The lesser-known Japanese Spitz has a very famous smaller cousin – the Pomeranian. Like the Pomeranian, the Japanese Spitz has a light, fluffy coat that stands off its lightweight body. However, while the Pomeranian comes in a variety of colours, the Japanese Spitz is only white. The Japanese breed features stand-up prick ears that are triangular in shape and a pointed muzzle. What’s most impressive about this breed is its deep, dark and expressive eyes. The dog’s long furry tail usually curls up and over its body to give the breed an attentive look.
The Japanese Spitz tends to stay on alert. If their senses are triggered, they can show a lot of bravery and are capable of barking off strangers, though they will calm quickly around trusted humans. This active dog loves human attention and tends to be very loyal and affectionate. Decades of breeding German Spitz dogs with other white Spitz breeds around the world meticulously teased out these desirable traits in Japan.
Standards for the Japanese Spitz vary across the world’s kennel clubs, especially when it comes to size, so it’s important to understand your Japanese Spitz’s country of origin. But, no matter how you define the breed, the popularity of the Japanese Spitz is growing around the globe.
The Japanese Spitz is a great dog for a first-time owner. They are relatively low maintenance, as one walk a day and some play time can keep them happy. This fluffy breed also tends to live a long and healthy life, and is therefore one of the least expensive breeds to insure. This family dog has a positive temperament, is incredibly smart, and responds very well to positive reinforcement training. Japanese Spitzes tends to get along well with other animals and children alike. And due to the breed’s high intelligence, the Japanese Spitz will do its best to protect the family from potential ne’er-do-wells.
Different kennel clubs list varying sizes for this breed, but you can expect the dog to stand 25 to 35 cm in height while weighing 5 to 9 kg. Males tend to be slightly larger than females.
The dog’s illustriously white coat is very easy to maintain. The Japanese Spitz has an overcoat and an undercoat of fur. The slightly rougher overcoat brushes off dirt while the undercoat contains protective oils. This means that the dog maintains its natural white lustre without much maintenance whatsoever.
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Japanese Spitzes can have a lot of energy and are very playful. They stand attentively with their tails curled up and over the back. However, they tend to be satisfied with just one walk per day and some play and training time, which will help prevent unwanted behaviours such as furniture and shoe chewing.
The breed craves attention from trusted humans and loves contact. The Japanese Spitz is perfect for a snuggle. But years of meticulous breeding has instilled a calmness in the dog when required. Most Japanese Spitzes cope well with being left alone for longer periods of time.
The Japanese Spitz tends to get along with other animals and responds very well to children. And the intelligence and loyalty of the breed should give you the confidence to let the dog off the leash once you have trained him to come back when called.
Due to their affection for trusted humans, the Japanese Spitz makes for a good watch dog. The small breed features a surprisingly loud bark, is always attentive and shows no fear when threatened, but the dog quiets down quickly when a trusted human assesses the situation.
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The breed was first shown in Japan at a dog show in 1921. German Spitz dogs were brought to Japan via China and were bred with white Spitz dogs from all over the world to create a loving, energetic, loyal and playful breed. The recognition of the dog as a specific breed was delayed by World War II, but the Japanese Kennel Club quickly named the breed at the conclusion of the war in the late 1940’s.
These playful family dogs were exported all over the world starting in the 1950’s. Kennel clubs in different nations began to recognise the Japanese Spitz as a unique breed, except for the American Kennel Club. Due to the breed’s similarity to the American Eskimo Dog, the American Kennel Club does not keep standards for the Japanese Spitz breed.
Japanese Spitz Club of NSW: https://japanesespitzclubnsw.weebly.com/
Breed Information on the Breed Selector: https://www.selectadogbreed.com/dog-breeds/japanese-spitz/