Showsight Presents The Keeshond

KEESHOND THE

What distinguishes the Keeshond from similar breeds? Th e head of a Keeshond is not typical of other breeds. A Keeshond must have spectacles. Th eir spectacles are the hallmark of our breed. Th e spec- tacle is actually the line that goes around the eye and then fans out and goes upward to the bottom of the outside of the ear. It is not the white that is inside this line. I also believe that the outline of a Keeshond makes them di ff er- ent than most breeds. Th e luxurious mane, the tail that curls on top of the back, and the full pants are typical of the breed. Th eir happy- go-lucky attitude and mischievousness is always evident. How important is correct size and proportions for the breed? Our breed standard states that a male should be 18 inches and female 17 inches. A one-inch variance either way is acceptable. Cor- rect proportions are vital. Th e Keeshond is a square dog. Th e shoul- der, upper arm and leg shall all be of equal length. Th e highest point of the withers shall be in line with the elbow. Th e pelvis, thigh and lower leg shall all be of equal length, meeting at a well bent sti fl e joint. Th is makes a very balanced dog with moderate angulations. What about the Keeshond spectacles? How much emphasis is placed on color and markings? As mentioned above, the spectacles are the hallmark of our breed and should always be present to some degree. Our standard states that a Keeshond is dramatically marked with a mixture of gray, black and cream. A Keeshond should never be smutty or tawny in coloring. Our breed standard speci fi cally dictates what our coloring should be, and without these traits it wouldn’t look like a Keeshond. Does the stand-o ff coat require a great deal of care? A Kees- hond’s hair shaft is straight and because of this it does not matt like a Poodle. A thorough brushing once a week is all that needs to be done to make a Keeshond look groomed. Anyone can deal with this type of coat. A show dog does require bathing before a show. Our standard states that trimming is not permissible. We are allowed to trim whiskers, feet, pasterns and hocks. However, you will see more than that in the show ring. Many get carried away and “artfully” tidy up. You should never see a fully sculpted silhouette. Is it true that the Keeshond is a “neatnik”? Do they really smile? Keeshonds are almost cat-like. Th ey are extremely clean and have no odor when kept clean. Th ey will usually only soil in the part of your lawn or area where you keep them. Th ey almost never walk or step in manure. It seems like they have radar on their feet. Yes, Keeshond do smile. Th at is why we call them the Smiling Dutchman. When they are happy, you can actually see them smile and you can see the twinkle in their eye. Th ey look right into your eyes as if they could read your mind. Are Keeshonden well-suited for performance events? Th ey are more than excellent in performance. While I’m not involved in agil- ity, I believe that the top agility dog is a Keeshond. Th ey hold all sorts of records in agility. Th ey seem to like work and having some- thing to do, which makes them great in all sorts of obedience work. Can I share a funny story about my experiences with the Kees- hond? Th is is a story from years ago about one of my Best In Show Keeshonds (Ch. Star Kees Dingbat). Dingbat was a dog that I had to force feed to keep him at proper show weight. He never liked food until he retired from the ring. He was a dog that could go hours without fouling his crate and was always trustworthy in the house. Well, I was dating a man and he came to take me out to dinner. We left Dingbat at home. When we came home, maybe an hour later, Dingbat left a pile of manure at the front door. We had to step over it to get into the house. He had gone into the garbage and spewed the garbage into every corner of the house. I went upstairs to

1. Where do you live? What is your occupation? How many years in dogs? 2. Do you have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? 3. Th e Keeshond is an attractive dog. Were you initially attracted to the breed’s appearance? 4. What distinguishes the Keeshond from similar breeds? 5. How important is correct size for the breed? Correct proportions? 6. What about the Keeshond’s spectacles? How much emphasis is placed on color and markings? 7. Does the stand-o ff coat require a great deal of care? 8. Is it true that the Keeshond is a “neatnik?” Do they really smile? 9. Are Keeshonden well-suited for performance events? 10. Can you share a funny story about your experiences with the Keeshond? 11. Is there anything else you’ d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. JOANNE REED

Th e Windrift Keeshond Kennel is in Santa Rosa, California. I am a retired professional handler of mul- tiple breeds and have been a breed- er of several breeds. However, my main breed for over 50 years has been the Keeshond. I am currently on the Keeshond Breeder’s Educa- tion Committee and in charge of their Facebook account. I am also on the Keeshond Standard Revi- sion Committee. We are currently working on revising our standard.

Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? Years ago, I used to break, train, show and breed Arabian horses. Now, I no longer have any horses and have devoted my life to my dogs. I have coached volleyball at the grammar school level. I have a 14-year-old daughter who is involved with club volleyball. I no longer coach, but now have the pleasure of watching her compete at a higher level. If we are not at a dog show, we are at a volleyball tournament. It makes life interesting and remarkably busy. Was I initially attracted to the breed’s appearance? I was tak- ing obedience lessons with my German Shepherd when I fi rst saw a Keeshond. It was love at fi rst sight. I have now been involved in the breed for 50 years, having produced more than 200 champions and hold all the records in the breed. I have produced more Hall of Fame Keeshonds, more Registration of Merit and Registration of Merit Excellence dogs (dogs and bitches) than anyone in the breed. Th e fi rst Keeshond that I saw was a wonderful specimen of the breed. His head with the lovely spectacles and his full coat was breathtaking. I had never seen a Keeshond before, and I could not take my eyes o ff him. He was also an excellent obedience dog. He performed every task with a smile on his face and a willingness to please. I was hooked from the fi rst encounter!

186 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2020

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