I know that there are Keeshonden out there who do the agility course and others who do classic tricks. But they are a minority. Why? Because, like humans, Keeshonden question the value of such activities. And such questioning is blaspheme in the minds of owners who have breeds that snap at the chance to please the human. A "good dog" will, of course, immediately and repeatedly do mundane tasks. Only this type of response, along with rote memorization, demonstrates "intelligence" to many owners. Well…um…er…gulp… This idea stinks to a Kees.

They love problem solving and "tricking" humans. They are kings and queens of the weird. An example of what a Kees thinks is fun is: grabbing the leash of another Kees and forcefully taking that second Kees for a run/walk (without human supervision), a real game of tag, soccer ball (only front feet, no mouth allowed), an agility course that demands mid-air spirals and flying side-ways into a cushion seat - all according to Kees rules only, and, of course, the "talking dirty" trick where a Kees rolls low notes… This is all part of their clown wolf legacy. And, in reality, it is much healthier for the human that lives with the Kees - bringing joviality to the tasks of the day, rather than emphasizing the heavy work-a-day world.

But Kees are very easily bored. So, don't use the "let's go down the list" to prove your Kees knows all the names of the 52 toys. You'd be lucky to get number one. Yet, the Kees would indeed know all the names. But what's the game? What's the twist? There must be one, right? Or we wouldn't be doing this, would we? The previous four questions do define the way that a Kees confronts, or perhaps avoids, the limited problem of the standard "tricks" package.

OK, OK, OK…for the trick people who are still reading this section, I must say that I have a Kees that shakes hands as fast as a terrier, lays down with a splat and does a beautiful standing twirl dance. But I'd better have ready for her the ultimate reward, one-half of one peanut. Only with that wonderful reward does she then just barely tolerate the boring simplicity of such feats, and certainly she would rather do her own natural weird tricks. And me? I have learned to value her complex weirdness. Though I made her learn the standard list, I do find that her own inventions look and sound great, while communicating a lot more than the memorized list does. And because of a breed like the Kees, I do not accept the standard method of dog IQ testing.