Saturday, February 04, 2006

Riley - A Keeshond Teenager

Riley at Five Months - A Picture of Things to Come

We all go through it, the growing stage. For Keeshonden, however, the changes that occur between baby puppy at 8 weeks and adult at one year can be dramatic. A Keeshond puppy at 8 weeks old is a miniature of the what the adult will be. The coat and coloring are usually very similar to how the puppy will appear as an adult.

But from eight weeks on the puppy grows undercoat and darker guard hair is hidden underneath. The puppy becomes lighter and lighter as the undercoat is cream or silver. Finally between three and four months old the legs, feet, body, neck and tail are all cream or silver. The only dark part on this age of puppy is the face and the tip of his or her tail!

I remember my mom and I once took part in a Grand River Kennel Club float for the 4th of July Mardi Gras, we decided to take a very nice 4 month old Keeshond puppy with us. As we were riding down the street one little girl pointed to the puppy and said, "Mommy, look, look, look at the baboon." Some breeders call this stage "the uglies", or the "baboon stage". I like this stage of puppy development and think that you can tell a lot about the future growth of the puppy when they are in this growth period. In fact, the change is so dramatic that we once had a puppy buyer call and ask if we were sure thier puppy was purebred as he didn't look anything like an adult Keeshond.

Riley in the picture above is five months old and he is just coming out of the totally cream color of the 4 month old puppy. You can see a faint saddle beginning to emerge on his back, and a shoulder stripe is just beginning to show. This is because the guard hair is starting to grow out through the undercoat.

Riley is sired by "Andy", Am. Can. Ch. Foxfair Excalibur, BISS, also the sire of our current litter of ten puppies. He is now 6 months old and starting on his show career with his breeder Robin Skinner, who lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband Ken and rest of the Wyndjamr Keeshonden. We think he looks pretty cute!

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