Temperament is extremely important in the Keeshond breed. Well-bred, well-mannered Keeshonds are neither timid nor aggressive. To the contrary, they are outgoing, lively and friendly, both with people and with other dogs. These are smart, intelligent, alert, affectionate animals. They are gregarious and cuddly, and are particularly fond of children. Keeshonds thrive on being with their people. They always want to be the center of attention and to participate in all family activities.
The Keeshond is a sturdy, nimble, game dog that enjoys accompanying its owner on any and all outings. Keeshonds love to go on long leisurely walks at parks, beaches or just around the neighborhood. They are playful, adventurous and more than willing to try new activities. They don’t need an enormous amount of exercise, but they will do best with regular walks and activity.
Keeshonds are quick-learners that usually are in-tune with their owners. However, they can be somewhat independent and self-directed, which can make training a bit challenging. Positive reinforcement, and especially use of tasty treats, lavish praise and other techniques to motivate the Keeshond, should give him enough encouragement to follow his owner’s directions. Repetition, repetition and more repetition, together with a healthy dose of patience, are critical to successful training of a Keeshond. It is also important to socialize these dogs from an early age, to give them the best chance of blossoming into well-adjusted, stable, self-confident adults.
Keeshonds are well-suited to apartment living and don’t require a great deal of space to be content. They make delightful urban companions. However, they can be a bit barky, which is a hold-over from their watchdog ancestry, and they continue to be good watchdogs to this day. Keeshonds are good eaters that are fond of treats and table scraps. Owners should feed them a high-quality diet and take care to keep their weight under control. Keeshonds are smart and agile. They are increasingly recognized as outstanding obedience, agility and rally competitors. They have earned the designation as premier therapy dogs for autistic children, which is not surprising since their love of children is legendary.