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Breed Priorities – The Keeshond

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218 – October, 2016

by Nikki Riggsbee

The Keeshond is an old breed in the spitz family, with ancestors related to the Samoyed, Chow Chow, Norwegian Elkhound, Finnish Spitz, and Pomeranian. Keeshonden were used as watch dogs on river boats, barges, and farms, and as family companions. They were especially popular and politi- cally connected historically in Holland, and so have been known as a Dutch breed, and we use the Dutch name for the breed. Keeshonden are acknowledged for their special affinity toward children.

Twenty-six Keeshond experts, breeder-judges and parent club mentors were invited to participate in a survey to identify their breed’s most important priorities. Twenty-four agreed to do so, and twenty-one surveys were received. The experts averaged almost forty years in their breed. Those who judge have been doing so for nearly nineteen years on average and most have judged their parent club’s na- tional specialty.

Keeshond Virtues

The survey included a list of characteristics called for by the Keeshond standard which the experts were asked to prioritize. The list below is in sequence by the average of the rankings, with 1 being the most important.

1. Square-appearing, sturdy
2. Temperament outgoing, friendly, lively, intelligent, alert, affectionate
3. Spectacles
4. Gait straight, sharp, with reach and drive between slight to moderate
5. Stand-off coat, long, straight, harsh hair standing well out from thick, downy undercoat
6. Short-coupled body
6. (tie) Neck moderately long
8. Shoulder to upper arm angulation between slight to moderate
9. Well-ribbed, barrel well-rounded
10. Eyes dark brown, medium-sized, almond shaped, set obliquely
11. Well-defined light gray shoulder line markings
12. Short, straight back sloping slightly downward
13. Tail moderately long, well-feathered, set on high, tightly curled over back
14. Ears small, triangular, high on head, carried erect
15. Feet compact, well-rounded, cat-like
16. Scissors bite

The greatest agreements (with fifteen surveys) were on “Temperament outgo- ing, friendly, lively, intelligent, alert, affectionate” (2nd) and “Scissors bite” (16th). Within their “agreement” rankings,“Temperament” garnered ten first placements, and “Bite” was placed last by nine. Remember that “agreement” is defined in these articles by the number of ranks within a four-number range (1-4, 2-5, 3-6, etc.), so that so many surveys landing on one specific rank is unusual.

Click here to read the complete article
218 – October, 2016

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