The "Dutch Barge Dog", as he is sometimes known, served for countless years as a guard and companion to the riverboat captains who plied their craft up and down the canals of Holland. His compact make and shape, bearing in mind the lack of room on the barges, coupled with his acute hearing, meant he was ideally suited for this purpose.
He still retains his watchdog instincts and will loudly give warning of anyone's approach to the house. In fact, so protective of his households is he, that he much prefers to stay at home with his master or mistress than go hunting or roaming. The ideal companion dog, the Keeshond is sweet-tempered, friendly and affectionate. He makes a very good children's playmate, and gets on well with other dogs.
Also known as the "Laughing Dutchman" because of his smiling face, he has a very attractive appearance with a thick double coat, lion-like mane, woolly trousers, and richly plumed tail. His luxuriant coat needs regular grooming, but requires no trimming. A distinctive breed characteristic is the well-defined spectacles around his eyes.