It is believed to reduce the frequency of seizures as well as the severity. Be sure to consult with your vet before using any of these seizure-related supplements.

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Aside from CBD, one of the best ways to combat epilepsy in your Keeshond dog is through diet. Coconut oil is a promising dietary agent to combat this condition. Coconut oil is a source of MCTs, which are known to be ketogenic. These ketones may decrease seizures through their anti-inflammatory properties.

In addition to coconut oil, fish oil is another promising way to prevent or reduce seizure activity. Fish oil is potent in omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce excitability in the nervous system and lead to reduced seizures.


Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder that affects a variety of dogs, commonly including Keeshond puppies and adults. This condition occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid glands, and it can have some very serious symptoms.

Some common symptoms of thyroiditis include lethargy, mental dullness, intolerance of exercise, weight gain, obesity, hair thinning and hair loss, and cold intolerance. If you notice that your Keeshond is gaining weight inexplicably without any diet or exercise changes, it may be due to this condition. Keeshond puppies and adults that are resistant to walks may also be experiencing thyroiditis.

While thyroiditis needs to be managed by a vet, there are ways that you can combat this condition at home. One of the best ways to combat thyroiditis is through diet. Ashwagandha, turmeric, mushrooms, kelp, and Schisandra berries have all been shown to help combat this condition by supporting thyroid functioning. Be sure to consult with your vet before introducing them into your Keeshond’s diet.

After finding proper management, your vet will likely take your Keeshond’s thyroid levels tested once or twice a year. With the help of your vet, you and your Keeshond can live a healthy and normal life despite thyroiditis.

keeshond sitting in the grass

Oral Health

Oral health is an extremely important component of Keeshond’s overall health. Without a healthy mouth, Keeshond puppies and adults may be more at risk for developing health issues. Unfortunately, Keeshonds can be more prone to developing dental disease than other breeds. To avoid this condition, Keeshond owners should regularly be using oral health products that help to remove plaque and tartar build-up.

Canine toothpaste and wipes are a great way to minimize plaque and tartar build-up. By removing plaque and tartar, you will be able to avoid infections in your Keeshond’s gums and roots of their teeth. These infections can cause other health problems with the liver, kidneys, and even the heart. Keeshonds who have excellent oral health may even have a longer life expectancy.

Some oral health products help support other areas of health, such as joint health, digestive health, and skin and coat health. When shopping for oral health products, be sure to consider other areas of health that your Keeshond could use support. You may be able to find a variety of products that work perfectly for your dog’s overall health as well as their oral health. Always be sure to look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council acceptance when searching for oral health products.

Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews Based On Size

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Keeshond Exercise

Keeshonds are active dogs who need an abundance of exercise to remain healthy and happy. Without it, Keeshond puppies and adults can be prone to obesity and other health issues. Thankfully, Keeshond puppies and adults are active dogs, so exercising them isn’t too much of a chore.

Keeshond puppies and adults can be exercised in a variety of ways. Since they love to play, roughhousing and tug-of-war are great, engaging ways to exercise your Keeshond every day. In addition, going for daily walks or jogs can help keep your dog active and healthy. Having another dog for your Keeshond to play with maybe an easy way to help them get the exercise that they need. Even just playing in the backyard can be a great way to exercise Keeshond puppies and adults!

No matter how you choose to exercise your Keeshond, be sure that they are getting the recommended amount of exercise. This recommended amount can depend on a variety of factors. Age, health conditions, size, and more can influence exactly how much exercise your specific dog needs. With your help and some extra fun activities each day, your Keeshond can live an active, fun-filled life by your side.

keeshond laying in the grass

Keeshond Nutrition

Nutrition is the key to healthy Keeshond puppies and adults. Without proper nutrition, they may be more at risk for various health conditions. Knowing what to feed your Keeshond and how much is a vital part of being a great owner.

On average, Keeshond adults should eat 1 to 2 cups of dry dog food per day. This food should be high quality and rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as protein and healthy fats, ground bone, and vegetables. These essential nutrients can help prevent various health conditions that Keeshond puppies and adults can be prone to.

Keeshond puppies should eat puppy food that is specially formulated for their age. This puppy food has extra protein and other nutrients that they need to develop. Keeshond puppies should be on puppy formula dog food until they reach one year of age.

Like Keeshond puppies, seniors should also be on special food that is formulated for their age. These senior dog foods contain extra nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, that help minimize the negative effects of the aging process. Joint health and cognitive functioning in Keeshonds can be supported thanks to these senior dog foods.

Exercise Options We Love

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Keeshond Grooming

Keeshond puppies and adults are known for their beautiful double coats, which can require some specific grooming. Proper grooming is the key to keeping your pooch looking and feeling as healthy and happy as ever.

Keeshonds need to be bathed regularly, around once every one to two weeks. This will help ensure that their coat stays healthy and beautiful. When bathing, be sure to dry your Keeshond properly so that their coat doesn’t become tangled.

Grooming a Keeshond once per week is highly recommended. Doing so will prevent their fur from becoming matted and will remove any debris that their coat may have picked up. A pin brush is a great grooming tool to use with Keeshond puppies and adults. This brush removes mats and tangles and makes it easier to trim Keeshond’s hair if needed.

Rakes and combs are also helpful in grooming as they brush on a finer level, which can thin the coat out as needed and prevent it from clogging the skin. All of these grooming tools can be found at your local pet store and online. If you are having a hard time grooming your pup, consider using canine detangling spray to help.

happy keeshond sitting in the snow

Top Keeshond Products

When shopping for Keeshond puppies or adults, there are a variety of products to choose from, which can be overwhelming. Knowing what to look for can make this process a little bit easier.

Be sure to choose a dog food that is high quality and appropriate for your specific dog. Age, health issues, and quality should all be considered when choosing dog food for your dog. Foods that contain preventative ingredients for common Keeshond health issues, such as epilepsy and hip and elbow dysplasia, should be considered. Try to consider foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, coconut oil, and even anti-inflammatories.

Many owners choose to crate train their Keeshond. Crate training can keep your dog from participating in destructive behaviors when you’re gone, as well as combatting separation anxiety, which many Keeshonds may experience. Choosing the best crate for your Keeshond is an important part of this process.

Crates We Love

=Want a crate that is easy to travel and highly portable? Consider a foldable wire crate. Need to take your Keeshond on a plane in their crate? Plastic dog crates are a great way to go. Be sure to find a crate that best fits your lifestyle, and consider buying a divider for Keeshond puppies to grow into their crate.

Beds We Love

Some owners will choose not to crate train their dog, and that’s okay! Providing them with a comfortable bed to rest on is another great option. Many beds come with Tempurpedic filling, which can help avoid common Keeshond joint health conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia.



Keeshond Club of America

Keeshond Rescue

Keeshond Club of Southern California

Pacific Crest Keeshond Club

Norcal Keeshond Club, Inc.

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