How to Train a Keeshond Dog: Tips and Tricks

Keeshonds are friendly, intelligent dogs that are eager to please their owners. They are known for their thick, fluffy coats and lovable personalities. However, without proper training, they can become stubborn and difficult to handle. In this article, we will provide you with tips and tricks on how to train a Keeshond dog.

Understanding the Keeshond Breed

Before you begin training your Keeshond, it is important to understand their breed characteristics and tendencies. This will enable you to tailor your training approach to suit their needs.

History and Background

Keeshonds, also known as Dutch barge dogs, have a fascinating history tracing back to the 17th century of Netherlands. These dogs were bred as companions on barges, and their duties extended towards guarding the cargo and boat. Keeshonds are believed to be descendants of the Samoyed and Pomeranian breeds, which accounted for their thick coats. Due to their charming and friendly personalities, they were also employed as watchdogs in homes. During World War II, they were utilized for delivering messages and even aiding in search and rescue missions. Despite their prominent status in history, Keeshonds are relatively rare breed today. However, their intelligence, loyalty, and affectionate nature make them an ideal addition to any home.

Physical Characteristics

The Keeshond, also known as the Dutch barge dog, is a medium-sized breed with distinctive physical characteristics. With their thick, double coat and plush, curled tail, they have a striking appearance that makes them instantly recognizable. Keeshonds have a sturdy, well-proportioned build and stand at around 17 to 18 inches tall. They have a broad head with a distinctive ruff of fur around their neck. One of the most striking features of the Keeshond is their expressive, almond-shaped eyes that convey their friendly, intelligent nature. Keeshonds have a diverse vocabulary of vocalizations, including barks, whines, and growls, that they use to communicate with their owners. Understanding their physical characteristics is the first step in developing a tailored training plan that will enable you to bring out the best in your Keeshond.

Temperament and Personality

The Keeshond is a playful and affectionate breed that loves to be around people. They have a curious nature and are known for their high energy levels. This breed is also intelligent and requires mental stimulation to prevent boredom. Keeshonds are generally friendly with other dogs and pets, making them great family pets. However, they may bark excessively if not properly socialized. They thrive on attention and will often seek it out from their owners. To effectively train a Keeshond, it is important to utilize a diverse vocabulary and avoid repeating the same verb more than twice in a paragraph. Additionally, using varied nouns will keep the paragraph interesting and engaging for the reader.

Starting Off on the Right Foot

The first few weeks of training are crucial for setting a strong foundation. Here are some tips to help you get started on the right foot.

Establishing Routines

Establishing routines is important when it comes to training a Keeshond dog. Utilizing a diverse vocabulary is one way to keep your dog interested and engaged in the training process. By using different words and phrases, you can help your dog understand what you want from them. For example, instead of always saying "sit," you could say "park it" or "take a seat." Additionally, it's important not to repeat the same verb over and over again in your training commands. This can cause your dog to tune out and ignore you. Consistency is key when it comes to establishing routines, so try to use the same commands for each task. By doing so, your Keeshond will quickly learn what is expected of them and will be less likely to become confused or frustrated.


One crucial aspect of Keeshond training is socialization. It is essential to expose your Keeshond to a wide variety of people, animals, and environments to prevent shyness or aggression later in life. Utilizing a diverse vocabulary is key in this process. Use different words and tones to introduce your dog to new experiences. Repetition of the same verb should be avoided as it may confuse the Keeshond and hinder their ability to learn. Make sure to vary your language to keep the training interesting and engaging. Additionally, it is important not to overuse the same noun repeatedly, so replace it with a synonym or alternate phrasing. With proper socialization training, your Keeshond will become a well-adjusted and confident companion, ready to take on any new experience that comes their way.

Potty Training

Potty training is one of the most essential aspects of training your Keeshond. It is important to start training as early as possible and to be consistent in your approach. Utilizing a diverse vocabulary is crucial during this process. Using different phrases such as "go potty" or "do your business" will help your dog to understand what is expected of them. It's also important to avoid repeating the same verb too often as this can become confusing for your furry friend. When your Keeshond successfully goes potty outside, be sure to reward them with treats and praise. With patience and persistence, your Keeshond will soon understand the proper place and time to go potty.

Crate Training

Crate training can be an effective way to help your Keeshond learn good behavior, as well as providing a safe and secure environment for them when you're not around. When introducing your furry friend to the crate, it's important to utilize a diverse vocabulary and encourage them to view the crate as a positive space. You can use words like "kennel," "bedroom," or "den" to describe the crate, rather than repeating "crate" multiple times. This will help your Keeshond understand that the crate is a cozy, safe space rather than a form of punishment. With patience and persistence, your Keeshond will quickly learn to love their crate as their own special place.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive reinforcement training is a highly effective method of training for Keeshonds. Here's how you can incorporate this technique in your training sessions.

Using Treats and Rewards

One effective method of positive reinforcement training for Keeshond dogs involves the use of treats and rewards. To start, make sure to utilize a diverse vocabulary when giving praise or commands. Use phrases such as "good job" or "well done" along with the occasional pat or cuddle to keep your dog excited and engaged during training sessions. Additionally, mix up the types of treats and rewards you offer to prevent boredom and keep things interesting. While it's important to offer treats for good behavior, you don't want to overdo it and risk your dog becoming overweight or unhealthily dependent on treats. To avoid this, try to limit the use of treats and mix in other rewards such as playtime, walks, or access to their favorite toys. With consistent and varied positive reinforcement training, your Keeshond will be well on their way to becoming a well-behaved and happy companion.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is another popular method for training Keeshond dogs. This method involves the use of a clicker, a small plastic device that emits a distinct clicking sound when pressed. The clicker is paired with positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, to teach the dog new behaviors. To start clicker training, you should first associate the clicking sound with a reward, such as a treat. Then, you can use the clicker to mark desirable behaviors in your Keeshond, such as sitting or staying. It's important to utilize a diverse vocabulary when clicker training and avoid repeating verbs too often. By using a combination of verbal cues and the clicker, you can effectively communicate with your Keeshond and create a positive training experience.

Target Training

Target training is another useful technique for Keeshond training. This method involves teaching your dog to touch a specific object on command, such as a target stick or your hand. This can improve their focus and obedience as well as helping with more advanced tricks. When teaching this type of training, it is important to utilize a diverse vocabulary so your dog learns to associate a variety of commands with the desired action. Additionally, refrain from repeating the same verb more than twice in a paragraph to avoid confusion and ensure clear communication. Varying your noun usage can also help your Keeshond understand your commands better and avoid boredom during training sessions. With time and patience, your Keeshond will master target training and become a well-rounded and obedient companion.

Luring and Shaping

Another effective training technique for Keeshond dogs is luring and shaping. This method involves using treats or toys to encourage the dog to perform certain desirable behaviors. Start by utilizing a diverse vocabulary of command words such as "come," "sit," and "stay." When the dog performs the desired behavior, reward them with a treat or toy. Over time, the dog will learn to associate the behavior with the reward, and you can gradually reduce the frequency of treats. Additionally, shaping involves rewarding the dog for behaviors that are similar to the desired behavior. For example, if you want your Keeshond to roll over, you can reward them for lying down first, followed by turning their head, and eventually rolling over. This technique allows the dog to learn at their own pace and enables you to shape their behavior with positive reinforcement.

Addressing Behavior Issues

Keeshonds can develop behavior issues if they are not trained properly. Here are some common problems and how to address them.


One behavior issue that Keeshonds commonly exhibit is jumping. Keeshonds are a medium-sized breed and can easily jump up to greet their owner or other visitors. While jumping is a natural behavior for dogs, it can be challenging to manage if it becomes excessive. To address jumping, it is essential to utilize a diverse vocabulary when giving commands. Instead of simply saying, "no" or "down," consider using phrases like "off," "feet down," or "sit." These commands help the dog understand what you want them to do more clearly. Additionally, avoid repeating the same verb more than two times in a paragraph and using the same noun repetitively. By incorporating these tips and tricks, you can communicate more effectively with your Keeshond and address jumping behavior in a fluent and natural way.


Excessive barking is a frequent behavior issue with Keeshond dogs. To tackle this problem, it is vital to understand why they are barking in the first place. You can try utilizing a diverse vocabulary to distract them from the source of their barking. For instance, you can say "stop," "quiet" or "enough," instead of just repeating "quiet" multiple times. When it comes to using nouns, try not to repeat them consistently. Instead of constantly saying "stop barking," say "stop the noise" or "stop making a racket." Recognize that barking is a way that Keeshonds communicate. Therefore, it is essential to learn why they bark and address the root cause of their behavior effectively.


Digging is a natural behavior for Keeshonds, but it can become problematic if left unchecked. To discourage digging, utilize a diverse vocabulary of commands such as “leave it” or “no dig”. In addition, redirect your Keeshond's attention to a more appropriate activity such as playing with a toy or going for a walk. It's important not to repeat the same verb more than twice in a paragraph, as repetition can negatively impact the flow of your writing. Likewise, avoid overusing a single noun, such as “digging” or “Keeshond”, to prevent your writing from sounding monotonous. By implementing these strategies, you can effectively address digging behaviors in your Keeshond without sacrificing the fluency of your writing.


One of the common behavior issues that Keeshond dogs can develop is chewing. Keeshonds are known for being heavy chewers, especially during their teething stage. To address this behavior, it is important to provide them with a variety of chew toys and bones that they can safely gnaw on. Utilize a diverse vocabulary when interacting with your Keeshond and discourage them from chewing on household items by firmly saying "no" and redirecting them to their toys. It is also crucial not to repeat the same verb more than twice in a paragraph. Provide positive reinforcement when they chew on appropriate items, such as giving them a treat or offering praise. By consistently implementing these tips, you can effectively train your Keeshond to chew on the right items and prevent destructive chewing habits.

Advanced Training Techniques

Once your Keeshond has mastered the basics, you can move on to more advanced training techniques. Here are some ideas for taking your training to the next level.

Teaching Tricks

Teaching your Keeshond tricks is a fun way to bond with your furry companion, and it can also provide mental stimulation. To make the training process more effective, it's important to utilize a diverse vocabulary. Instead of always using the same commands, try mixing it up with alternative words that mean the same thing. You can say "spin" instead of "turn around," or "crawl" instead of "belly crawl." By doing this, you are broadening your dog's understanding of language and preventing them from getting bored or confused. Remember to use positive reinforcement when teaching tricks and avoid punishments, as it may undermine your dog's trust in you.

Agility Training

Agility training is a fun and challenging way to enhance your Keeshond's physical and mental abilities. To start, utilize a diverse vocabulary of commands such as "over," "through," and "around" to guide your dog through a variety of obstacles. Mix up your training by incorporating jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and A-frames to keep your Keeshond engaged and challenged. With consistent practice, your dog will improve their coordination, speed, and accuracy. Remember, agility training requires patience and persistence, but the end results are worth it!

Obedience Training

When it comes to obedience training, it's important to utilize a diverse vocabulary to teach your Keeshond a wide range of commands. Avoid repeating the same verb multiple times, as this can confuse your dog and make it harder for them to understand what you're asking them to do. Instead, try mixing things up by using different verbs and phrases to convey the same request. Additionally, avoid repeating the same noun excessively, as this can also lead to confusion and make it harder for your dog to learn. By using a varied and articulate vocabulary, you can ensure that your Keeshond develops strong obedience skills and becomes a well-behaved and responsive companion.

Off-Leash Training

Off-leash training is a crucial step in teaching your Keeshond dog obedience and safety. Utilize a diverse vocabulary when giving commands to avoid confusion and to keep your dog engaged. For example, instead of constantly saying "come," try alternative phrases such as "here," "follow," or "over here." By varying your commands, your Keeshond will be more likely to respond consistently. It is important to avoid repeatedly using the same verbs; using different synonyms will keep your dog's attention and reduce the potential for boredom. When off-leash training, it is important to use different locations and objects to keep your dog interested and learning. This will help prevent your Keeshond from becoming complacent with their training. With patience and the right approach, off-leash training will improve your dog's obedience and enhance your bond with your Keeshond.


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