Monday, July 21, 2008

Max, the cross-breed Keeshond

As mentioned in previous posts, Max is not a pure-breed Keeshond. However, she does possess several characteristics of her breed. So what is exactly a Keeshond?

Keeshonds are originally from Netherlands and is closely related to the German spitzes. It was known as German spitz in the old times but had been re-named as Keeshond after the Dutch patriot Cornelis "Kees" de Gyselaer, the leader of the Dutch rebellion against the House of Orange in the 18th century. The Keeshonds then became the symbol of the commoners against aristocracy.

Here are bits of information about the Keeshond, from Just Dog Breeds:

Keeshond Temperament
Affectionate, loving, and good natured, the Keeshond is a dog that loves to be around his human family. These dogs thrive on attention and love, and enjoy getting involved in the family fun and activities. Some can be quite demanding in terms of the affection and attention that they require, and without it can become bored and start barking a lot. Spirited and happy, the Keeshond is a sociable creature, and is very friendly towards just about everyone. He will bark to raise an alarm, which can make him a fairly effective watchdog, but he is too friendly to qualify as a guard dog. Known as the 'smiling Dutchman' because of the way that he bares his teeth in a cheerful, grinning fashion, this dog makes for a great family pet and companion. The Keeshond is fine for inexperienced dog owners as well as for the more experienced, but he can have a willful and independent streak - although training using positive methods should not prove too much of a problem.

The Keeshond is an intelligent breed, and is quick to learn obedience commands. These dogs get on very well with children, and most will be fine around strangers. Early socialization is important in order to reduce the risk of increased timidity in some Keeshonds, and a peaceful environment is essential as these dogs are very sensitive and have very powerful hearing. When it comes to other pets, the Keeshond tends to get along well with them, which means that he is ideal for families that already have pets in the household. The Keeshond's eagerness to please his owner along with his intelligence and learning rate means that he will usually do well in terms of obedience training.

Keeshond Appearance
The Keeshond is a medium sized dog, with a very distinctive appearance and a sturdy build. The double coat of the Keeshond is dense, straight, and long, and these dogs have a beautiful, regal looking ruff of dense hair around the neck. His small ears stand erect on his head, adding to his alert expression. The coloring of the coat is a beautiful, rich gray, with black and cream, and he has a luxurious pluming tail that cascades over his back. The weight of the Keeshond is around 35 pounds for females, and between 40-45 pounds for males. The height of these dogs is around 17-18 inches.