Just Don’t Say “Keesh-hound”

As languages go, Dutch just might be one of the most difficult “tongues” to pronounce (giving proper respect to the “gy” combination in Hungarian), so consider this tip: Purists pronounce the Keeshond‘s nickname, “Kees” as “Kayz.”  And yes, that would make the breed’s name properly pronounced as “kayshawnd.”

“Kees” is a nickname for Cornelius, a  common male name in the Netherlands, and in the case of this breed, it is associated with Cornelius de Gyzelaar, a leader in the Dutch Patriot revolt against the reigning House of Orange whose constant companion was one of these popular dogs.

In Germany, the breed was known in the 17th and 18th centuries as “Wolfspitzen,” while in France, they were “Chiens Loup,” and in Italy, as the “Lupini.”  The Brits were less kind in their monikers because in addition to the names, “Fox-Dogs,” and “Dutch Barge Dogs, Keeshonds were also known as “overweight Pomeranians.”

Happily, when the English breed Club was formed in 1926,  “Keeshond” becoming the official breed name. When the breed was recognized by the AKC in 1930, Bellon van Trennfeld as the first Keeshond registered.

Image: Ron Krajewski
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2 thoughts on “Just Don’t Say “Keesh-hound””

  1. This is a great write-up. For the Keeshonden breed folks out there, check out a cute song called “Keeshond” by musical artist Nancy Simmonds. I found it online on an album called “Animal Tails” and downloaded it for a small amount. It outlines the history of the breed in a geographically appropriate tune. Almost makes you want to get a pair of Dutch wooden clogs to tap along to the tune.

    She even gave me written permission to use the song and her info on my FB page. Great song by an awesome lady. Check it out and let me know on my (Cooper the Keeshond) FB page what you thought of it!

    Luv ya bub-bye,
    Cooper the Keeshond

    • Howdie, Cooper, and thanks for the great information. We’ll see if we can’t expand upon what you’ve found. Is Nancy Simmonds,by any chance, the artists who did,”In a Dog’s Ear?”

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