Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Keeshond - The Dutch Barge Dog and Water

Drinking from the Trusty Waterhole

This story may not seem like it is going anywhere but just stick with me. As you may or may not know, Keeshonden originated in Holland. Holland is a land of waterways and canals. In the winter these waterways freeze which is why there were so many successful speed skaters from the Netherlands at the Winter Olympics. But, I digress.

Keeshond dogs moved easily from the farm where they were an all purpose dog to the barges of Holland. They kept watch, played with the children and learned to LOVE water! They adapt very easily still to boats and being around water. Trinka, my first Keeshond used to ride on my little Sunfish board sailboat, unbelieveably she would stand in front of the mast as the water sloshed over her paws. When I turned the boat she shifted her weight and never fell off.


Now, what does this have to do with Keeshond puppies? Well, Keeshond puppies love water too.
It does not have to be big water, just any water will do. Say, water in a bucket or a dish.

One summer not too long ago, I happened to be visiting a friend in New York State, Sandy Draper. He is a Collie breeder. Not just any old Collie breeder, the legitimate living personage of in the modern era of Albert Payson Terhune, (Lad A Dog, etc.). I had two Keeshond puppies with me and he said, "Here lets just put them in my puppy paddock." This was a lovely green pasture about 1/2 acre fenced and sitting in the middle of it was a five gallon bucket of water.

I told Sandy, that would be wonderful, we would just have to fasten the bucket to the fence. He looked at me and said, "Why would we have to do that?" Well, because, I said, the puppies will knock over the bucket trying to put their feet in the water. "Why would they do that?" he said.
"Trust me they just will and I don't know why, expect that they are Dutch Barge Dogs," I replied. Well he never heard of such nonsense and being 25 years my senior he told me I should just put the puppies in the pen. I did. They promptly went straight to the bucket jumped into it and knocked it over. "Well, I'll be darn I've never seen anything like that!", Sandy said. Collie puppies would never do such a thing he explained. These are not Collies, they are Keeshonds, I explained. "Yes, indeed, I see," I will never foget the complete perplexed look on his face.

This leads me to the purpose of the story and the picture. Waterholes are plastic dishes with snap tops. They are made for traveling. But, they are also ideal for Keeshond puppies who like to dig the water out of their dishes. You can purchase one by calling 1-800-petsedge. Or you can hope that maybe you will get a Keeshond puppy that doesn't like water - but I wouldn't bet on it.

Another way to keep water in front your puppy is simply to snap a 2 quart bucket inside his crate with the door open.

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