When it comes to dog breeds, many of them are provided with nicknames. Some of these dog nicknames are plain cute, describing endearing traits or physical characteristics, others are more on the honorable side, and then some are crafted to depict some significant roles these dogs filled. We therefore have dog breeds nicknamed the "Firehouse Dog" and the "Gamekeepers night dog," just for sake of example, and then we have the "Dutch Barge Dog."As the name implies, these dogs were employed in the Netherlands and worked nearby rivers or canals. Can you therefore guess this trivia question?
What dog breed is nicknamed the "Dutch Barge Dog?"
A Bouvier des Flandres
B Dutch Shepherd Dog
C Wire-haired Pointing Griffon
The correct answer is: drum roll please...
The correct answer is D, the Keeshond is the Dutch Barge Dog!
A Closer Insight
The keeshond is an an ancient dog breed dating back to the 16th century in Holland and that is categorized as a German spitz dog, also known as Wolfsspitz.
German spitz dogs are characterized by a head that has a wolfish or fox-like appearance, a double coat, high-set triangular ears and a tail curled over the back.
The keeshond is therefore related to other spitz-like breeds such as the Samoyed, Chow, Finnish Spitz, Norwegian elkhound and Pomeranian. Because of being related to the latter, the keeshond was also often infamously referred to as the "overweight Pomeranian."
The hallmark of this breed is its spectacles, dark lines running from the outer corner of the eye to the base of the ear which makes these dogs appear as if they're wearing glasses.
Littermate Syndrome: Risks With Getting Two Puppies at Once
If you're getting two puppies at once from the same litter, you'll need to be aware of littermate syndrome, also referred to as "sibling syndrome" or sibling rivalry. As tempting as it can be to bring home two adorable puppies, there are certain implications to consider at a rational level before giving in to your impulse and listening to your heart.
Discovering Why Dogs Keep Their Mouths Open When Playing
Many dogs keep their mouths open when playing and dog owners may wonder all about this doggy facial expression and what it denotes. In order to better understand this particular behavior, it helps taking a closer look into how dogs communicate with each other and the underlying function of the behavior.
Should I Let My Dog Go Through the Door First?
Whether you should let your dog through the door first boils down to personal preference. You may have heard that allowing dogs to go out of doors first is bad because by doing so we are allowing dogs to be "alphas over us," but the whole alpha and dominance myth is something that has been debunked by professionals.
Did you know? The presence of spectacles is so important that the American Kennel Club considers the absence of "spectacles" a very serious fault!
A Look Back
Also known as the "Smiling Dutchman," due to this breed's bright, cheerful, and lively demeanor, the keeshond was used in the 17th and 18th century as a watchdog on barges that navigated through the Rhine River, a river that flows from Germany to the Netherlands.
What are barges exactly? Barges are small cargo vessels equipped with living quarters for the captain and his family. Keeshonds worked as zealous guardians of their owners’ belongings on these vessels and made great playmates for their children.
However, as the barges became larger, this breed became less favored and soon became scarce. Thankfully, their numbers were restored courtesy of the efforts of Baroness Van Hardenbroek.
Did you know? The plural form of keeshond is "keeshonden." So if you own a couple of these fellows, remember this!
The Breed Today
While keeshond lost their jobs on the barges long ago, they have still retained their strong watch dog instincts and are always on duty, sounding the alarm for anything they believe is unusual. Being sensitive, keeshond may be reactive towards loud noises and may not cope well in families where there is lots of tension or shouting.
They are also nicknamed "velcro dogs" because of their tendency to follow their owners around and wanting to be involved in every activity. This breed therefore does best in the home with its family as keeshond are very people oriented and being around their people is what makes them most happy!
Did you know? Talk about politics! The name Keeshond derives from Cornelis "Kees" de Gijselaar, Dutch politician and leader in the rebellion during the Dutch Republic against the House of Orange. Cornelius owned a keeshond which soon became a symbol of the rebel party. When Cornelis was executed, the breed unfortunately became unpopular because of its political association.
The Keeshond Club, The History of the Keeshond, retrieved from the web on December 6th, 2016
- Wikimedia, Německý špic vlčí Zuza Punkt Widzenia, Public Domain
- Wikimedia, Dutch barges by Adam Silo, Public Domain
- Wikimedia, Keeshond in a Chair, by Otto Eerelman Public Domain