Stanley the Keeshond

Welcome Stanley! A wonderful super-buddy has joined the menagerie. He is happy that his hair matches Elizabeth’s, and I am already at work creating a Stanlely-weave for myself: at last I will have a full mane of distinguished salt & pepper hair to match Elizabeth. Stanley is a sweet 6-year old fellow, he is fixed, and an AKC registered pure-breed. His family divorced and he wound up with his alpha’s parents, now he is adjusting swimmingly to his new people and (gasp) cats. He has never had cats in his space before, and is Keeshond-Curious, which is pretty intense, but the cats are already over it.

Keeshonds (keiz-hond(t), meaning “hounds of the Kees”) are a Dutch breed, popular in the 17th Century. These dogs were so highly regarded they were the mascot of the Kees family who were in a civic power struggle with the ruling royal family led by William of Orange (who won The Bloodless Revolution with England and defeated the Kees) . With the Kees thrown down, the Keeshond lost favor as well, isolating the breed to the Netherlands. (artist’s note: 17th Century Dutch art personifies how the scientifically minded, seafairing, humanistic, trade oriented culture outdid the bloody Counter-Reformation of Roman Catholocism, and stands as one of the most important eras in all of art history and Western history, ie Vermeer & Spinoza & fans of The Enlighentment).

Keeshonds are bred as companion dogs only, and are the only dog in their class with no functional hunting/herding background. They are one of the more intelligent breeds, and learn quickly.  He & I spent some time yesterday establishing who was in charge, and what behaviors were good or not allowed- such as rushing the cats in curiosity, jumping, and when to break a sit/stay. He learned hand signals for sit, down, stay, and come in one quick session (he knew verbal “sit” before, and was a bit muddy on the rest). If I’m working him in the yard he will heel to L and sit properly when we stop, but out on walkies he was never trained to heel and was walked from the R side. Altering this will take a bit of work. He is well behaved on walkies though, and responds immediatley to any vocal command. Quite a smart little fellow that loves to learn and respond. I may have to set up an agility course in the yard to keep him interested, once we get all the basics nailed down.

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