Lifestyle Needs


The Keeshond is a medium sized Spitz-type dog, hardy and capable of withstanding winter temperatures.  He has apparently limitless stamina and needs opportunities for plenty of exercise and physical challenges.  He needs an experienced owner who is also energetic and firm.  Like most dog breeds temperaments vary and you will get Keeshonds who are calmer and less energetic.  His thick, double coat will need to be groomed carefully and frequently.  Some Keeshonds have excessively long coats (an undesirable exaggeration) and this type should be avoided when choosing a pet.

Genetic Diversity
(Known as Coefficient of Inbreeding: 'COI'. It should be as low as possible.)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 6.6% - See 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Gene Pool Size
(Known as Effective Population Size: 'EPS')


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

Whilst thriving in cold conditions the Keeshond could suffer in warm weather due to his excessively thick coat.  Exercise should be avoided in warm conditions and care taken to provide a cool place to rest. An excessively long coat will make matters worse.

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia: breed 5 year mean score 13.7 (parents should be lower)
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Eye Scheme

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)




Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes

Breed club websites: and

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Epilepsy
  • Primary Hyperparathyroidism (PHPT)
  • Cancer
  • Tetralogy of Fallot (congenital heart defect)
  • Patellar luxation

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

The breeder should also be familiar with the CFSG/DBRG Code of Practice for Dog Breeding

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

Breed Health Information