Dog of The Year 2023

I was honoured to be invited to judge this interesting competition and Dave Bennett and I enjoyed the hospitality of Melanie Reed-Peck and her team, particularly the excellent lunch! Whilst I may be considered something of an “outsider”, my interest in the breed stems back to my late teens when I occasionally handled dogs for a lady who lived in the West Country, Miss Saville, who often travelled to my local Open Shows in South Wales with her Gnomevale Keeshonds. My first Utility Group judging appointment at an Open Show was in 1974 – yes FIFTY years ago! – when I judged for Honley Agricultural Society and my winner was a Keeshond, Ch Waakzaam Waag, who made a huge impression on me.

As with all breeds, when judging I attach huge importance to outline and balance and in this breed I consider correct shape and compactness to be paramount. When I looked at my three overall winners I was pleased that they all were of the same basic template and on discovering their breeding I can see why! They obviously owe much to their Rossvale heritage, both Dog Of The Year and Veteran Of The Year being out of Rossvale Champions with sires carrying American breeding whilst the Puppy Of The Year was sired by the Dog Of The Year.

Here are my impressions of today’s winners:


CH ROSSVALE ENDEAVOUR TO ESORKEES, 5 years old male of super breed type in excellent body condition and full coat. Pleasing head, typically marked with excellent expression, an inherent masculinity and yet full of quality. Excellent balance of outline with correct length of neck, firm topline, strong well-finished bone, tight feet and optimum angles front and back. He moves well behind but comes on a little wide in front. On the stack he made a beautifully balanced overall picture that completely filled my eye and was spotlessly clean and sensibly presented.

Runner Up: CH KEITAKEES TO LOVE SOMEBODY AT BYQUY, 3½ years old male, again basically compact and in excellent coat and condition with plenty of angulation. Fundamentally correct head with expressive eye but not quite as neat in ear as the winner or as strong in bone. Moved true up, down and around.


DIANAKEES INSPECTOR MORSE AT ESORKEES, now 2 years old and making a very impressive overall picture. Essentially masculine with a look of quality, strongly boned with a very well balanced head, beautiful eye giving a wholly typical expression. Very well bodied with correct coat beautifully presented. Moves well behind but could be tighter in front and when he settled looked good going around. I thought he matched the Dog Of The Year so well and was pleased to discover that he was his son … definitely a chip off the old block.

Runner Up: DEVONIA’S LOVE WILL FIND A WAY FOR MANZANAKEES, 13 months and excellent overall type, well angulated front and back and coming into coat. Typical head with well-placed spectacles and just enough bone if not as compact as the winner. Moves a little close behind but good in front and opens up well in profile.


CH ROSSVALES LEGACY FOR LEKKERBEK, 11 years old but looking half his age, in spanking condition and on his toes throughout. Classic head with wonderful expression and such an impressive general forehand with strong bone and neat feet. Lovely to go over, so compact and correctly constructed with the desired moderate angulation front and back, ample neck and in full coat sensibly groomed. The best mover of the entire event, I absolutely loved him and he never stopped trying. Absolutely beautiful and a credit to his owner.

Runner Up: CH TORRIKEES VICTORIA’S SECRET, again 11 years old but a bitch, again in wonderful condition for her age and so enjoying herself. As feminine as the winner was masculine, she is basically of good shape, very well constructed with a typical head and expression and carried great condition. Maybe not quite the ideal colour of the male, moves steadily behind, now giving away a little in front but holds herself so well in profile.


Tina, Melanie, AHB and Karen






Discover Dogs 2024

The 2024 London DD has been cancelled .

Discover Dogs London 2022

The Keeshond Club organised the Discover Dogs stand at the Excel Centre London, over the two days of the event, 15th/16th October. Kitty and Iain brought their four legged stars, Henry (3 years) and Marmite (8 years) on the Saturday. On the Sunday they were joined by Gill and Rupert as the baby of the group at 18 Months.

The location of the booth being on a corner meant that Keeshond stand was very well attended. On the Saturday within 10 minutes of opening the venue was extremely full. There was a constant flow of visitors until around 15 minutes before event closure. On the Sunday the day started off slower for the first hour, but was busier until the last hour of the event. There was almost a constant stream of people enquiring on both days about the dogs.

In addition to current and former owners, there were a lot of people who had researched the breed and made a concerted effort to visit and see the breed. This included on both days children who brought their parents to ask questions about the breed as well as asking the most appropriate questions on dog ownership! On both days all four legged attendees did themselves proud demonstrating grooming, tricks and general breed traits as well as responsible dog ownership.
On the Sunday we were visited by the Kennel Club chief executive, Mark Beaszley to thank us for attendance. Towards the end of the day we were visited by a TV film crew recording behaviour and tricks demonstrations for a potential programme later in the year.

There were enquiries from people interested in a puppy post Covid and there was generally an understanding that there would be a wait for a suitable puppy to be available, which could be months and require a long distance to visit.

As a whole there were limited trade stands at the event. The event is noticeably different to the stands at Crufts in that people are mainly coming to find about dogs, breeds and ownership as opposed to being a current owner.

Hopefully in the future they can enlarge the breed areas as most of the time there was little room for people to visit breed stands due to the event popularity.
On a final note, we’d like to like to thank Geraldine Clark for all her hard work, support and never failing despite many questions via telephone and bombardment of emails from us, the stand volunteers. We’d also like to thank Maj. GO Evitts for his behind the scenes ferrying of hounds, supplying humans with caffeinated beverages and snacks and the dogs with constant supplies of water and also the carrying of various heavy items back to cars once we had closed the stall down.

A great time was had by all.
Iain, Kitty & Gill

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