Showsight Presents The Keeshond

KEESHOND Q&A

Th e Keeshond is a very outgoing breed. Th ey are very social, love people, and they think everyone has to pet them at least once or twice.

check what damage he could have done and found that he’d messed up my bedspread and then he peed on each pillow! Now, that took a lot of brain power to do what he did. All I could do was laugh the whole time I cleaned up the mess. Now, that was jealously! MARY ELLENMEYER My name is Mary Ellen Meyer.

When they get dirt on their coat or roll in the mud, the debris pelts o ff the outer guard coat as it dries. Brushing the coat keeps the coat clean and neat. Can I share a funny story about my experiences with the Kees- hond? Everyone in this breed could probably write a book about their dogs and the crazy things they have done. Th e Keeshond is a clown. Th ey love to make us laugh and they keep our lives inter- esting, to say the least. Th ey truly live up to their nickname “the Smiling Dutchman” as they really do smile at us! Sometimes I think they smile to let us know that they are the boss and to show us that we really can’t outsmart them, even though we think we can. BETH BLANKENSHIP I live in North Carolina, where I am self employed. I have been involved in dogs for 32 years. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? Photography, gardening, cooking—the usual. Was I initially attracted to the breed’s appearance? Yes, but tem- perament was the fi rst draw. While working in animal hospitals with many types of pets, I was drawn to the breed’s personality. What distinguishes the Keeshond from similar breeds? Th e dramatically-marked coat and spectacles, but what is even more unique to me is how in-tune they are to their people. Th ey have a fun-loving, yet sensitive nature. How important is correct size and proportions for the breed? Th ey are a compact, sturdy dog that is very agile, so they must remain medium in size and moderate in angulation and proportions. What about the Keeshond’s spectacles? How much emphasis is placed on color and markings? It is very important to me as it dis- tinguishes them from other Spitz-type breeds. Does the stand-o ff coat require a great deal of care? No, the cor- rect harsh coat with good texture and density is quite easy to brush and prepare for the home and the ring. Do Keeshonds really smile? Th ey sheepishly curl their lip and it looks like a smile, but it’s more of a, “Oh, am I in trouble?” Or, “Yes, I’m in trouble.” Th eir smile can also be seen when they are acting really silly. Th ey don’t all do it. Are Keeshonden well-suited for performance events? Oh my gosh, yes! Th eir eagerness to please, coupled with their intelligence and athleticism, is perfection. Th e downside is they are crafty and get bored with repetition. Can I share a funny story about my experiences with the Kees- hond? I was just noticing the other day how my young male puppy knew exactly where to perch himself on my golf cart. Each male special here at Trumpet gets to parade around on my golf cart at shows. It’s really cute to me (and never gets old) that the fi ve-month- old took his place beside me on a short ride to the pond. I once had a young male leap onto the top of a fence and walk two exercise yards over to the female in-heat yard. He walked across the tops of the fences, jumped down into the next yard, then up over the fence again into the forbidden yard. Th ey are smart and frustrating, but I adore them!

I have been involved in the sport of dogs for almost 60 years, and in Keeshonden since 1971. I became an AKC Judge in 2000 and cur- rently judge the Non-Sporting Group, Toy Group and part of the Working Group. I have also had the honor of judging two Keeshond National Specialties.

I currently reside in Wisconsin and am retired from the Depart- ment of Veterans A ff airs. My kennel name is Markwright Kees- hond. Over the years, I have bred more than 150 Champions of Record, including National Specialty, Specialty-winning, and Hall of Fame dogs. Was I initially attracted to the breed’s appearance? I was origi- nally drawn to the breed while visiting my mother-in-law in Cali- fornia. She had a Keeshond as her family dog. I was so taken by my fi rst encounter with the breed; her dog Percy. I knew when I would return home, this would be my next dog. Th e Keeshond is a very outgoing breed. Th ey are very social, love people, and they think everyone has to pet them at least once or twice. Th ey are very loyal and fun loving. Th ey get along well with other pets (even cats), and, of course, make great family pets. What distinguishes the Keeshond from similar breeds? Th e Keeshond’s great personality, eagerness to please and versatility dis- tinguishes itself from similar breeds. Th eir origin as a barge and farm dog in the Netherlands combined with their ability to be great companions and house-dogs makes them great all-around dogs. Th ey excel in obedience, agility, rally, fast cat, barn hunt, tracking and more! How important is correct size and proportions for the breed? Th e Keeshond is a moderate dog. Preferred male height should be 18 inches, and bitches should be 17 inches, with a one inch over or under variance for both. Th is is the ideal size for a Keeshond, howev- er, we do not have any disquali fi cation for size in our breed standard. What about the Keeshond’s spectacles? How much emphasis is placed on color and markings? Th is breed’s unique hallmarks are their spectacles (the dramatic markings around their eyes), their abundant and dramatically marked coats, their great outgoing per- sonalities and their infectious Keesie grin. Does the stand-o ff coat require a great deal of care? Th e Kees- hond is a double-coated breed with a long, harsh outer coat and a dense, soft under coat. Having a Nordic type stand-o ff coat protects them from the cold in the winter and keeps them cool in the sum- mer. Th eir coats are unique in that they are almost self-cleaning.

188 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2020

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