The progenitor of better-known Pinscher breeds, the German Pinscher is an old breed that can trace back its lineage to the German Bibarhund of the seventh century and the Tanner of the 14th century. In the 1600s, dogs with this ancestry or type were mixed with Black and Tan Terriers, creating the Rattenfanger, a versatile working ratter and watchdog. The Rattenfanger became the Pinscher, and it remained a hardworking dog for several centuries, especially valued for its rodent-catching ability around the stables.
The keeshond (plural: keeshonden) is one of the family of spitz dogs, although its exact origin is undocumented. It seems to have been well-established in Holland at least since the 18th century as a companion and watchdog. The breed later became known as the barge dog because it was often kept as a watchdog on the small vessels navigating the Rhine River. By a stroke of fate, the breed became entangled in the political events of Holland in the years preceding the French Revolution. The leader of the patriot faction was a man named Kees de Gyselaer, who in turn owned a barge dog named Kees.