A Keeshond is a medium-sized, fluffy dog with a distinct appearance characterized by a dense double coat that is typically a mix of silver and black fur. They have an expressive face with dark, almond-shaped eyes, pointed ears that stand erect, and a plume-like tail that arches over their back.
Keeshonds are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them loyal family companions. They have a charming and alert personality, often serving as watchdogs and enjoying playful interactions with their human family members. Continue reading to learn more…
Where Do Keesonds Come From and What Were They Bred For?
Keeshonds, also known as Keeshonden (plural), were originally bred for a variety of purposes in the Netherlands. They are a type of Spitz breed, and their name is derived from “Kees,” which was a nickname for a political leader in 18th-century Holland named Cornelis (Kees) de Gyselaer, who was associated with the breed.
Keeshonds were primarily bred for the following purposes:
- Barge Dogs: Keeshonds were often kept as barge dogs, and they played a significant role as companions and watchdogs on Dutch canal barges in the 18th century. They were responsible for guarding the cargo and alerting their owners to any potential threats or intruders.
- Watchdogs: Keeshonds are known for their excellent watchdog abilities. They have a keen sense of alertness and will bark to alert their owners to any unusual activities or strangers approaching their homes or property.
- Companionship: Beyond their working roles, Keeshonds were also cherished as family companions. They are known for their friendly, loyal, and affectionate nature, making them excellent pets and family dogs.
- Vermin Control: In addition to guarding barges, Keeshonds were also useful for controlling rats and other vermin that might infest the barges or farms in the Netherlands.
Today, Keeshonds are primarily kept as companion animals and are known for their loving and lively personalities. They still retain their watchdog instincts and make excellent family pets, but their original roles as barge dogs and guardians have evolved into a more domesticated and affectionate role in modern society.
How Much Exercise Does a Keeshond Need?
Keeshonds are an active and energetic breed that requires a moderate amount of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. The specific exercise needs of a Keeshond can vary based on their age, individual temperament, and overall health, but here are some general guidelines:
- Daily Walks: Keeshonds benefit from daily walks, ideally at least 30 to 45 minutes per day. These walks should be brisk and provide opportunities for mental stimulation by allowing the dog to explore new scents and environments.
- Playtime: Keeshonds enjoy interactive playtime with their owners. Games like fetch, tug-of-war, and hide-and-seek can help burn off energy and strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
- Mental Stimulation: Keeshonds are intelligent dogs and require mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. Puzzle toys, obedience training, and learning new tricks can help keep their minds engaged.
- Socialization: It’s important to socialize your Keeshond from an early age. Exposing them to various people, animals, and environments can help them become well-adjusted and confident.
- Supervised Off-Leash Play: Keeshonds can enjoy off-leash playtime in a secure, fenced area. Their herding instincts may lead them to chase small animals, so a secure enclosure is essential.
- Avoid Overexertion: While they have a good amount of energy, Keeshonds are not endurance athletes. Be mindful not to overexert them, especially in extreme heat or cold, as their thick double coat can make them susceptible to overheating or frostbite.
Keep in mind that individual Keeshonds may have different exercise needs, so it’s essential to observe your dog’s behavior and adjust their exercise routine accordingly. If you have a particularly active Keeshond, you may need to provide more exercise and mental stimulation to keep them content. Conversely, older or less active Keeshonds may require less exercise but still benefit from short walks and playtime.
Overall, a combination of daily walks, playtime, and mental stimulation is typically sufficient to meet the exercise needs of a Keeshond and keep them happy and well-balanced.
How Long Can a Keeshond Be Left Alone?
Keeshonds are social dogs that enjoy the company of their human family members. They can be left alone for a certain amount of time, but it’s important to ensure they receive enough attention, mental stimulation, and physical activity to prevent boredom and separation anxiety. Here are some general guidelines for how long a Keeshond can be left alone:
- Puppies: Keeshond puppies, like all puppies, require more attention and supervision than adult dogs. Young puppies may only be able to be left alone for a few hours at a time, as they need frequent bathroom breaks, feeding, and socialization. As they grow, you can gradually increase the time they spend alone.
- Adult Keeshonds: Adult Keeshonds can typically be left alone for longer periods than puppies. However, it’s recommended to limit their time alone to no more than 6-8 hours a day. This can vary depending on the individual dog’s temperament and previous training. If you need to leave your Keeshond alone for longer periods, consider hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to break up the day.
- Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Even when left alone, Keeshonds need mental stimulation and physical activity. Before leaving them, make sure they’ve had a good walk or playtime to tire them out. Provide them with toys and puzzles to keep their minds engaged.
- Crate Training: Some Keeshond owners choose to crate train their dogs, which can provide a safe and secure space for the dog when left alone. However, be sure not to leave an adult dog crated for too long, as it can be uncomfortable and stressful for them.
- Socialization: Keeshonds thrive on social interaction. If you know you’ll be away for an extended period, consider having a friend, family member, or pet sitter visit your Keeshond to provide companionship and a bathroom break.
- Separation Anxiety: Keeshonds are prone to separation anxiety, so it’s essential to train them to be comfortable with short periods of alone time from an early age. Gradual desensitization to being alone and positive reinforcement can help with this.
In summary, while Keeshonds can tolerate being left alone for moderate periods, they are happiest when they have regular human interaction and stimulation. Be mindful of their social nature and exercise needs, and make arrangements to ensure they receive the attention and care they require, especially if you need to leave them alone for extended periods.
Are Keeshonds Hypoallergenic?
Keeshonds are not considered hypoallergenic dogs. Hypoallergenic breeds are typically those that produce fewer allergens and are less likely to trigger allergies in people who are sensitive to pet dander and allergens.
Keeshonds have a dense double coat that sheds year-round, with heavier shedding occurring during seasonal changes. This shedding can release dander and allergens into the environment, making them less suitable for individuals with allergies.
If you or someone in your household has allergies but still wants to have a dog, you may want to consider breeds that are known for being hypoallergenic. These breeds often have hair instead of fur, produce fewer allergens, and may be better tolerated by individuals with allergies. Some examples of hypoallergenic breeds include Poodle, Bichon Frise, Maltese, and several others.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that individual allergies can vary widely, and some people may be more allergic to certain breeds than others. If you’re considering getting a dog and have allergies, spending time with the breed you’re interested in to see how you react to their dander and fur is a good idea. Regular grooming and cleaning practices, such as brushing your dog frequently and keeping your home clean, can also help reduce allergen exposure. Consulting with an allergist or immunologist can provide more specific guidance on managing allergies in a household with pets.
Are Keeshonds High Maintenance?
Keeshonds are a moderately high-maintenance breed in terms of grooming, exercise, and attention. Here are some aspects to consider when it comes to the maintenance of Keeshonds:
- Grooming: Keeshonds have a thick double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition. They shed year-round, with heavier seasonal shedding, so brushing your Keeshond at least several times a week is essential to prevent matting and reduce loose fur. During heavy shedding periods, daily brushing may be necessary. Additionally, they tend to have a “mane” of fur around their neck, which can mat easily and should be given special attention.
- Coat Care: The Keeshond’s coat should not be shaved, as it can affect the coat’s texture and regrowth. Regular brushing and occasional baths are usually sufficient to maintain their coat’s health and appearance.
- Exercise: Keeshonds are an active breed and require daily exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Daily walks, playtime, and interaction with their owners are essential to prevent boredom and ensure their well-being.
- Socialization: Keeshonds are social dogs and thrive on human companionship. They do not do well when left alone for extended periods and can develop separation anxiety. Socialization with other dogs and people is also important to ensure they are well-adjusted and confident.
- Training: Keeshonds are intelligent and eager to please, but they can be a bit independent at times. Consistent training with positive reinforcement methods is essential to ensure they are well-behaved and responsive to commands.
- Health Care: Like all dogs, Keeshonds require routine veterinary care, including vaccinations, regular check-ups, and dental care. Be prepared for potential health issues that are more common in the breed, such as hip dysplasia and certain eye conditions.
- Temperature Sensitivity: Keeshonds have a thick double coat that provides insulation against cold weather. However, they can be sensitive to extreme heat, so care should be taken to keep them cool in hot weather.
In summary, Keeshonds are not extremely high-maintenance dogs, but they do require regular grooming, exercise, and social interaction to keep them healthy and happy. If you are considering getting a Keeshond, be prepared to invest time and effort in their care, and make sure their needs for companionship and activity are met to ensure a well-balanced and contented pet.
Are Keeshonds Good with Cats?
Keeshonds can generally get along well with cats if they are properly socialized and introduced to each other in a controlled and positive manner. However, it’s important to keep in mind that each dog’s temperament and behavior can vary, and individual interactions between dogs and cats can differ.
Here are some tips for introducing a Keeshond to a cat and fostering a harmonious relationship between them:
- Early Socialization: If you are bringing a Keeshond puppy into a household with a cat, it’s beneficial to start socialization from a young age. Puppies are more adaptable and open to forming positive relationships with cats.
- Controlled Introduction: When introducing a Keeshond to a cat for the first time, keep both animals on a leash or in a crate to ensure control. Allow them to observe each other from a safe distance while providing treats and praise to reward calm and non-threatening behavior.
- Supervision: Always supervise their interactions initially, especially during the early stages of their relationship. Cats may react defensively to a new dog, and dogs may be curious or overly enthusiastic.
- Positive Reinforcement: Reward both the Keeshond and the cat for calm and respectful behavior around each other. Use treats and praise to reinforce positive interactions.
- Training: Ensure that your Keeshond is trained in basic obedience commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it.” This will help you control their behavior around the cat and redirect their attention if needed.
- Safe Spaces: Provide your cat with safe spaces where they can retreat to if they need a break from the dog. Cats often appreciate having high perches or hiding spots where they can observe the dog from a safe distance.
- Patience: It may take time for your Keeshond and cat to become fully comfortable with each other. Be patient and allow them to develop their own relationship at their own pace.
- Respect Individual Personalities: Keep in mind that not all cats and Keeshonds will become best friends. Some may coexist peacefully but prefer to keep their distance, while others may develop close bonds and even play together.
It’s crucial to remember that the success of introducing a Keeshond to a cat largely depends on the individual personalities of both animals. Some Keeshonds have strong prey drives and may not be suitable for households with cats or other small animals. Before bringing a Keeshond into a home with a resident cat, consider the specific temperament and history of both animals to make an informed decision.
Can Keeshonds Live in Hot Weather?
Keeshonds have a thick double coat that provides insulation against cold weather, but they can struggle in hot weather due to their dense fur. While it’s possible for Keeshonds to live in hot climates, there are some important considerations and precautions to keep them safe and comfortable:
- Temperature Sensitivity: Keeshonds are sensitive to high temperatures, and they are at risk of overheating in hot weather. They have a limited ability to regulate their body temperature through panting, which makes them vulnerable to heat-related illnesses.
- Shade and Shelter: Provide ample shade and shelter for your Keeshond when they are outdoors. Ensure they have a cool and well-ventilated area where they can escape the sun and heat.
- Hydration: Keep your Keeshond well-hydrated at all times. Fresh water should be available, and you should encourage them to drink regularly, especially during hot weather.
- Limited Exercise: Avoid strenuous exercise or outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day. Instead, schedule walks and playtime during cooler hours, such as early morning or late evening.
- Cooling Measures: Use cooling methods to help your Keeshond stay comfortable. This can include providing a kiddie pool or sprinkler for them to cool off in, using cooling vests, or placing damp towels on their fur. Be cautious not to make them too wet, as a soaked coat can trap heat.
- Trim Coat: While it’s generally not recommended to shave a Keeshond’s coat, a professional groomer can trim the fur to a manageable length for the summer. This can help them stay cooler without removing the insulation entirely.
- Avoid Hot Surfaces: Protect your Keeshond’s paws from hot pavement or surfaces, which can burn their sensitive paw pads. Walk them on grass or use protective booties.
- Watch for Signs of Heatstroke: Be vigilant for signs of heatstroke, which can include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and collapse. If you suspect heatstroke, seek immediate veterinary attention.
- Air Conditioning: Whenever possible, keep your home cool with air conditioning or fans. This will help your Keeshond stay comfortable indoors during hot weather.
It’s important to note that Keeshonds are generally more comfortable in cooler climates, and hot weather should be managed with care. If you live in a region with consistently high temperatures, you must take extra precautions to protect your Keeshond from heat-related issues. Always prioritize their well-being and comfort in hot weather, and consider providing them with an environment that minimizes exposure to extreme heat.
Can Keeshonds Swim?
Keeshonds can swim, but whether or not they enjoy it can vary from one individual dog to another. Here are some things to consider regarding Keeshonds and swimming:
- Natural Instincts: Keeshonds belong to the Spitz family of breeds, and many Spitz breeds, including Keeshonds, have some natural swimming abilities. Their thick double coat, which provides insulation against cold water, can help them stay afloat.
- Individual Preferences: Just like with any other breed, the enthusiasm for swimming varies among Keeshonds. Some may take to the water readily and enjoy swimming, while others may be more hesitant or simply not interested in water activities.
- Socialization: Early exposure to water and positive experiences can help increase a Keeshond’s comfort level with swimming. If introduced to water in a positive and gradual manner, they may become more comfortable and confident swimmers.
- Supervision: Always supervise your Keeshond when they are near water, especially if they are not experienced swimmers. Even dogs with natural swimming abilities can get into trouble in the water, and safety should be a top priority.
- Buoyancy: The dense double coat of a Keeshond can make them buoyant, but it can also become heavy when wet. Be mindful that their fur may become waterlogged, making swimming more challenging.
- Water Safety: If you plan to take your Keeshond swimming, it’s a good idea to invest in a dog life jacket. This can provide additional buoyancy and safety, particularly if your Keeshond is not a strong or confident swimmer.
- Gradual Introduction: If your Keeshond is new to swimming, introduce them to shallow water first and gradually increase the depth as they become more comfortable. Use positive reinforcement and praise to encourage them.
- Hydration and Coat Care: After swimming, rinse your Keeshond’s coat thoroughly to remove chlorine or saltwater, which can be harmful to their fur. Ensure they have access to fresh water to drink, as swimming can be physically demanding.
In conclusion, Keeshonds can swim, but their enthusiasm for water activities may vary. If you plan to introduce your Keeshond to swimming or take them to the water, do so gradually and with proper safety precautions. Always prioritize their comfort and well-being, and be attentive to their individual preferences when it comes to water-related activities.
How Big Can a Keeshond Get?
Keeshonds are a small to medium-sized breed, and their adult size is typically determined by their gender. Here are the general size characteristics for Keeshonds:
- Height: Adult male Keeshonds typically stand between 18 to 19 inches (45 to 48 cm) at the shoulder, while adult females typically measure between 17 to 18 inches (43 to 46 cm) in height.
- Weight: The weight of a Keeshond can vary depending on factors such as age, genetics, diet, and activity level. Generally, male Keeshonds weigh between 45 to 55 pounds (20 to 25 kg), and females typically weigh between 35 to 45 pounds (16 to 20 kg).
It’s important to remember that these are general size ranges, and individual Keeshonds may fall outside these averages. Some may be slightly larger or smaller than the typical size range. Proper nutrition and exercise during a Keeshond’s growth stages can influence their final adult size.
If you are concerned about the size of your Keeshond, consult with your veterinarian to ensure they are growing and developing appropriately. Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle is essential for the well-being of your Keeshond, regardless of their size.
What’s the Difference Between a Keeshond and a Chow Chow?
Keeshonds and Chow Chows are two distinct dog breeds, and while they may share some superficial similarities, they have several key differences in terms of appearance, temperament, and history. Here are some of the primary differences between Keeshonds and Chow Chows:
- Keeshond: Keeshonds, also known as Keeshonden (plural), originated in the Netherlands. They are a Spitz-type breed and have a history as barge dogs, watchdogs, and companions to Dutch sailors and tradesmen.
- Chow Chow: Chow Chows, on the other hand, are believed to have originated in China. They are one of the oldest dog breeds and have a history of being versatile working dogs, used for various tasks, including hunting, guarding, and pulling carts.
- Keeshond: Keeshonds have a distinctive double coat with a dense, fluffy, and plume-like tail that arches over their back. Their coat is typically a mixture of silver and black with a distinctive “spectacles” or facial markings.
- Chow Chow: Chow Chows have a dense double coat as well, but their coat can come in various colors, including red, black, cream, and blue. They have a distinctive lion-like mane around their neck and a curled tail that rests on their back.
- Keeshond: Keeshonds are known for their friendly, affectionate, and outgoing temperament. They are social dogs that enjoy being around people and are often described as good family pets. They tend to be alert and make good watchdogs.
- Chow Chow: Chow Chows are known for their aloof and independent temperament. They can be reserved and dignified, often forming strong bonds with their owners but may not be as outwardly affectionate as Keeshonds. They can also be more territorial and protective.
- Keeshond: Keeshonds are an active breed that enjoys regular exercise and playtime. They benefit from daily walks and mental stimulation.
- Chow Chow: Chow Chows are less active than Keeshonds and have lower exercise requirements. They appreciate walks and playtime but do not have the same level of energy.
- Keeshond: Keeshonds are typically a bit smaller than Chow Chows. They stand around 17 to 19 inches (43 to 48 cm) at the shoulder and weigh between 35 to 55 pounds (16 to 25 kg).
- Chow Chow: Chow Chows are larger, standing between 17 to 20 inches (43 to 51 cm) at the shoulder and typically weigh between 45 to 70 pounds (20 to 32 kg).
In summary, while both Keeshonds and Chow Chows are distinctive and interesting breeds, they have different origins, appearances, temperaments, and exercise needs. When choosing a dog breed, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle, preferences, and the specific characteristics of each breed to determine which one is the best fit for you and your family.
What Is the Lifespan of a Keeshond?
The typical lifespan of a Keeshond is around 12 to 15 years. However, like all dog breeds, individual lifespans can vary based on various factors, including genetics, diet, exercise, veterinary care, and overall health.
To maximize the lifespan of your Keeshond and ensure a happy and healthy life, it’s important to provide them with proper nutrition, regular exercise, routine veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, dental care, and a safe and loving environment. Early detection and treatment of any health issues can also contribute to a longer and higher quality of life for your Keeshond.
Keep in mind that Keeshonds are prone to certain genetic health conditions, such as hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, and certain eye problems. Responsible breeding practices and regular health screenings can help reduce the risk of these issues.
By providing your Keeshond with a well-balanced and fulfilling life, you can help ensure that they live to their full potential and enjoy a long and happy life as a beloved member of your family.
Why Are Keeshonds so Hard to Find?
Keeshonds are not necessarily hard to find, but their availability can vary depending on your location and the demand for the breed in your area. Several factors can influence the apparent scarcity of Keeshonds:
- Popularity: Keeshonds may not be as popular or well-known as some other dog breeds. Breeds that are less common often have fewer breeders, resulting in a smaller number of available puppies.
- Geographic Location: The availability of Keeshonds can vary from region to region. In some areas, Keeshonds may be more common, while in others, they may be relatively rare.
- Responsible Breeding: Responsible Keeshond breeders prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs and may have limited litters to ensure proper care and socialization for each puppy. This commitment to responsible breeding can lead to a lower supply of available puppies.
- Breed-Specific Rescues: Some Keeshonds end up in breed-specific rescue organizations or shelters due to changes in their owners’ circumstances. These organizations may have Keeshonds available for adoption.
- Waiting Lists: If you are specifically looking for a Keeshond puppy from a reputable breeder, you may encounter waiting lists. Reputable breeders often have waiting lists for their puppies, as they carefully plan each breeding to produce healthy and well-tempered dogs.
- Importing: Some individuals interested in Keeshonds may choose to import a dog from a breeder in another region or country, which can add to the perception of rarity in certain areas.
To find a Keeshond, consider the following steps:
- Contact Keeshond Breed Clubs: Keeshond breed clubs often have breeder directories and can provide information on available puppies or upcoming litters.
- Reputable Breeders: Research and connect with reputable Keeshond breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs. Ask about their breeding practices, health testing, and socialization efforts.
- Adoption: Consider adopting a Keeshond from a breed-specific rescue organization or shelter. Many wonderful Keeshonds are looking for loving homes through rescue groups.
- Networking: Reach out to local dog clubs, veterinarians, and fellow dog owners who may have information on Keeshonds available in your area.
- Patience: Finding the right Keeshond may take time, especially if you are looking for a specific age, gender, or color. Be patient and thorough in your search to ensure you bring home a healthy and well-adjusted Keeshond.
Remember that acquiring a dog is a long-term commitment, so take the time to research and make informed decisions to ensure that a Keeshond is the right breed for you and your lifestyle.
How Much Does a Keeshond Puppy Cost?
The cost of a Keeshond puppy can vary widely depending on several factors, including the breeder’s reputation, the puppy’s lineage, the region where you are purchasing the puppy, and whether the puppy is meant for pet, show, or breeding purposes. On average, you can expect to pay between $1,000 to $3,000 for a Keeshond puppy from a reputable breeder.
Here are some factors that can influence the cost of a Keeshond puppy:
- Breeder Reputation: Reputable breeders who have a track record of producing healthy and well-tempered Keeshonds often charge higher prices for their puppies.
- Lineage: Puppies with pedigrees that demonstrate their lineage and potential for conformation shows may be more expensive than puppies intended for pet homes.
- Health Testing: Responsible breeders perform health tests on their breeding dogs to screen for genetic conditions common in the breed. Puppies from parents with clean health clearances may be more expensive.
- Geographic Location: The cost of living and demand for the breed can vary by region, affecting the price of Keeshond puppies.
- Inclusions: Some breeders include additional benefits in the puppy’s price, such as initial vaccinations, microchipping, spaying/neutering, or a starter kit with essential supplies.
- Contracts: Reputable breeders often provide a contract that includes health guarantees and expectations for the puppy’s care. These contracts can affect the price.
- Show Potential: If you intend to show your Keeshond in conformation shows, you may pay more for a puppy with show potential, as breeders will often select puppies for these homes based on their physical characteristics.
It’s essential to do thorough research when looking for a Keeshond puppy and to choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs. Avoid purchasing from puppy mills or backyard breeders who prioritize profit over the welfare of the dogs.
In addition to the initial cost of purchasing a Keeshond puppy, you should also budget for ongoing expenses, including food, grooming, training, veterinary care, and other pet-related necessities. Remember that owning a dog is a long-term commitment, both in terms of time and financial responsibility.
Are Keeshonds a Good Family Dog?
Keeshonds can make excellent family dogs under the right circumstances. They are known for their friendly, affectionate, and outgoing temperament, which often makes them a good fit for families. However, it’s essential to consider several factors when determining if a Keeshond is a suitable family dog for your specific situation:
- Social Nature: Keeshonds are social dogs that enjoy being around people and are often described as good family pets. They typically form strong bonds with their human family members and are known for their loyalty.
- Temperament: Keeshonds are generally gentle, patient, and good with children. They tend to be playful and enjoy interacting with family members of all ages.
- Size: Keeshonds are a medium-sized breed, which can be a suitable size for families with children. Their size makes them more manageable for families in terms of housing and exercise needs.
- Energy Level: Keeshonds are active dogs and benefit from regular exercise and playtime. They can engage in family activities, such as walks, hikes, and play in the yard, which can help burn off their energy.
- Watchful Nature: Keeshonds have a natural watchdog instinct and will alert their owners to anything unusual or unfamiliar. While they are not aggressive dogs, their alertness can provide an extra layer of security for the family.
- Training and Socialization: Like all dogs, Keeshonds require proper training and socialization from a young age to ensure they become well-behaved and well-adjusted family members. Positive reinforcement training methods work well with this breed.
- Grooming: Keeshonds have a dense double coat that requires regular grooming. Families considering a Keeshond should be prepared for grooming responsibilities and associated costs.
- Allergies: Keep in mind that Keeshonds are not hypoallergenic, so if any family members have allergies, it’s essential to take appropriate measures to manage allergens, such as regular grooming and cleaning.
- Supervision: As with any dog, it’s important to supervise interactions between a Keeshond and young children to ensure that both the dog and the child are comfortable and safe.
Ultimately, whether a Keeshond is a good family dog depends on your family’s lifestyle, activity level, and ability to meet the breed’s needs for socialization, exercise, and grooming. If you are considering adding a Keeshond to your family, take the time to research the breed, find a reputable breeder or rescue organization, and provide proper training and care to ensure a positive and harmonious relationship between the dog and your family.