Jellkees Keeshonds - Western Australia

Western Australia's Top Winning Keeshonds since 1992
Breeders/Exhibitors since 1988 of All Breeds Championship Show BEST IN SHOW &
BEST IN GROUP Winning Keeshonds



Mrs. Con Bourne is credited with being the first person to bring the Keeshond to Australia. Having emigrated here in 1929 Mrs.Bourne returned to England following the death of her mother just before the outbreak of World War 11. She did not return to Australia until 1949, her return no doubt delayed by the outbreak of war. Whilst living in England she was interested in buying a dog, and, one evening her husband came home from work and told her he had seen the breed of dog she would want. This was a Keeshond, and his reason was that the baby puppies (in his opinion) resembled the Australia Koala.

The puppy they purchased was VALIES OF VORDEN, and as she was the pick of the litter the breeder insisted that the bitch was shown. This was the start of Mrs. Bourne's interest in showing and breeding Keeshonds. Mrs Bourne showed and bred some of her English Keeshonds under her English suffix of Arnhem before she returned to Australia in 1949 bringing with her 4 of her Keeshonds, CH. VALIES OF VORDEN, BABETTE OF WILLOWDEN, CH AIRKING OF ARNHEM, and AIRAMBER OF ARNHEM.

These 4 dogs became the foundation of the Australian lines as Mrs. Bourne continued breeding here under the Arnhem prefix. Mrs. Bourne was a foundation member of the Keeshond Club of NSW and patron from 1967 to 1976. She passed away in November 1988.

It would be very remiss of any history of Keeshonds in our Country to omit to also pay tribute to 2 people who did so much for the breed here in the early days. Mrs. Ruth Taylor whose KENDARI prefix is synonymous with Keeshonden in Australia is one.

Many good dogs today trace their roots back to her import Ch. Ensign of Duroya (UK) and his son Ch Kendari Cover Boy who was one of the earliest Australian Keeshonden to win a Best in Show in a show career spanning 8 years.


The first Keeshond to win BIS in Australia

Believed to be the first Australian Bred Keeshond to win BIS in Australia

Mrs. Taylor imported many other dogs from England over the years, starting in the 1960's and some of these were Bikki Van Zaandam, Duroya Charming Angel, Valsgate Broth of a Boy, Lekdon Zabadak of Duroya, Duroya Imperator and Duroya Homeguard. There would be very few dogs here who do not trace back to one of the Kendari dogs somewhere in their pedigrees.

And the other is Mrs. Beryl Douglas whose COLIJN prefix also contributed much to the Keeshonds of to-day. In 1977 Beryl imported Gavimir Ubacaan who became a very influential part of her breeding programme and hence appears in many of to-days pedigrees. She also imported Ledwell Jasper, Ch. Duroya Janessa of Dargrant and Ledwell Intrepid. Many of her dogs are in the pedigrees of Australian Keeshonds today.

There were a number of other people who also contributed to the development of the breed in Australia, unfortunately, there is not enough room to list them all. More dogs were imported from England, some influential ones were Ch Waakzaam Wolsoken and Ch Waakzaam Wolthius (L & B Ingram) Ledwell Bonanza (W. Vicum) Vanglede Hyperion, Vaderson Vermouth, Lady Jane Grey (Harzwald Kennels) Vandaban Fanfare (Findlow) Hanovarian Silver Moonlight (Parker) and Waakzaam Weismuller (Walker) to name a few.


Best in Show - Sydney Royal 1991
Owned/shown by A. Huggins.
Keeshonds were first exhibited at Sydney Royal Show in 1950 and at the Melbourne Royal the same year. Since then starting in the 1980's Keeshonden have started to make their mark at the Royal Shows with some of them taking out Best Exhibit in Group, not an easy feat, and one actually making history by taking out Best Exhibit in Show at the Sydney Royal, this was Ch Keeshee Cute N Cuddly. In the all breeds ring in the early days the Keeshond was considered a rare breed and there were a number of judges who would not look at a Keeshond, regardless of how good a specimen it was. That is not the case these days with quite a few now taking out the ultimate prize of Best Exhibit in Show at All Breeds Championship shows.

Keeshonds have also done well in the Obedience competitions here - so far, we only have one Australian Obedience Champion who qualified in 1991. Colijn Revier Princess OC gained her CD in 1981, CDX in 1983, TD in 1984 TDX in 1987 and UD in 1991. She was the first tracking titled and first utility titled Keeshond in Australia, making her the first Obedience Champion Keeshond at 11 1/2 years of age. This title is extremely hard to obtain and there are very few dogs of any breed that have actually won an Obedience Champion Title. There are lots of Keeshonds with a CD title, some with CDX, Agility Titles and even a few with an Endurance Title.

owned and trained by Mrs. Judy Priest.

Interest in the breed had increased enough by 1967 for Keeshond enthusiasts to form Clubs in both New South Wales and Victoria. In 1991 there were enough people in South Australia to form a third Club. The first Specialty Shows were held in 1967 and the majority of judges for these were Australian with a few Overseas all breeds judges on some occasions. The first Keeshond Breeder/Judge to come from overseas was Mrs. Anne McDonald (Hanovarian) UK who officated over a large entry at the 1983 KC of VIC Championship Show in Melbourne. Mrs. Sylivia Scroggs (Ledwell) and Mrs. Doris Purdon (Vanwall) from the United Kingdom were the first overseas Breeder/Judges to officate at the KC of NSW Shows. They judged at the 1997 KC of NSW Easter Specialties, attracting record entries from all over Australia with exhibitors eager to see how these two very respected breeders from England would judge our Aussie Kees!

The number of importations into Australia from England over the years has helped strengthen the breed until our Keeshonds are the equal of any in the world. More recently there have been importations from America and it will be interesting to see what effect the blending of these new lines with ours will produce.

Australian History (c) by Anne Jellett
Western Australia (c)2003-2005

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