Showsight Presents The Keeshond

KEESHOND Q&A

Can I share a funny story about my experiences with the Kees- hond? Th is is a breed that loves to make people laugh. One must be very careful not to laugh at naughty things that their Keeshond does because once they get that reaction, they will continue the behavior over and over. I once had a dog that learned ten tricks—things like dance, sit up, play dead, etc. He got so smart that whenever people came to visit, the minute they sat down he would go out to the center of the room and quickly go through all ten tricks on his own and then run over to the cookie cupboard waiting for his treat. When you live with a Keeshond, you live with a cheerful, smart, happy dog that makes you smile every day. It is a delightful breed. JENNIFERMCCLURE & DIANEWRIGHT We live just outside of the Black Forest in Southern Colorado. I am a Cytotechnologist by profession. We have been involved in the breed for 33 years. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? Living in Colorado, camping is a must. We also enjoy four-wheeling and packing with llamas. Was I initially attracted to the breed’s appearance? Th e Kees- hond is a very eye-catching breed. Th ey have a beautiful coat and color, and they are the perfect size dog. All of these characteristics attribute to love at fi rst sight. What distinguishes the Keeshond from similar breeds? Person- ality. Th e Keeshond is a very intelligent breed. It is very sensitive to emotion and easy to train for just about anything. How important is correct size and proportions for the breed? Correct size is very important. As I mentioned, it is one of the char- acteristics that make this breed so desirable. Th e correct proportions are a true medium size, not small, but robust without being large. What about the Keeshond’s spectacles? How much emphasis is placed on color and markings? Th e spectacles and markings are important as they are the “trademarks” of the breed. Th e mentioned markings are important, but so is the dog’s structure and soundness. Does the stand-o ff coat require a great deal of care? Th e Kees- hond’s coat and texture is a remarkable asset of the breed. A proper texture does not require a great deal of work and is very clean to live with. Th e breed does shed, but the guard hairs hold the hair to the body to be brushed out rather than being left around the house. Th ey do require regular brushing, but the phrase, “Lazy man’s glamour dog,” is appropriately applied to the breed. Is it true that the Keeshond is a “neatnik?” Do they really smile? Yes! Th ey are the “Smiling Dutchman.” A rightful nickname. Th ey will often display a full set of teeth in sheer joy. Th e breed is very neat and tidy, has little to no doggy odor, and a luxurious coat that doesn’t leave hair all over if appropriately maintained. Are Keeshonden well-suited for performance events? Yes! Kees- honden excel at most performance events. Th ey are very smart, eager to please and usually food oriented. TAWN SINCLAIR I live in Malibu, California, and my home was the inspiration for my kennel name, Shoreline. I am retired from my civil service career with the State of California and have worked as a full-time dog trainer since leaving my state job. I have been showing and breeding Kees since 1978. I am active in conformation, obedience, agility, rally, tracking and therapy dog work. Outside of dogs, I have a passion for gardening and want to travel more in the years ahead. Was I initially attracted to the breed’s appearance? De fi nitely. Th e fi rst Kees I saw in person was when I was a sophomore in col- lege and had enrolled my own mixed-breed pound puppy in an obedience class at a local park. Th ere was a Keeshond in the class

Th e Keeshond spectacles are the hallmark of the breed. It is a unique feature that immediately draws attention and smiles.

and I immediately recognized the dog as the breed I had seen in dog books as a child. Not only was his appearance extremely strik- ing, he was such an up-and-happy dog that one couldn’t help but notice him. What distinguishes the Keeshond from similar breeds? Th e Kees is a Spitz characterized by dramatic coloring that is distinct from all the other Spitz breeds. Th e spectacles and happy, smiling face can’t help but make you smile in response. Unlike many spitz breeds, Kees are anything but independent. Th ey adore their people (chil- dren, especially), other dogs, family pets, and are extremely social. Th ey are basically happy-go-lucky clowns. How important is correct size and proportion for the breed? Ide- ally, Kees males are 18" and bitches are 17", give or take an inch for both. Th ey are a sturdy dog without being overly stocky. Weight for males is generally between 30-40 pounds and females between 27-35 pounds. Th ere is no disquali fi cation for size—with type being more important—but correct size is part of what makes up correct type. Th e Kees is to be square in appearance. He is a compact dog, and that square appearance is a huge part of what gives Kees their unique appearance among other Spitz breeds. What about the Keeshond’s spectacles? How much emphasis is placed on color and markings? Th e Keeshond spectacles are the hallmark of the breed. It is a unique feature that immediately draws attention and smiles. A Kees without spectacles should never be rewarded in the breed ring. Th e Kees is a dramatically-colored dog. Th e presence of bright shoulder markings, ru ff , tail and leg feather- ing gives the Kees the dramatically-marked coat. Th e presence of the striking, contrasting coat and the unique spectacles are what di ff erentiates the Kees from all other Spitz breeds. Does the stand-o ff coat require a great deal of care? Th e Kees was once described as “a poor man’s glamour dog.” Th is description was due to the dramatic coloring on the stand-o ff coat that was also easy to care for. A proper coat with proper texture does not require hours of grooming. A dog with proper texture has a harsh outer coat that resists dirt and slush. While they may look muddy after a run in the outdoors, the coat will shed all the muck and be looking great again with very little brushing. A tendency toward massive coats with cottony texture has been observed and needs to be carefully watched. Kees should not require hours of grooming in order to look good. Th e general public thinks these dogs require a great deal of coat care, which is not the case if the texture and length is kept to the proper standard. Is it true that the Keeshond is a “neatnik?” Do they really smile? No, to the fi rst, and yes, to the second! I would never describe my Kees as neatniks. Th ey love to explore and roll in rotten things. Th ankfully, their coats tend to slough o ff the mess. As far as the smile, yes, they really do smile. In fact, more than smiling, I would say that they laugh. Th ey have those mischievous

194 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2020

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