The Smiling Dutchman and the Sad Dutchman

The smiling Dutchman is perhaps best exhibited on our home page, where the young Kees is seen being held up to the camera. The wild exuberance is unmistakable. And, in its thrilled state, the Kees' grimacing becomes a wink and a smile. In this case, the image conveys fairly true to the emotions at play. At that moment, the Keeshond puppy thought that all events were 'fun', worth more than a little wrestle, and that all those events were part of a game. And since the healthy Kees always sees itself in charge, or at least a winner, the cocky wink and smile are most appropriate. The adult Kees can display a Dutchman's smile in a more subtle manner. With an alert set of eyes, a slight uplift at the rear of the mouth and the famous mask, including spectacles, one can see how the smiling Dutchman phrase started.

But, in the adult Kees, the true thoughts behind the smiling Dutchman look can become mysterious. It could be that he is, indeed, happy to see you. Or it could be that he is more than slightly guilty about what is around the corner and in the other room. If he stays out of few feet, and orbits your location with his smile, then you had better go straight to investigating the other room (s). If the smiley face is accompanied by the famous and fast 'bluster', then you have encountered a guiltless welcome.

Bluster? That is another famous Kees mannerism. When excited to see you, the Kees runs forward with loving intent. Even the best good citizen training cannot nullify this tendency for the Kees to rise upon its back legs and stick out its friendly front paws in greeting. Unfortunately for the adult human male, this type of greeting, when delivered by a dog of exactly the Kees height, speed and agility, can be quite traumatic. Hence, many pictures of adult male humans will graphically show them in a very defensive posture, when first greeting a Kees. If, after the Kees sees this result a good number of times, the Kees becomes even more intense in his greeting, one can then become very suspicious of a smiling Dutchman face!

A Kees can present quite differently from a happy clown. He can, at times, be a sad clown. He takes failure very seriously, and will remove himself from family activity after he has been scolded. Not necessarily sulking, he may be found alone in room deep in what humans call "thought". In the mind of the human, the image of a withdrawn animal that imposes its own punishment confirms complexity. Rather than a negative, this is yet another superlative in the eyes of a Kees admirer. This is especially true, when the Kees can literally be talked out of its self exile. If you approach the situation with the civility that you expect for yourself, you may be pleasantly surprised at how amiable the Kees is, and how it will respond to a heartfelt invitation to return to normal status.