Before I ever lived with my first Keeshond, I had heard stories about how a Kees takes care of dominance. And the stories were from breeders of other types of dogs. The Kees is not big, not hostile and certainly not a fighter, yet the story was always the same. That general story is: get a group of dogs together, any make and model, and the Kees will almost always lead. My deceased cousin demonstrated how this happens, a few years before his death. He took me to his hillside kennel, where there was a complete pack of beautiful Huskies (with their own hierarchy), a 125 pound German Shepherd and the infamous southern Indiana hybrid wolf/malamute. True, this was an experiment in possible terror. But I was just an observer, and found myself playing catch up on every thing that began to happen.

He let in Sissy, his 35 pound Kees. She approached the Alpha female of the Huskies' group. She just stood beside the dog. Then she began walking around the dog, in never-ending circles. No teeth, no threats, just a constant presence…like the torture of constant drops of cold water on a forehead. This continued for 45 minutes, until, finally, the Alpha rolled over on her back and pleaded for the circling to stop. My cousin said that when this occurred initially, months before, the Alpha Huskie had bit at the Kees and ran it away, only to have it come back and circle - again and again and again. In that first meeting of the two mothers, the Kees persisted for days. Finally, the Alpha Huskie "went nuts and gave up". So, what I physically observed was based upon a history of longer past struggles. And the relinquishing was more speedy only due to the past treatments, by the Kees… The Shepherd and the Hybrid? They just stood to the side and watched.

Either the Huskie, the Shepherd or the Hybrid could have killed the poor little Kees. And now, when I think of the demonstration, I feel strongly that the combination of events should never have occurred. But, the message that comes from this is not about physical strength and fighting skills. It is about determination, mental boldness and herding skills. Just remember that a 35 pound Kees can demonstrate such abilities.