Breed History / Description

This spitz breed with its distinctive grey coat and typical harness markings, was used to guard barges in Holland and earned the epithet ‘Dutch Barge Dog’. The breed had been the mascot of the Dutch Patriots' Party in the 18th Century, as a dog of this breed was owned by one of the prominent party leaders Cornelius (‘Kees’) de Gyselaer – hence it was known as Kees' dog – or Keeshond. When the party was defeated in 1787 the breed went out of fashion and the population declined dramatically. 

A few breeders made concerted efforts using the best of the remaining dogs to revive the breed and, fortunately, interest in the breed was restored. The first Keeshonds were imported to the UK in 1905 and the first Breed Club formed in 1925. The breed became very popular and successful in shows of this era. The enthusiasm of English breeders rekindled more interest in the Keeshond in its native land and by 1933 the breed was recognised by the Dutch Kennel Club and today is recognised as the national dog of Holland.


Sturdy intelligent and adaptable. Ideal companion, good watchdog. 


Confident, alert and friendly. Always ready to raise the alarm.

Club, K., 2018. The Kennel Club's Breed Standards. 5th ed. London SW1V 2SA: Ebury Press.

Haircuts Photos from our Members